In which we continue to debate this, KISMET, and other timely issues, in the absence of actual live cultural events.
THEATRE GOSSIP #390: "Quiet Does Not Rhyme With Riot, Not Really" Edition
|by Anonymous||reply 603||05/25/2020|
You're welcome, theatre bitches.
Now play nice.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||05/18/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 2||05/18/2020|
There was no BAJOUR! in the previous thread. Which made me sad.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||05/18/2020|
That riveting discussion over proper rhyming in the LITTLE WOMEN musical number had us all distracted, R3.
|by Anonymous||reply 4||05/18/2020|
In the previous thread, someone was talking about Jill O'Hara. She taught classes at HB Studios for awhile.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||05/18/2020|
I used to think that Jill O'Hara played Kevin James's mother on "King of Queens," but later found out that was her sister, Jenny.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||05/18/2020|
Jill sounded great when she released an album about ten years ago. On that video clip linked in the last thread, she was looking a lot older and a lot heavier.still sounds decent, though, for a woman in her early 70s.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||05/18/2020|
Well, I guess I should be honored that one of my posts has inspired a thread title for the first time, even if maybe with a negative tone :-)
Seriously, I'm sorry if some people were annoyed or bored by my "quet/riot" comments, and I realize it can seem a very trivial matter, especially at a time like this. But on the other hand, I find that discussion of trivial matters helps keep me sane at a time like this, and I don't think I'm alone in that.
|by Anonymous||reply 8||05/18/2020|
By the way, what is that image posted by the OP? Looks like a production of HAND TO GOD. Is that right?
|by Anonymous||reply 9||05/18/2020|
Belated responses to the questions posed in the previous thread:
I attended the Tony Awards ceremony the year TIMBUKTU opened, as well as the dinner, which was held at the Waldorf (we ate powdered eggs, if memory serves, no joke--but they had a great dance band!!). At some point, I was returning to my table as Ms. Eartha Kitt made for the exit in the same direction. As we crossed paths, she purred, "Excuse me...I have to tinkle."
The reason LITTLE WOMEN failed, IMHO, was because it did not honor its source material; its score didn’t begin to reflect period, place or character; its libretto failed to capture the emotion and sentiment of the story.
My memory of the original production is thus: it assumed that everyone was familiar with the material and did nothing to draw the audience into the world of the play and its characters. The heartfelt relationships of Marmee and her brood were presented strictly by-the-numbers and without impact. The underlying pathos and resonance inherent in the story of a family struggling to survive while awaiting the return of a father from the war (the whole reason why the March girls are considered "little women") were completely overlooked while the joyous Christmas homecoming of Mr. March was eliminated altogether. A war serves as the backdrop to the story--could the powers-that-be find no contemporary parallels? Beth's death, an iconic scene, was marked by another lackluster ballad in a score that resorted to inappropriate pop idioms. So much for a story of self-sacrifice, spiritual humility and Transcendentalist thought.
In regards to the contretemps over "quiet/riot" in the otherwise unremarkable Astonishing, there are precedents . To wit, from Lazy Afternoon:
"And I know a place that's quiet
Except for daisies running riot..."
Can't say it ever bothered me.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||05/18/2020|
Someone actually started a thread about Neil LaBute, though I think most posters there know his films, not his plays.
Any fans/foes here?
|by Anonymous||reply 11||05/18/2020|
I can't imagine anything more futile than an entire thread devoted to Neil LaBute. Neil "Who the fuck is that?" LaBute.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||05/18/2020|
R10, In "Lazy Afternoon," 'quiet' and 'riot' are not sustained so the singer can sing the short shwa sound. The poster's point was that in "Astonishing," the 'et' and 'ot' are held notes and the schwa sound cannot be used there so the words rhyme in "Lazy Afternoon" and do not rhyme in "Astonishing."
|by Anonymous||reply 13||05/18/2020|
There are some uncomfortable breaks from chest to head voice in that recent O'Hara clip, but she still sings it better than anyone. Why she never did more is a mystery.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||05/18/2020|
I understand, r 13. True, "quiet/riot" are sung as two 8th notes in a sequence in Lazy Afternoon (for those who know music). But I'm looking at the Little Women score as I write this, and "quiet/riot" are notated only with an 8th note and a dotted quarter, encompassing two beats--the rest of the measure is tacet. Sustaining the second "schwa" syllable through the end of the measure is an innovation of the performer's.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||05/18/2020|
Interesting, R15. I have not seen the music. I heard the song once when I saw the show. That was enough.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||05/18/2020|
So what's the speculation on Hugh and Sutton's Music Man? Will it just move one year later, like everything else is?
|by Anonymous||reply 17||05/18/2020|
[quote] She taught classes at HB Studios for awhile.
Hanna-Barbera? I can imagine their course list: Scooby-Doo 101; "The Jetsons" As Allegory; How to Steal From the Best (featuring "Top Cat" and "The Flintstones."
|by Anonymous||reply 18||05/18/2020|
I think Music Man will move to the first of the year, start previewing in mid-January and open I’m Feb.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||05/18/2020|
[quote]In "Lazy Afternoon," 'quiet' and 'riot' are not sustained so the singer can sing the short shwa sound. The poster's point was that in "Astonishing," the 'et' and 'ot' are held notes and the schwa sound cannot be used there so the words rhyme in "Lazy Afternoon" and do not rhyme in "Astonishing."
Thank you :-)
[quote]I understand, r 13. True, "quiet/riot" are sung as two 8th notes in a sequence in Lazy Afternoon (for those who know music). But I'm looking at the Little Women score as I write this, and "quiet/riot" are notated only with an 8th note and a dotted quarter, encompassing two beats--the rest of the measure is tacet. Sustaining the second "schwa" syllable through the end of the measure is an innovation of the performer's.
I'm very surprised to hear that it's notated that way near the climax of the song, but even if that's true, a dotted quarter is still too long a note to sustain a schwa" sound and make it sound natural, whereas the words "quiet" and "riot" sound perfectly natural as notated and sung in "Lazy Afternoon."
|by Anonymous||reply 20||05/18/2020|
Powdered eggs? I'm... so confused. They served dried/dehydrated eggs at a Tony Awards dinner??
|by Anonymous||reply 21||05/18/2020|
Just relistened to Maureen McGovern's two big numbers on the Little Women cast recording and she completely owned both of them with her glorious voice.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||05/18/2020|
[quote]Just relistened to Maureen McGovern's two big numbers on the Little Women cast recording and she completely owned both of them with her glorious voice.
Agreed, she even makes those garbage songs palatable. A shame she didn't do more Broadway.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||05/18/2020|
Resurfacing one of the demos Maureen McGovern recorded when she did the workshop of Carrie.
She was fantastic.
Broadway deserved more Maureen!
(Her Eve Was Weak is on YouTube also — her final note is as spine-tingling as Betty Buckley's.)
|by Anonymous||reply 24||05/18/2020|
Maureen. Can. Not. Act.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||05/18/2020|
For a woman who cannot act, Maureen McGovern was far more persuasive as Luisa Contini then her predecessor had been. That was a woman who cannot act.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||05/18/2020|
THEATRE GOSSIP #390: The "Cum on Feel The Schwa" Edition would also have been acceptable.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||05/19/2020|
Eileen Barnett came before and after Maureen McGovern in "Nine," and did the most performances as Luisa. She could act, and sing. It wasn't a dazzling performance, but it was a very good one.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||05/19/2020|
Let's return to Kismet. There are a lot of shows that I adore but never need to see in a production. Kismet is one, Candide another. The Encores! version was killed by Mitchell, who hasn't a funny bone in his body.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||05/19/2020|
CANDIDE is a dog of a show. Brilliant score. But the show is a turd. It's not a problem with the libretto. It's a problem with the source material. Voltaire wrote a scathingly humorous satire that savages philosophy, religion, clerics, government and includes wars and even the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. The characters are only there to experience and suffer from all these things. Their philosophies and their religions help them not at all as they face governments, wars, and natural disasters. Time and again, they get the philosophical rug pulled out from under them. If you want a story of a young person who goes out into the world, gets clobbered badly, then comes home humbled, The Fantasticks or The Wizard of Oz does it much better by focusing on the young person. Not the clobbering. With Candide, the point really is the clobbering and the failure of philosophy and religion to help one face the tragedies of life.
What little bits of it that might lend itself to dramatization are not the bits that make CANDIDE great.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||05/19/2020|
Candide and Miss Saigon
Both start with about 15 minutes of great, exciting musical theater. Then the scores turn to shit.
Then one bright song pops up (“Glitter and Be Gay” and “I Still Believe”) and then the scores turn to shit again.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||05/19/2020|
Yipes, R31! She's Miss Dunning–Kruger of 2020.
It's okay not to know what you're talking about and to have little taste. Lots of people are suffer that. But then you've got to know that the safe bet is to lie and say you love Bernstein. It will make you look a little smarter. Or, just say you, personally, don't appreciate the score.
But to call a Bernstein score "shit" is to remove all doubt about one's stupidity.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||05/19/2020|
Well I guess I'm the last person alive to have seen the Prince '74 Candide at the Broadway. It was fabulous, stupendous, hilarious and enormous fun. You all should feel terrible you never got to see it.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||05/19/2020|
The '74 production was a huge success. But musically, there was little left of Bernstein's vision for the show. And there is little chance of encountering that '74 orchestration ever again.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||05/19/2020|
Possibly because the show was so much less ponderous than it had been and has become since that production it was a huge success. The whole thing was very bright and made fun of everything in a very amusing way. Prince made it work and the entire score was wonderful in that production. He turned it into a circus and all the scenes were turned into side shows or circus acts. Of course it could never be done that way again because of the cost of the environmental staging and nobody today has the brilliant talent of a Harold Prince.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||05/19/2020|
Candide is a fucking mess, including 90% of Bernstein’s score
|by Anonymous||reply 36||05/19/2020|
It would be interesting to know which musical scores and/or composers R31/R36 does admire.
ITA with R32, but want to give the CANDIDE-hater the benefit of the doubt.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||05/19/2020|
I rest my case
|by Anonymous||reply 38||05/19/2020|
This is so random, but does anyone remember the strikingly beautiful red headed dancer/ensemble member from the 2014 On The Town revival? She looked a bit like less voluptuous Christina Hendricks. Megan Fairchild (rightly) got a ton of attention as the most stunning dancer in that production, but this ensemble member was also a total stunner. I was seated about halfway back in the orchestra and I recall that she was one of those dancers who somehow simultaneously dances perfectly in sync with the ensemble while still drawing your eye to her. She was the "girl in the green dress" who had some solos. Such beautiful extensions, such expressiveness, such athleticism and elegance all at once. (MARY, I know!)
|by Anonymous||reply 39||05/19/2020|
It’s interesting that nobody is running to Miss Saigon’s defense.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||05/19/2020|
I was (literally) a child the last time I saw Les Mis or Miss Saigon -- 16 or 17. But, I recall finding Miss Saigon infinitely more involving than Les Mis. I just recall thinking that, as pretty as much of the music was, they tried to cram way too much narrative into a single musical with Les Mis that I never was able to be the least bit invested in the characters. Whereas, as messy and inconsistent as Miss Saigon was, it was a much more involving evening in the theatre and I felt heavily invested in Kim's story and absolutely captivated by the Engineer's. Les Mis might, on the whole, be a stronger score, but, personally, I'm not a huge fan of a lot of loud ensembles singing defiantly -- it gets a bit strident to me. Both scores have their share of that, but I think Les Mis indulges in it a lot more.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||05/19/2020|
Miss Saigon has too many power ballads and zero comic relief. Two hours of being hit over the head with drama.
At least with Les Miserables, the Thenardiers come in and provide a bit of comic relief.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||05/19/2020|
Miss Saigon had a helicopter. And everyone talked about the helicopter, and writers wrote about the helicopter.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||05/19/2020|
r42 - 100% agree on there be too many power ballads. Although he's a fairly dark character, I'd say The Engineer provides some comic relief -- mostly in 'The American Dream'
|by Anonymous||reply 44||05/19/2020|
And that awful Bui Doi number
At least when Sally Struthers forced you to look at pictures of dying children, some of the money actually went to dying children.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||05/19/2020|
[R33]: I saw the 1974 “Candide” at the Broadway. I found some of it amusing in a broad way, but felt dismayed that the Bernstein score seemed submerged in artifice.
I tend to agree with [R30]’s summation of the Voltaire source material. In the show, the massive satire is continually in conflict with Bernstein’s soaring score. Prince’s ‘74 staging seemed to subvert the music to a carnival sideshow. Dumbed down to appeal to a big audience, it was a big success.
But I loved the original Bernstein vision, which for me was best realized in the one-night-only Lincoln Center benefit in 1968, with Alan Arkin and the inimitable Madeline Kahn. It also included songs and moments left off the original cast album. Too bad it wasn’t commercially released. Even Bernstein’s own re-recording didn’t equal it.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||05/19/2020|
[quote]At least when Sally Struthers forced you to look at pictures of dying children, some of the money actually went to dying children.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||05/19/2020|
There was a regional summer production of Saigon in Georgia a few summers back. It was an outdoor theater and they used a real helicopter, which landed in a field behind the stage. The same company did Titanic partly in a lake. When everyone was struggling in the water -- they really were struggling in the water!
|by Anonymous||reply 48||05/19/2020|
Was that part of their Waiting for Guffman festival, R48?
|by Anonymous||reply 49||05/19/2020|
Speaking of that ^, is it "GAW-doh" or "Guh-DOH"? Or something else? I've heard both pronounciations.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||05/19/2020|
[quote]Speaking of that ^, is it "GAW-doh" or "Guh-DOH"?
|by Anonymous||reply 51||05/19/2020|
In the US, it's "ga-DOH."
In the UK, its "GOD-o."
|by Anonymous||reply 52||05/19/2020|
[quote]Candide and Miss Saigon. Both start with about 15 minutes of great, exciting musical theater. Then the scores turn to shit. Then one bright song pops up (“Glitter and Be Gay” and “I Still Believe”) and then the scores turn to shit again.
I have never heard, and don't expect ever again to hear, those two scores compared. Are you joking, or insane?
[quote]I tend to agree with [[R30]]’s summation of the Voltaire source material. In the show, the massive satire is continually in conflict with Bernstein’s soaring score.
Many people have expressed this opinion over the years, and I get the point, but I'm not sure I agree. There is a tremendous amount of wit in the score of CANDIDE, and I think that works well with the tone of the source material. But there is also room for a few beautiful, sincere moments, like "It Must be So," "El Dorado" and "Make Our Garden Grow."
|by Anonymous||reply 53||05/19/2020|
[quote]Are you joking, or insane?
Are these now mutually exclusive?
|by Anonymous||reply 54||05/19/2020|
[quote] Miss Saigon had a helicopter. And everyone talked about the helicopter, and writers wrote about the helicopter.
For 12 year old me, that helicopter was EVERYTHING
|by Anonymous||reply 55||05/19/2020|
The play is about the 20th century Angst of living in a world without God, R51, so the character for whom they're all waiting and who (spoiler alert) fails to appear is representative of God, hence "Godot". However you pronounce "God" is how you say the first part: the second is just "o". (The French call Charlie Chaplin "Charlot".)
Beckett always denied this, citing that he wrote it in French and the French for God is "Dieu", but that's a clear-cut case of Never listen to the writer: especially an Irish one. As if the French don't know what "God" means.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||05/19/2020|
I saw "Miss Saigon" at the Drury Lane in London, seated toward the rear of "the stalls," where the top half of the stage was blocked by the mezzanine. I heard the helicopter, but never actually saw it. (I saw the huge statue of Ho Chi Minh from the waist down.)
|by Anonymous||reply 57||05/19/2020|
[quote]I saw the huge statue of Ho Chi Minh from the waist down
|by Anonymous||reply 58||05/19/2020|
[quote] So what was the point of even going?
You dutifully did your part to line the pockets of Cameron Mackintosh.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||05/19/2020|
Here's a Playbill article with photos and film clip about that Georgia Miss Saigon.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||05/19/2020|
Candide is also difficult to assess as a show because the score was written for Hellman's libretto, which hasn't been played in over 60 years. Ethan Mordden in his 1950s book makes the original production sound fascinating and outrageous.
There are so many variations to the score through all of the productions, but the balance of the score is of very high quality. Some additions have been unnecessary or redundant. (The score doesn't need two songs about syphilis for starters). But using a throwaway like the "Sheep Song" as representative of the balance of the score is ludicrous.
|by Anonymous||reply 61||05/19/2020|
I was in a side box for Miss Saigon on Broadway and didn't even know there was a statue of Ho Chi Minh on stage. I did see some of the helicopter's propellers.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||05/19/2020|
[quote]I saw "Miss Saigon" at the Drury Lane in London, seated toward the rear of "the stalls," where the top half of the stage was blocked by the mezzanine. I heard the helicopter, but never actually saw it. (I saw the huge statue of Ho Chi Minh from the waist down.)
Damn, I had never heard that the helicopter effect was not visible from some seats, but that makes complete sense. I would have been furious and demanded my money back, unless they warned you ahead of time.
|by Anonymous||reply 63||05/19/2020|
Doesn't sound like that "Miss Saigon" helicopter flew very far.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||05/19/2020|
I've always found it astonishing that Bernstein was writing Candide and West Side Story simultaneously and there are bits one score that ended up in the other and vice versa. One Hand, One Heart, IIRC, began as a duet for for Candide and Cunegunde. I think The Sondheim Guide has more details.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||05/19/2020|
That fucking helicopter brought the ticket price up to the then-record $100 for the mezzanine.
|by Anonymous||reply 66||05/19/2020|
The Globe Theater might be dead to us.
|by Anonymous||reply 67||05/19/2020|
I saw it, too. Wheeler's revised book was hilarious and the staging was, indeed, great fun, but I missed the original orchestrations terribly. But it was all of a piece, I guess...
|by Anonymous||reply 68||05/19/2020|
Yup, R67. The buildings themselves are very vulnerable right now.
Every theater on Broadway is at risk. The cost of carrying an empty theater is enormous. The Shuberts can diversify the risk and the financial stress when most of their 17 theaters are up and running and a few are not. But when all are closed, there ain't much diversification possible.
|by Anonymous||reply 69||05/19/2020|
[quote]The Globe Theater might be dead to us.
Is the Globe not eligible for government help because it was built as a private museum? I've visited twice and found it interesting.
I guess that Americans were more interested in creating and maintaining a monument for one of Britain's famous sons more than the Brits were.
If Meghan Markle-Windsor were smart, she'd swoop in and become a patron.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||05/19/2020|
... but The Globe?
|by Anonymous||reply 71||05/19/2020|
Well I became familiar with the Candide score from the LPs of the '74 production after which I saw it so musically I knew what to expect and I was close enough yet far away enough to take in the entire extravaganza. We bought the tickets right before the performance so they must have been house seats. There were many seats where I would not want to have been(especially those stools.) We lucked out and it is one of my happiest theatrical memories. Even after seeing it more faithfully produced on a proscenium stage I don't consider that revival dumbed down at all.
There must have been people then who saw the original production. Were they complaining about this revisioning of the show and its dumbing down?
|by Anonymous||reply 72||05/19/2020|
I've never considered the '74 version a dumbing down. It clearly had a theatricality to it. Hugh Wheeler's book is a bit smart-assed, but not inappropriately so. Voltaire himself called his novel a "schoolboy jest." (If you've never read the original Voltaire, it's sensational, and meaner and funnier than the musical). I think what people missed was the musicality of the original production. The small band and rinky-dink orchestrations are not so hot, and there are some weak vocal performances. But the '74 was the only theatrical version of the show that has ever been even close to commercially successful (even though I don't think it recouped).
|by Anonymous||reply 73||05/19/2020|
I saw the '74 Candide as well. It was indeed great fun, but still don't need to see another production, even that one. I'm content with a few of the recordings, including the OBC and the Scottish Opera. (And BTW) the house seats (at least mine) was on a stool.
|by Anonymous||reply 74||05/19/2020|
Well I believe that '74 production was closed due to a musician's strike. Does anyone else remember this at the time? And it was notoriously well known that the musician's union demanded a certain number of musicians be used because of the seating capacity of the Broadway theater. The problem was however that because of the environmental set the seating had to be reduced by a fair number of seats. The musicians' union did not care. They wanted the minimum number for the theater no matter how many seats there were in it. So something like 5 musicians would spend every performance playing cards or whatever. Prince could not afford it so he said. Or was it pique?
How bizarre that today unions seem to have entirely caved to producers' demands which is an important reason why there are such small orchestras compared to years ago. And I assume why they can cut orchestras after a show has opened and the reviews are in.
|by Anonymous||reply 75||05/19/2020|
Reply 20: Kaye Ballard set the gold standard for Lazy Afternoon. She was a terrific singer who spent too much time doing shtick and too little doing song. Kaye did Gypsy twice, albeit in stock, but she was by reputation a terrific Rose. Her career couldn’t maintain the early success of The Golden Apple and Carnival, and it made Kaye bitter to her detriment.
|by Anonymous||reply 76||05/19/2020|
Life After Tomorrow - starring DL Icon Sarah Jessica Parker.
|by Anonymous||reply 77||05/19/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 78||05/19/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 79||05/19/2020|
I saw the Hal Prince Candide, twice, in fact, because I loved it so much. I had no previous knowledge of the score at the time so the reduced orchestrations didn't bother me (ignorance can be bliss). It was So. Much. Fun. Actors whizzing over your head on ziplines or popping up through trapdoors in the most unexpected places. Like right next to me: For Glitter and Be Gay, an actress in an enormous powdered French wig dripping with jewels popped up through the floor beside me with a (fake) harpsichord keyboard, which she mimed playing while, behind her, Cunegonde warbled Glitter and plucked the jewels from the wig.
Sheep Song is one I always skip over when I listen to the OBCR, but I love Life Is Happiness Indeed, Auto da Fe, Barcarolle and, of course, Make Our Garden Grow.
|by Anonymous||reply 80||05/19/2020|
Hal Prince kept at lot of that staging for the Broadway production of "Candide" when it was done at opera houses, including the NY City Opera production at the old NY State Theater in NYC. Erie Mills was great in the original staging, and the sadly gone too soon (from AIDS) David Eisler was a real cutie as Candide.
|by Anonymous||reply 81||05/19/2020|
Ugh. I saw that NYCO production of CANDIDE during its original engagement at the State Theater. I walked away thinking, "Oh, now I understand why it failed."
It was a big fucking snoozefest. Great performers giving wonderful performances. One fabulous scene after another that all went no where. It's the Panama Canal of musicals. One lock at a time and then it's over.
|by Anonymous||reply 82||05/19/2020|
Meh. CANDIDE is no MISS SAIGON, still.
|by Anonymous||reply 83||05/19/2020|
I must apologize to some DL posters. I was one of those who actively took part in the in depth conversations about Follies. Now that I have to sit through all this boring talk about Candide, I can see how boorish I was. Please forgive me.
|by Anonymous||reply 84||05/19/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 85||05/19/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 86||05/19/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 87||05/19/2020|
Serenbe's Miss Saigon...
|by Anonymous||reply 88||05/19/2020|
Ha! Prince's productions of Follies and Candide were great! That kind of talent is gone forever.
Yes the staging of Glitter and Be Gay was ingenius. I only knew it from the record and when that trap door popped open and the pretend harpsichordist popped out with that elaborate headpiece from which Cunegonde then started picking off jewels as she sang was surprising and hilarious. I barely knew of Gounod's Faust at the time and had no idea it was a send up and still thought yes this is what musicals are all about.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||05/19/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 90||05/19/2020|
[quote] Ha! Prince's productions of Follies and Candide were great! That kind of talent is gone forever.
It's not gone. We just don't see it in the legitimate theater these days.
Part of putting on a great musical is creating an iconic stage picture.
|by Anonymous||reply 91||05/19/2020|
I had to look up the TV production of KISMET that's the source of the clip at R86, because I had never heard of it. Seems it was a 1967 production with Jose Ferrer as Hajj, Anna Maria Alberghetti as Marsinah, and George Chakiris as the Caliph. Ferrer must have been awful, as he really couldn't sing well enough for that role. And Chakiris didn't really have the voice for his role, either, but I imagine he was able to get through it okay through changes of key, etc.
|by Anonymous||reply 92||05/19/2020|
I saw the '74 Candide, 4 times. The only version of the show that worked. It was ponderous before that, and ponderous later.
None of the individual elements work together. The ravishing music was always too big, too sweeping for the nature of that show.
It came closest in '74.
|by Anonymous||reply 93||05/19/2020|
[quote]Well I guess I'm the last person alive to have seen the Prince '74 Candide at the Broadway.
R33, I actually worked on that production of Candide - both at the Chelsea Theater production at BAM and the Broadway production. The BAM production was really a lot of fun, with a terrific set by Eugene Lee, and audiences loved it. But it was quite a leap from Bernstein's original concept and cut half of the musical numbers.
"...The 1974 Broadway revival starred Mark Baker (Candide), Maureen Brennan (Cunegonde), Sam Freed (Maximilian), Lewis J. Stadlen (Dr. Pangloss), and June Gable as the Old Lady."
|by Anonymous||reply 94||05/19/2020|
That 1967 Kismet was broadcast in color but all that survives is that black and white version, which may have been a rehearsal.
|by Anonymous||reply 95||05/19/2020|
I still remember the record/head shop where I purchased this 2 disc set. I didn't know exactly who Eva Peron was, but it looked...intriguing.
|by Anonymous||reply 96||05/19/2020|
From "Quiet" original lyrics to "Candide" -- not sure if Lillian Hellman or RIchard Wilbur:
I was once, what is more, Nearly sawed in four By a specially clumsy magician; And you'd think I would feel After such an ordeal That there's charm in my present position. But I'd far rather be In a tempest at sea, Or a bloody North African riot, Than to sit in this dump On what's left of my rump And put up with this terrible QUIET Comfort and boredom and QUIET
"Riot" and "Quiet" used as rhymes by either the master of translation Moliere, Poet Laureate Richard WIlbur or by famous playwright Lillian Hellman.
|by Anonymous||reply 97||05/19/2020|
I was once, what is more,
Nearly sawed in four
By a specially clumsy magician;
And you'd think I would feel
After such an ordeal
That there's charm in my present position.
But I'd far rather be
In a tempest at sea,
Or a bloody North African riot,
Than to sit in this dump
On what's left of my rump
And put up with this terrible QUIET
Comfort and boredom and QUIET
Better formatting, sorry about before.
|by Anonymous||reply 98||05/19/2020|
How can Broadway return?
|by Anonymous||reply 99||05/19/2020|
I thought the Lonnie Price staged concert worked well.
|by Anonymous||reply 100||05/19/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 101||05/19/2020|
The Sondheim Guide attributes "Quiet" to Richard Wilbur.
|by Anonymous||reply 102||05/19/2020|
Yes, R97, I mentioned this song in a previous post as an example of a song that makes the "quiet/riot" rhyme work because of the way the syllables are set, unlike the way they're set in that song from LITTLE WOMEN.
I, too, saw the 1974 CANDIDE at the reconfigured Broadway theater, and yes, it was wonderful. I think the Hal Prince/Hugh Wheeler version has never worked as well in subsequent productions for two reasons: (1) it requires JUST the right touch in terms of tone to get it right, and (2) it really suffers without the intimacy of the environmental staging, especially when done in a large opera house or in a proscenium configuration in a large Broadway theater like the Gershwin.
|by Anonymous||reply 103||05/19/2020|
[quote]"...The 1974 Broadway revival starred Mark Baker (Candide), Maureen Brennan (Cunegonde), Sam Freed (Maximilian), Lewis J. Stadlen (Dr. Pangloss), and June Gable as the Old Lady."
Sam Freed, the husband of DL icon ... Miss Barrie Youngfellow!
|by Anonymous||reply 104||05/19/2020|
I think it's great so many posters here saw the 1974 production of CANDIDE. Just some perspective: that was 47 years ago.
|by Anonymous||reply 105||05/19/2020|
Oh honey, Dataloungers don't talk most musicals after 1980. I don't know how SAIGON got in.
|by Anonymous||reply 106||05/19/2020|
That just goes to show that Broadway won;t be coming back soon, since the audience is ancient. Look for more Disney.
|by Anonymous||reply 107||05/19/2020|
How about if they try giving parts to actors that aren't ancient in order to interest more young people? Having 51 year old Jackman and 48 year old Sutton Foster in the Music Man is hardly appealing to a younger crowd. Unless of course Henry Hill dresses up like Wolverine.
|by Anonymous||reply 108||05/19/2020|
I feel so inadequate. My first Broadway show was the original production of CHICAGO.
Oh, what I missed. And how sad that it was just about all over by 1980.
|by Anonymous||reply 109||05/19/2020|
Sondheim rhymed quiet and riot in 'What More Do I Need' from Saturday Night
|by Anonymous||reply 110||05/19/2020|
Jackman was Wolverine - very popular with the younger set. Of course, Broadway queens would have no knowledge of that. Foster is a nobody to the younger set, nor anyone outside NY theater circles.
|by Anonymous||reply 111||05/19/2020|
[quote]Foster is a nobody to the younger set, nor anyone outside NY theater circles.
Are you an asshole or just playing one online?
|by Anonymous||reply 112||05/19/2020|
The Music Man will have to push to fall of 2021 like everything else will. Because operating legitimate theaters at a reduced capacity simply won”t work.
The more I think about it the more it seems the Mark Hellinger might finally be rid of that fucking church organization that bought it. Because that church relies on donations by its congregants, right? And they ain’t getting donations for many months.
|by Anonymous||reply 113||05/19/2020|
So educate us 112, how large of a young audience does Sutton have that want to see her in a play?
|by Anonymous||reply 114||05/19/2020|
For chrissakes, r104, you know damn well that should read "Sam Freed, the husband of DL icon ... Miss Barrie Youngfellow as Jan!
|by Anonymous||reply 115||05/19/2020|
Much as I love "The Music Man", I don't know if theater-goers will want to pay a lot of money to see a show about a conman after dealing with one for almost 3 1/2 years in office already. And one with a happy ending yet!
|by Anonymous||reply 116||05/19/2020|
The Lillian Hellman libretto is actually very good. She shouldn't have withdrawn it, as it shouldn't have been blamed for the original production being a flop. I read it a few years ago, and it was actually pretty funny.
|by Anonymous||reply 117||05/19/2020|
[quote] The Encores! version was killed by Mitchell, who hasn't a funny bone in his body.
Well, and also by the Marsinah, who came down with the flu and wasn’t able to sing very well. They should have replaced her but they didn’t. A Kismet without a glorious-voiced Marsinah is no Kismet at all.
|by Anonymous||reply 118||05/19/2020|
When you all say reduced orchestrations for this Hal Prince Candide, approximately how many musicians are we talking?
|by Anonymous||reply 119||05/19/2020|
[quote]approximately how many musicians are we talking?
A kazoo and a theremin. It was that bare bones.
|by Anonymous||reply 120||05/19/2020|
Was it the flu the Marsinah had? I just thought she hadn't the technique to do the role. I think her resume looked like it was mostly pop operas. Same as when the Denee Benton of "Natasha and Pierre" was cast in a concert version of the wonderful "Of Thee I Sing" and didn't have the high notes.
|by Anonymous||reply 121||05/19/2020|
Not only the obviously very sick Marsinah at Encores, but the usually reliable Stokes Mitchell seemed to have never heard or seen the show before. He never took his nose out of the script once and he seemed to be sight reading it. I saw it on Thursday (2nd night) and he was adrift. Plus, he does not have the big robust baritone voice the role requires. He has a lighter voice which he tried to darken, the same as he did in South Pacific, with the same only only partially successful results.
Thank God for the wonderful Marin Mazzie as Lalume.
Didn't Encores interpolate a couple of songs from Timbuktu?
|by Anonymous||reply 122||05/19/2020|
Here you go, R119.
|by Anonymous||reply 123||05/19/2020|
Maureen McGovern is a surly lez.
|by Anonymous||reply 124||05/19/2020|
[quote]Much as I love "The Music Man", I don't know if theater-goers will want to pay a lot of money to see a show about a conman after dealing with one for almost 3 1/2 years in office already. And one with a happy ending yet!
Maybe they should re-write and re-cast it with a Trump-type and Melania the Librarian. And they both end up in jail at the end.
|by Anonymous||reply 125||05/19/2020|
Annaleigh Ashford's new Chuck Lorre sitcom ("B Positive") was picked up by CBS. Also starring Thomas Middleditch, Kether Donohue (who was in "Grease-Live") and Sara Rue.
|by Anonymous||reply 126||05/19/2020|
[quote]Sondheim rhymed quiet and riot in 'What More Do I Need' from Saturday Night
And that was fine, because AGAIN, the second syllables of those words are not held in the lyrics of that song, so they can both be sung as an unstressed schwa sound. But then Sondheim throws in "buy it," and the note on "it" is a little longer, and that kind of messes up what's supposed to be a triple rhyme.
In that POS song from LITTLE WOMEN, the words "riot" and "quiet" are set to music in such a way that you can't make them sounds like they rhyme without distorting the pronunciation of one or both of the words.
|by Anonymous||reply 127||05/19/2020|
Plus, r127, you have to take into account that due to the general decline in culture and literacy these days, approximate rhymes are considered just as acceptable as exact rhymes. Nobody notices the difference or cares anymore. As I recently posted on another thread entirely, literary concepts such as irony and satire are starting to go over people's heads, leading to criticism from people who just don't understand them.
|by Anonymous||reply 128||05/19/2020|
Thanks, R123 - you weren't kidding about reduced orchestrations. That doesn't sound like more than... 12-15 musicians? I will say, there's something charming about that scrappy, squeaky sounding band playing the orchestra. It has... character. But, obviously, it cannot compare to a full, lush orchestra.
|by Anonymous||reply 129||05/19/2020|
The cast album for the 1974 production was my first exposure to CANDIDE. I was 18 and I listened to it a lot. It's where I initially learned the score.
And then one day, I obtained the original Broadway cast album. I was flummoxed. It took a while to make the shift. And then came the 'opera house' versions which are once again different.
Ultimately, I think that, as written by Bernstein, it's more of a comic opera and it's best for a concert presentation.
|by Anonymous||reply 130||05/19/2020|
Hal Prince knew his way around a cock or two, didn’t he?
|by Anonymous||reply 131||05/19/2020|
Gentlemen don't tell tales out of school, r131, as Larry Kert found out.
|by Anonymous||reply 132||05/19/2020|
Heard good things about the Zoom version of Significant Others that was on last week and would love to see it but can't find it. Anyone have a link?
|by Anonymous||reply 133||05/19/2020|
There's no such thing as a good Zoom version of anything.
|by Anonymous||reply 134||05/20/2020|
Candide - 1988 Scottish Opera Production.
|by Anonymous||reply 135||05/20/2020|
Wow the Ben Platt special on Netflix is appalling. And let me say for credibility that I loved him as Evan Hansen. Who is the audience for this? Are teenage girls that into this guy with a scraggly beard and no personality wearing pajamas??
|by Anonymous||reply 136||05/20/2020|
This place is going downhill. How did you bitches let r108 survive typing “Henry Hill”?
|by Anonymous||reply 137||05/20/2020|
[quote]Wow the Ben Platt special on Netflix is appalling.
Datalounge never disappoints.
|by Anonymous||reply 138||05/20/2020|
R112, theater queen who has never been outside NY and presumes everyone knows Sutton Foster. NO ONE outside NY theater circles knows Sutton Foster. She is NOT a household name. Hell, a large majority of people in New York have no idea who she is. With a name like Sutton, they probably would presume it's a man.
|by Anonymous||reply 139||05/20/2020|
[quote]theater queen who has never been outside NY and presumes everyone knows Sutton Foster. NO ONE outside NY theater circles knows Sutton Foster. She is NOT a household name. Hell, a large majority of people in New York have no idea who she is. With a name like Sutton, they probably would presume it's a man.
Projecting? You sound like Trump. Actually theater queens don't realize there is life outside of W 45th Street, they'll proclaim they have no TV which is supposed to mean something. Honey, Sutton has had her own show for years now called "Younger". Is it #1? No, but she has enough viewers to keep it on the air for SEVEN seasons so far. And even if people tune in to supporting actor Hilary Duff, people indeed know who Sutton Foster is.
|by Anonymous||reply 140||05/20/2020|
Quiet and riot rhyme, the way I pronounce them. Pronounciation is everything in rhyming.
|by Anonymous||reply 141||05/20/2020|
I pronounce quite and riot the same, too. That's why I'm confused.
|by Anonymous||reply 142||05/20/2020|
Two different vowels. Two different vowel sounds. It's not that difficult to understand.
But the difference is not enormous.
Bet. Get. Let. Quiet.
Hot. Pot. Got. Riot.
If you can only refer to your personal regional accent, you're lost in the world of phonetics. In parts of the midwest, "pin" and "pen" sound as if they are homonyms. But they are not. That's just midwestern regionalism. The "e" in "pen" is pronounced like the "i" in "pin." It happens again with the "e" in "get." If you were to transcribe the sounds you heard, you would end up with "Git me a pin so I can write a letter." The subtle difference between vowel sounds can be determinative. of meaning. But they can be obliterated by regional accents.
Complicating this discussion is that we are discussing the use of the words when set to music for vocal performance. A writer could underscore the difference or all but mask it entirely.
Not to worry. Eliza Doolittle made all sorts of things rhyme that shouldn't before she began her study of phonetics. And look how well it worked out for her.
|by Anonymous||reply 143||05/20/2020|
Wow, r135! Thank you so much. This version is my second favorite of the score, bested only by the original. It's beautifully sung.
As for the '74 Candide, I think it was great fun, but lacked the satirical sting of the original. Anyone remember the ending? After the glorious finale of Make Our Garden Grow, Prince added the button of the cow (an onstage character) suddenly groaning and falling over dead. The plague again! Screams of shock! Totally undermined the cautious optimism of the song. Many hated that choice.
|by Anonymous||reply 144||05/20/2020|
Another conceptual version...
|by Anonymous||reply 145||05/20/2020|
R143, they are not two different vowel sounds. They are both schwas.
A shwa though is hard to sing as a sustained note. When sung on a sustained note, schwas are usually sung as an eh sound.
There is someone who insists that the schwa in riot should be sung as an uh sound. However, the uh is as hard or harder to sing than a schwa, so it does not make sense. Singers pronounce the word "love" in a lyric as "lah-uhv" becuase it is hard to sing the uh. They can sustain the ah which is much easier (and sounds better than) a sustained uh.
|by Anonymous||reply 146||05/20/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 147||05/20/2020|
It does depend on pronouncing words properly for the rhymes to sound correct. Some folks have problems -- for instance, some folks in the Midwest pronounce the words "Mary", "marry" and "merry" all the same. A good vocal (and speech coach) could help if they ever got cast in a show.
|by Anonymous||reply 148||05/20/2020|
How gay of Dick Cavett to have appropriated part of the Candide overture as his closing music for his talk show back then.
|by Anonymous||reply 149||05/20/2020|
Ever notice that Andrea McArdle goes to the second part of her diphthong when she sings lots of times, especially when she sings "Tomorrow" in "Annie" - "You're always a day a-way", the last syllable has "eh-ee" and she goes almost immediately to the "ee", while most singers stay on the "eh" and only add the "ee" at the end? Frank Sinatra does this too in some of his songs. It's kind of annoying vocal thing to do.
|by Anonymous||reply 150||05/20/2020|
I love the overture to CANDIDE, but when I was a kid I associated it with Cavett and his show. I despise Cavett so he almost ruined the overture for me.
Cavett has always been a pretentious poseur. Much like the deservedly dethroned Charlie Rose, he's a half-bright narcissist and a terrible interviewer who makes it all about him. Much like Rose, he had NYC society and the media elites inexplicably kissing his ass for a long time.
He did get some excellent guests, at least. So there's that.
|by Anonymous||reply 151||05/20/2020|
I thought the cow falling over dead from the plague after the beauty of Make our Garden Grow was quite wonderful and completely in line with the philosophy expressed throughout the show.
And really after the early 80s coinciding with the rise of AIDS as has been frequently noted Broadway musicals turned to shit. And this also about the time the NY middle class theater audience which supported Broadway for many decades started disappearing and the tourist audience took over completely.
I thought all Broadway theaters were protected. If not they should all have been leveled years ago with office towers and condo buildings. Koch fought very hard to get the Marriott built because he was the most evil of evil queens. The man really did look like a squashed cabbage leaf. And his self hatred exploded in the ugliest of ways.
|by Anonymous||reply 152||05/20/2020|
Sutton Foster is known by every musical theatre lover in the U.S. All of them will come to New York to her and Hugh in Music Man, just like they did for Bette in Dolly. It's a slam dunk, because its an EVENT.
|by Anonymous||reply 153||05/20/2020|
" Frank Sinatra does this too in some of his songs."
Indeed, and it's my one pet peeve about his vocalism (other than his ring-a-ding-ding interpolations). But I think Mr. Sinatra did it as a means to an end of breath control. He always said he modelled his phrasing on Tommy Dorsey's trombone-playing, and hanging on to the second vowel probably gave him greater sustaining power. But I really hate it when contemporary musical theatre performers emphasize the first vowel of, say, "you," so that it comes out "yeeee-uuuuuuu." So affected and unlyrical.
|by Anonymous||reply 154||05/20/2020|
People will flock to see Jackman, as they did for Bette. She will be the girl who played Marian.
|by Anonymous||reply 155||05/20/2020|
YOUNGER has been on for 7 seasons and does big numbers on streaming. Sutton is a legit celebrity.
|by Anonymous||reply 156||05/20/2020|
Let's throw a grenade into the was "Dorothy Loudon any good as Mrs. Lovett' wars...Thoughts on this video. And for the record, SWEENEY is before 1980, so its safe Datalounge terrain...
|by Anonymous||reply 157||05/20/2020|
"Forever Plaid" reunion streaming tonight.
|by Anonymous||reply 158||05/20/2020|
[quot]Ever notice that Andrea McArdle goes to the second part of her diphthong
|by Anonymous||reply 159||05/20/2020|
The cow falling over at the end of Make Our Garden Grow was both funny and added to the songs poignance. These people will cling to optimism no matter how badly the world batters them.
|by Anonymous||reply 160||05/20/2020|
[quote]Hot. Pot. Got. Riot.
No. One of these things is not like the others.
|by Anonymous||reply 161||05/20/2020|
[quote]The cow falling over at the end of Make Our Garden Grow was both funny and added to the songs poignance.
I always thought the "Eeeeuuww" that follows "Ah, me, it's the pox " after the cow drops dead at the end of the cast album sounded like it was lifted from a "Bullwinkle" cartoon. I don't think it makes "Make Our Garden Grow" any more poignant, however. The effect is too comic.
|by Anonymous||reply 162||05/20/2020|
[quote] Koch fought very hard to get the Marriott built because he was the most evil of evil queens.
R152 is a graduate of the Copacabana School of Reasoning and Logic.
|by Anonymous||reply 163||05/20/2020|
[quote]Heard good things about the Zoom version of Significant Others that was on last week
"Significant Others" might have been an interesting title for the play as a variation on the common phrase, but in fact, the actual title is "Significant Other."
[quote]Quiet and riot rhyme, the way I pronounce them. Pronounciation is everything in rhyming.
Again, for the umpteenth time, they DO rhyme perfectly when you speak them. But when you have to elongate the second syllables of each word when singing them, what vowel sound would you use for those syllables to make them sound like they rhyme? If you sing "kwy-ETT" and "ry-OTT," that doesn't rhyme. If you sing "ry-ETT," that sounds terrible. That's why I suggested that the best choice to try to make them sound like they rhyme while singing them would be to use a sort of elongated schwa sound, "kwy-UHT" and "ry-UHT," but even that is fudging it.
[quote]A shwa though is hard to sing as a sustained note. When sung on a sustained note, schwas are usually sung as an eh sound.
Yes, but it depends. I've always thought it a sign of sloppy lyric writing in the song "People" that the singer is required to sing that word several times and sustain the second syllable every time. Streisand handles it by singing "pee-PUHL" and also by going quickly to the "l" and actually singing on the consonant for a couple of beats, which is the only plausible solution. But, ideally, a singer shouldn't really be put in that position in the first place, and songwriters shouldn't set schwa sounds on sustained notes.
[quote]Ever notice that Andrea McArdle goes to the second part of her diphthong when she sings lots of times, especially when she sings "Tomorrow" in "Annie" - "You're always a day a-way", the last syllable has "eh-ee" and she goes almost immediately to the "ee", while most singers stay on the "eh" and only add the "ee" at the end? Frank Sinatra does this too in some of his songs. It's kind of annoying vocal thing to do.
I think Sinatra did that more and more often as he got older, I think maybe because it helped him stay on pitch to sing on the closed "ee" vowel rather than a more open one.
|by Anonymous||reply 164||05/20/2020|
[quote]Again, for the umpteenth time, they DO rhyme perfectly when you speak
The key words being "for the umpteenth time."
|by Anonymous||reply 165||05/20/2020|
Did anybody here see Rachel Lily Rosenbloom (And Don't You Ever Forget It)?
Closed in previews in 1973.
|by Anonymous||reply 166||05/20/2020|
Wildcat has a fun overture.
|by Anonymous||reply 167||05/20/2020|
Wildcat has a loud overture.
|by Anonymous||reply 168||05/20/2020|
[quote] [R143], they are not two different vowel sounds. They are both schwas.
Not if you're singing them, R146. No singer and no voice teacher would agree with you. This discussion is about lyrics written to be sung.
Furthermore, a stage actor would be wise to disregard the "ə" found in the dictionary when speaking in standard speech and given the word "quiet," if s/he wants to be heard and understood out in the house. A dictionary will give you the "ə" for the second syllable in "pencil." I doubt that a British actor would when preparing a role for the stage. There are more of these.
|by Anonymous||reply 169||05/20/2020|
It's brassy, r168.
|by Anonymous||reply 170||05/20/2020|
I'll bet my bottom dollar that "schwa" will end up in the title of the next thread. At theater school Voice and Diction class, the one thing I remember is the admonition, "When in doubt, use the schwa." And the definition of glottal fry.
I agree that the dead cow doesn't add to the poignancy. It upends it. Which is fine if that's the way you want to go.
|by Anonymous||reply 171||05/20/2020|
In a weird way, I prefer the ‘74 recording of Candide. It’s the only recording where the humor of the lyrics doesn’t get lost in the (admittedly gorgeous) orchestral sweep of the score.
From Voltaire on, Candide has only ever had one tiny idea in its head and zero emotion. If it’s not funny, it’s nothing.
|by Anonymous||reply 172||05/20/2020|
Yup. The 1974 recording of CANDIDE is the only one in which the listener can understand all the words. And it is a very wordy piece of theater.
The musical values of Bernstein's score are debased, but it is far more coherent dramatically.
|by Anonymous||reply 173||05/20/2020|
R169, You really do not know what you are talking about.
The schwa sound is part of RP, Standard British, Standard American, Mid-Atlantic.
Inexperienced actors often make the same mistake you do when attempting RP or Standard British, and end up sounding unnatural. I have heard many insist that they are right because they heard a British actors say it that way.
But they have not. They are not hearing the sound actually made because they still visualize the spelling--even though they say they are not. (I have had actors insist that "grey" and "grey" are pronounced differently and that they could hear a difference. It is a similar phenomena.)
When they learn IPA, it helps them get over this. It is good ear training and they are then better able to articulate the sounds that they are actually hearing.
I would recommend a speech instructor to anyone who like you, is interested in sounds. You have the interest--now you just need the ear training.
|by Anonymous||reply 174||05/20/2020|
[quote]In a weird way, I prefer the ‘74 recording of Candide. It’s the only recording where the humor of the lyrics doesn’t get lost in the (admittedly gorgeous) orchestral sweep of the score.
Interesting. I've never thought the brilliant humor of the lyrics is in any way lost or downplayed on the original cast recording, with that gorgeous full orchestra.
|by Anonymous||reply 175||05/20/2020|
And by the way, the second vowel in pencil in Standard American is a schwa. In RP it is a lowered-i. It has nothing to do with what sound will carry. It is purely a substitution.
Many other words do have the schwa in RP and Standard British. So you do have somewhat of an ear because you picked a good example. It is your extrapolation and the reason for the lowered-i that are wrong.
|by Anonymous||reply 176||05/20/2020|
Fine, R174, but I would honestly like to know how you think the schwa sound in "quiet" and "riot" should be sung on extended notes. What vowel sound(s) should you use?
|by Anonymous||reply 177||05/20/2020|
[quote]Wildcat has a loud overture.
Seems appropriate, given that Lucy herself got progressively louder in her post-"I Love Lucy" years. By the time of Here's Lucy," she was yelling all of her lines at top volume. Her scenes with the equally loud Gale Gordon were headache-inducing.
|by Anonymous||reply 178||05/20/2020|
There is not much choice. Uh is a difficult sound to sing and sounds awful when it is extended, it is more usual to sing eh.
If you do need to sing uh, it is common to turn it into a diphthong. You can do that in many words, but ri-ahhhh-uht would sound worse than ri-uhhhhht. So most singers will opt for eht.
For the umpteenth time.
|by Anonymous||reply 179||05/20/2020|
I wish Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor were still around to torment the boring elocution experts here.
|by Anonymous||reply 180||05/20/2020|
So, unless I'm misreading IBDB, the Company revival had 14 musicians. It feels like Sondheim revivals (with the exception of Follies) are always the first to get shorted in this area. Such a shame. Maybe if LCT had produced more of the Sondheim revivals new generations would have grown up hearing the full scores the way they were meant to be played.
So, before the closures, which current show, other than Phantom, had the largest orchestra on Broadway?
Speaking of Phantom, the show is not my cup of tea, but kudos to Cameron Grannysmith for not cutting that orchestra. I'm sure he could get away with it, but he (or ALW?) realized that the big sound of the show was part of its appeal.
|by Anonymous||reply 181||05/20/2020|
What would Miss Jane Summerhays be like as Phyllis you ask?
|by Anonymous||reply 182||05/20/2020|
[quote]So, unless I'm misreading IBDB, the Company revival had 14 musicians.
Which COMPANY revival? I assume you mean the Roundabout production with Boyd Gaines (sometimes!) as Bobby, not the John Doyle "actors playing instruments" production with Raul Esparza. As far as the Roundabout productions of Sondheim's shows are concerned, it seems he allowed them to present his shows with inadequate-size orchestras and cheap production values in return for the company's commitment to revive many of his shows, not just one or two. They eventually wound up reviving almost all of the major titles, and some of the minor ones, within a period of about 20 years or so.
[quote]Speaking of Phantom, the show is not my cup of tea, but kudos to Cameron Grannysmith for not cutting that orchestra. I'm sure he could get away with it, but he (or ALW?) realized that the big sound of the show was part of its appeal.
I am no fan of ALW, to put it mildly, but on the plus side, it does seem that orchestra size has always been important to him. Andone way or another, he has always assured that Broadway and other first-class productions of his shows have had nice, large orchestras as necessary.
|by Anonymous||reply 183||05/20/2020|
[quote] Did anybody here see Rachel Lily Rosenbloom (And Don't You Ever Forget It)? Closed in previews in 1973.
Wish Encores would do a tribute show like they did with "Little Shop" and Howard Ashman.
|by Anonymous||reply 184||05/20/2020|
All due respect to the late great Paul Jabara, Rachael Lily Rosenbloom is witless garbage. It's not worth it.
|by Anonymous||reply 185||05/20/2020|
[quote]I wish Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor were still around to torment the boring elocution experts here.
Ann eye CAWNT stannim!
|by Anonymous||reply 186||05/20/2020|
[quote] All due respect to the late great Paul Jabara
Who appeared in the original Off-Broadway production of Hair with Jill O’Hara, by the way.
|by Anonymous||reply 187||05/20/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 188||05/20/2020|
Poor, poor Ellen...
|by Anonymous||reply 189||05/20/2020|
I wish there was an entire Datalounge thread dedicated to schwa.
|by Anonymous||reply 190||05/20/2020|
[quote]All due respect to the late great Paul Jabara, Rachael Lily Rosenbloom is witless garbage. It's not worth it.
If it was so bad, how did it make it into a Broadway theater?
|by Anonymous||reply 191||05/20/2020|
Bless your heart, r191.
|by Anonymous||reply 192||05/20/2020|
Gee, beats us!
|by Anonymous||reply 193||05/20/2020|
Whatever happened to Boyd Gaines?
|by Anonymous||reply 194||05/20/2020|
R136 Basically, yes. His audience is mostly made up of the Evan Hansen fangirls.
|by Anonymous||reply 195||05/20/2020|
[quote] Let's throw a grenade into the was "Dorothy Loudon any good as Mrs. Lovett' wars...Thoughts on this video. And for the record, SWEENEY is before 1980, so its safe Datalounge terrain...
Since no one else bit on this, I will. I thought Loudon's singing voice was much preferable to Lansbury's, who I've always felt was difficult to listen to. That being said, I have no idea what she's playing in that scene. I know it's her number, but she's barely acknowledging Todd throughout, using him as a prop as opposed to making a pitch to him. Now perhaps she's decided to play this song differently since it always seems like Lovett is pitching Sweeney some idea or other, but if she's supposed to be in love with this man, then let's see it.
Also, it's loaded with Loudon schtick. Ok, she's not doing the cockney accent, not going to fault her for that (much) since I don't know what the circumstance is here in which they're performing the number (out of costume and makeup), but she is playing this in character, so be Mrs. Lovett, don't be Dotty Loudon at Brothers & Sisters during the 11pm show.
|by Anonymous||reply 196||05/20/2020|
I’m, Quiet and Riot actually rhyme
|by Anonymous||reply 197||05/20/2020|
By all means, let's see whether we can fill up this thread with 600 posts debating whether "quiet" and "riot" are a legitimate rhyme.
|by Anonymous||reply 198||05/20/2020|
[quote] I know it's her number, but she's barely acknowledging Todd throughout, using him as a prop as opposed to making a pitch to him. Now perhaps she's decided to play this song differently since it always seems like Lovett is pitching Sweeney some idea or other, but if she's supposed to be in love with this man, then let's see it.
To be fair, Loudon is basically doing the same choreography that Lansbury did, except he's not sitting in a chair and she can't go behind him.
I'm just curious why the producers chose to highlight this number. It would be interesting to know what show this was from. I, personally, wouldn't chose this song to try and sell the show.
|by Anonymous||reply 199||05/20/2020|
Lansbury tries to connect to Sweeney. Loudon may do similar movement, but It only highlights that she has non understanding of what is going on.
Guess what? They both sing the same words and music.
|by Anonymous||reply 200||05/20/2020|
I don't think the point of "By The Sea" is to connect with Sweeney. I think it's to show how disconnected Lovett is to what he's thinking. He has no intention of settling down with her.
|by Anonymous||reply 201||05/20/2020|
Yes, R201. That is why she needs to try to connect to him. Her attempt to connect shows that she has no idea what he is thinking. If she is not trying to connect with him, his intention will not be clear either.
This is theater 101.
|by Anonymous||reply 202||05/20/2020|
[quote]If she is not trying to connect with him, his intention will not be clear either. This is theater 101.
Lovett is off in her own dream world, as we see several times in the show. Later when Toby is singing "Nothing's Gonna Harm You" Lovett is mentally miles away. That's her character. She's in her own mind, not in reality. She doesn't connect with anyone because she's batshit crazy.
This is theater Advanced Placement.
|by Anonymous||reply 203||05/20/2020|
You are confusing what the audience understands with what the character is trying to do.
You are focused on the obstacle rather than the action.
|by Anonymous||reply 204||05/20/2020|
Lansbury’s performance is so effective because always engaged, calculating how she can manipulate the situation. You *especially* can see that in Nothing’s Gonna Harm You. She picks up right away as Toby puts things together, and by the end of the song, she is planning to kill him. Only a very bad actress would miss the clues written into the text for Lovett.
|by Anonymous||reply 205||05/20/2020|
R130, CANDIDE is called a comic operetta.
|by Anonymous||reply 206||05/20/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 207||05/20/2020|
Following R207’s lead, let’s celebrate Broadway’s stupidest television commercial.
|by Anonymous||reply 208||05/20/2020|
The funniest song in Candide is Auto-da-fe. I really enjoyed the version telecast on Live from Lincoln Center in 1986 with Erie Mills as Cunegonde.
And stating that "riot" and "got" rhyme is the stupidest thing I've read on here in months. And that is saying something. As a singer, there is absolutely nothing difficult about singing an "uh" sound.
|by Anonymous||reply 209||05/20/2020|
[quote]Did anybody here see Rachel Lily Rosenbloom (And Don't You Ever Forget It)?
R166 here's an edited snippet from the old SUMMER STOCK MEMORIES thread:
Gary (Keeper) and I became a couple when he was the PSM for an off-Broadway show called Why Hannah’s Skirt Won’t Stay Down, by Tom Eyen, at the Village Gate. Gary worked on several shows during our time together, including Rachel Lily Rosenblum, SeeSaw, The Ritz, Gypsy (with Angela Lansbury), Treemonisha, All Over Town, TruckLoad, Bad Habits, Sherlock Holmes, and Dude.
Gary always was attracted to difficult women. He talked about working with Ellen Greene and how frightened and paranoid she was during the tryouts of RLR. In one scene, she had to fly across the stage sitting on a cloud (I believe). Gary would have to take her up to the rafters, put her in the contraption, and literally push her onstage every night. Ironically, he was also friends with Bette Midler for whom the show had been written - another difficult diva. I experienced him doing similar duties with Helen Hanft as Hanna. Yes, he was really good at what he did.
|by Anonymous||reply 210||05/20/2020|
R166 and R167, I saw both RACHAEL LILY ROSENBLOOM (AND DON'T YOU EVER FORGET IT) and WILDCAT and survived both.
|by Anonymous||reply 211||05/20/2020|
R176, you are trained in phonetics, but your training is not producing great advice. I stand by my statement that singers and voice teachers would not deal with that unstressed vowel sound as you advise. You start in a difficult position by insisting that there is one correct pronunciation when, in fact, the world is filled with regional accents and variations in speech. There is no one single and precise way to pronounce any vowel. Dealing with the quiet/riot question is situational as it is part of a text and then also part of a piece of music with its own demands. Even where that moment in the music lies in the singer's voice. The style in which the song is sung. "uhhhhhhh" is not universally applicable. There is no hard and fast gold standard against which we can measure right and wrong, except for singing the word with your best possible sound.
I studied phonetics years and years ago when I attended drama school in London. As part of our training, we were required to take a lot of dictation from volunteers there to speak to us as we notated the pronunciation that we heard. And though each speaker does it a little differently, unless the speaker's accent was strongly regional, the slight variations did not obscure the intended word. The listeners heard what was intended.
Quiet and riot rhyme. Sometimes. Under certain circumstances. For certain purposes. When spoken or sung by certain characters. But then again, sometimes they don't. Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle might not speak it in the same way early in Pygmalion, but be in perfect agreement in the fifth act. In the case of a lyric in a song, the music itself may tell the performer more about how to handle the vowel than any speech manual ever could. A schwa is only just a schwa when the performer is Arlene Francis.
|by Anonymous||reply 212||05/20/2020|
Did anyone see the BOMBSHELL concert benefit for The Actors Fund? Broadcast tonight.
Anyone who loved (or loved to hate) SMASH should check it out.
|by Anonymous||reply 213||05/20/2020|
Next theater thread could be called "Sinatra, McArdle and the Rape of the Diphthong"
|by Anonymous||reply 214||05/20/2020|
[quote]A schwa is only just a schwa when the performer is Arlene Francis.
Arlene's book, "The History of the Schwa in the Legitimate Theater" is still studied in college theater programs.
|by Anonymous||reply 215||05/20/2020|
[quote]All due respect to the late great Paul Jabara, Rachael Lily Rosenbloom is witless garbage.
You say it like that's a bad thing.
|by Anonymous||reply 216||05/20/2020|
I get your trick now. When you are criticized for having a hard and fast rule about pronunciation and rhyme, you keep insisting that the other person come up with a definitive statement, so you can then say that there is no hard and fast rule.
How is the acting career going?
|by Anonymous||reply 217||05/20/2020|
Worst Theater Thread Ever.
How many schwas are there in that?
|by Anonymous||reply 218||05/20/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 219||05/20/2020|
[quote]That is why she needs to try to connect to him. Her attempt to connect shows that she has no idea what he is thinking. If she is not trying to connect with him, his intention will not be clear either.
Mrs. Lovett DOES know what Sweeney is thinking when she sings "By the Sea." She knows he's obsessed with revenge against the judge, that's why she's attempting to get his mind off of that by singing about the life the two of them might have together by the sea. It doesn't work at all, but that is her intention in the song.
|by Anonymous||reply 220||05/20/2020|
[quote]Which COMPANY revival? I assume you mean the Roundabout production with Boyd Gaines (sometimes!) as Bobby, not the John Doyle "actors playing instruments" production with Raul Esparza.
Nope, the current LuPone revival, R183. I know it's not fair to judge a show by bootlegs, but the score just sounds so... puny. At least we have the OBCR and the NY Phil concert.
|by Anonymous||reply 221||05/20/2020|
The new Company orchestrations are horrid. Truly.
|by Anonymous||reply 222||05/20/2020|
Schwa wonderful, schwa marvelous
|by Anonymous||reply 223||05/20/2020|
R208 That show looked terrible!
Did anyone here see it?
|by Anonymous||reply 224||05/20/2020|
Tovah Feldshuh, Sarava!
|by Anonymous||reply 225||05/20/2020|
Did any of you have experiences with Marian Seldes? Be it, seeing her perform or interacting with her? I never got to see her on stage, but have loved watching her interviews on Theater Talk and the like over the years. I get the impression she was probably a wonderful teacher, too.
|by Anonymous||reply 226||05/20/2020|
Schwa de vivre.
|by Anonymous||reply 227||05/20/2020|
[quote]Didn't Encores interpolate a couple of songs from Timbuktu?
No. But they did have Mazzie sing "Bored," which was cut from the '53 original, put back in for Dolores Gray in the movie, and reinstated in the stage play for the Alfred Drake-Anne Jeffreys revivals in 1962 and 1965. I think it's almost always done with "Bored" now because it's another major musical moment for Lalume, and that's the other star part after Hajj (the Drake role).
|by Anonymous||reply 228||05/21/2020|
Does Encores still get revenue from Chicago?
|by Anonymous||reply 229||05/21/2020|
That's an assumption that was apparently never accurate, r229, the idea that Encores! made money off of the revival. According to those in the know, they did not.
|by Anonymous||reply 230||05/21/2020|
[quote]Did any of you have experiences with Marian Seldes? Be it, seeing her perform or interacting with her? I never got to see her on stage, but have loved watching her interviews on Theater Talk and the like over the years. I get the impression she was probably a wonderful teacher, too.
I've told this here before...Ms Seldes was in the original production of "Deathtrap" at the Music Box Theater. She stayed with the show for the entire run, never missing a show in almost 1800 performances. Met her at the Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids Annual Flea Market. She was at the celebrity autograph table. I asked her if it was true she never missed a performance. She took both my hands, looked up at me and said "Why should I miss?"
|by Anonymous||reply 231||05/21/2020|
R226, Marion was a wonderful woman and in the role of a starchy stiff matron like on SATC she was great. Outside of that, she was terrible. I first saw her in Equus. Anthony Hopkins, Peter Firth, Roberta Maxwell, Frances Sternhagen--an amazing company of actors. Marion stood out for her fake actressy performance.
Everything I saw her do on stage was that. Redux.
She was a genuinely sweet person (though a bit of an ass-kisser for anyone with a name). But not really much of an actress.
|by Anonymous||reply 232||05/21/2020|
I have to admit I wasn't much of a fan of Marion's early on, but around the time whe married Garson Kanin, she changed completely. She was hilarious in everything I saw her in after that. I saw her in THREE TALL WOMEN and she was brilliant and so inventive in it. It wasn't until I saw the play in London that I realized that all the bizarre business she did was not actually in the play, but things she added.
|by Anonymous||reply 233||05/21/2020|
Marian was an old "warhorse," actress : dependable, conscientious, and talented. She's like another, Colleen Dewhurst, seen here in Murphy Brown. They are pretty much lost treasures, since today's stars have to have fake boobs and be under forty. Talent? Doesn't matter. Hype is all that matters.
|by Anonymous||reply 234||05/21/2020|
Marion was not in Colleen's league.
That comparison is not fair to Marian.
|by Anonymous||reply 235||05/21/2020|
The one time I saw Seldes live, she was brilliant but miscast.
It was Albee’s “the Play About The Baby”, and that play doesn’t work if the older couple are grandparent aged.
But she was far more interesting to watch than David Burtka’s properly cast but very boring naked penis.
|by Anonymous||reply 236||05/21/2020|
R235, there is no comparison here. You are thinking it's a competition. The point is that there existed a group of actors who were talented, reliable professionals who were not built on hype. These women were in that category. It's not who was better, but that they were built on talent, not looks or "social media" status.
|by Anonymous||reply 237||05/21/2020|
Marian was the kind of person who would take your hand with both of hers, look you straight in the eye, call you Darling, and make you feel as if you were the most important person in the world. Even if you had just walked up to her to ask where to find the nearest D train stop.
|by Anonymous||reply 238||05/21/2020|
TDL: Garson Kanin was married to both Ruth Gordon and Marian Seldes. I knew about the former but not about the latter.
|by Anonymous||reply 239||05/21/2020|
Can we talk about "Schwallies?"
Until then, does anyone still have the YT link to the Beware of Pity broadcast from a few weeks past?
|by Anonymous||reply 240||05/21/2020|
It's funny people mention Marion Seldes on the subway. She was that kind of NYC actor: I saw her on the subway twice over the years.
BTW, someone upthread is confusing her with Frances Sternhagen, who played Bunny, Trey's mother. Seldes never did SATC. Always loved Seldes (and Sternhagen) and thought she was terrific. DEATHTRAP was my first Bway show, ever.
Other actors routinely seen on the NYC subway:
Bill Murray (many, many years ago, but post-SNL stardom)
|by Anonymous||reply 241||05/21/2020|
Guess what's coming to Broadway? " Smash."
|by Anonymous||reply 242||05/21/2020|
Marian Seldes was excellent when she stayed in her lane: the proper lady. Anything outside of that, she was the hammiest ham who ever hammed. Which is funny because she taught classes at Julliard.
|by Anonymous||reply 243||05/21/2020|
R242 Whatever happened with that Marilyn musical from that show that was supposed to come to Broadway?
|by Anonymous||reply 244||05/21/2020|
Marian Seldes playing every performance of Deathtrap means that she never took a proper vacation from February 1978 to June 1982. And since they probably started rehearsals in November 1977, we can include that time as well.
|by Anonymous||reply 245||05/21/2020|
That story at R242 makes no sense.
There was a lot of talk, then and now, about bringing BOMBSHELL, the fictional show within the show about Marilyn Monroe, to Broadway. No one (in their right mind) ever suggested adapting SMASH, the TV series, as a Broadway musical.
There's a lot of love for those Marc Shaiman songs for BOMBSHELL, which sounded great at the Actors Fund benefit.
|by Anonymous||reply 246||05/21/2020|
[quote]At least we have the OBCR and the NY Phil concert.
The OBCR of COMPANY is glorious as far as the orchestra is concerned (and the performances). It's all you need. For me, the NY Philharmonic performance with NPH was a huge disappointment for several reasons. NPH's voice is okay for certain songs and roles, but it does have that very thin quality that's not appealing with repeated hearing, especially not in songs like "Someone is Waiting" and "Being Alive." There were also some others in that show who couldn't sing very well, most notably Stephen Colbert. And maybe worst of all, they lowered the keys for some of the ensemble numbers -- including most of the opening number, the title song -- to the point where they were no longer exciting. Compare the opening number on the OBCR with the version in that NY Phil performance, and you'll immediately see and hear what I mean.
|by Anonymous||reply 247||05/21/2020|
Wait until you hear the big number before the intermission..."We're in TECH!"
|by Anonymous||reply 248||05/21/2020|
I can't believe it's been over 8 years since SMASH debuted. Time really does fly once you cross 30.
|by Anonymous||reply 249||05/21/2020|
R247 - I don't discount any of the points you made, but, as far as an under-rehearsed concert version of Company goes, I couldn't imagine a better production. That concert was also my first introduction to the book. I'd never seen a full production and, I dunno, I found the whole thing so entertaining. Perhaps if the book scenes weren't included I would have been less forgiving. I also don't disagree about NPH's singing, but unlike some on here, I otherwise find him very charming, and he brought a modern, knowing, wry sensibility to the part without feeling completely removed from the original period. It worked for me.
I know everyone and their mother loves Being Alive, but I've never liked the ballads from the score that much -- that song in particular has always felt so hammy to me. It's the rest of the score I truly love.
|by Anonymous||reply 250||05/21/2020|
In my experience, Marian (not "Marion") Seldes was great on stage when playing a character who was very grand and/or affected and/or quirky, but not when cast as a more "normal" character. It's ironic that her biggest, long-run success was in DEATHTRAP, in which she played a woman whom I would say should not come off as grand, affected, or quirky. I saw Seldes in DEATHTRAP late in the run, the first time I ever saw her onstage (I had missed her in EQUUS), and I thought her performance was awful. It wasn't till later that I came to appreciate her greatly in other roles that were more well suited to her acting style. As for her teaching, there was a documentary called "American Masters Goes to Juilliard" in which Bradley Whitford talks about having had Seldes as a teacher there, and he said she was very tough in class despite her rep for being so sweet in public. Several friends and I experienced that bit of her taking our hands when meeting us for the first time, calling total strangers "my love," etc. It really was very powerful when she did that.
|by Anonymous||reply 251||05/21/2020|
R241, I think you are confused.
Marion played Big's mother.
I am not sure if Big was also known as Trey, but Frances Sternhagen did not play Chris Noth's mother.
|by Anonymous||reply 252||05/21/2020|
The 2006 Broadway revival with Raul Esparza was my first introduction to Company. I was in NYC that December for my birthday -- saw Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, Drowsy Chaperone, Chorus Line revival -- and decided on a whim to see it, because I'd enjoyed Esparza years earlier when the Evita tour came to town. I remember feeling underwhelmed. Caught the NPH version on TV several years later and enjoyed it much more. I think a lot was lost in the Esparza production with the sparse set and actors playing the instruments. Also, why was everyone wearing black?
|by Anonymous||reply 253||05/21/2020|
[quote]I know everyone and their mother loves Being Alive, but I've never liked the ballads from the score that much -- that song in particular has always felt so hammy to me. It's the rest of the score I truly love.
That's a tricky song because it talks about loneliness making him feel nothing. "Somebody force me to care. Somebody make me aware." But the song is usually done so dramatically and with such bombast that the audience is left thinking maybe the opposite is true. Hey, Bobby, maybe you're a bit too emotional, ya drama queen.
|by Anonymous||reply 254||05/21/2020|
Because it was a funeral, R253, and everything sounded like a dirge. Because it was set in Bobby's brain. Or something.
With the exception of Raul, it was all pretty dreadful. Worst COMPANY ever--even worse than the shitty 90s version at The Roundabout.
|by Anonymous||reply 255||05/21/2020|
I saw Cariou and Lansbury twice. The first time I attended with Hearn and Loudon at the helm, I went with a friend who had also seen the first cast several times. We sat in the center orchestra. There came a moment in "Not While I'm Around" when I saw Dorothy Loudon make the decision to kill Tobias. And just as I had that realization, my friend gasped not entirely quietly, "Oh, my God. She decided right there to kill Tobias!" None of you have to agree, but back then watching it, my friend and I were in agreement about that moment. Her Lovett was a tough.
Almost from the start, Loudon was driving the bus. She recognized Sweeney the moment he came in her shop and she started manipulating him immediately. She knew him years ago. She recognized him easily. And though she was broke and had not an extra penny, she was still holding onto his razors. Just in case. And her bet paid off. She armed him. She facilitated everything that followed. She nudged him and led him the entire way. Sweeney is an angry man with an explosive temper, who had been grievously wronged, but Loudon's Lovett was an operator. Loudon cannily added tension to a tension filled evening by always communicating that this was going to be hard to pull off. She was there pushing, right to the end, put she showed us the pressure of it. It kept the viewer deeply involved in what she was doing. Lansbury rolled her eyes a lot and put a lot of shoulders into it. Loudon brought a lot of the humor, as Lovett must. But she was always engaged in the fight of her life and it raised the stakes wonderfully. Sweeney was grotesque in his violence, but there was nothing Loudon's Lovett wouldn't have done.
|by Anonymous||reply 256||05/21/2020|
R254, what an odd way to look at it. Bobby realizes that he's missing something huge in his life, and has finally decided that he REALLY wants to experience a committed relationship, with all the good and bad that comes along with it. That's why he gets so emotional in "Being Alive." His character needs an emotional climax, and that song is it. I think the Doyle-Esparza version was very good in some ways, not great in others. I wouldn't say it was humorless, but they certainly downplayed the humor as compared to the Lonny Price version for the NY Phil, and some other productions I've seen. And one thing I really didn't like about the Doyle-Esparza was the way almost all of the songs ended in a sort of drifting-off way that didn't leave room for applause. But there were lots of good performances in the show, including Esparza's, and I think it worked very well on its own terms.
|by Anonymous||reply 257||05/21/2020|
My problem with the Doyle “Company” is that it felt so cold. One thing “Company” is not is cold.
|by Anonymous||reply 258||05/21/2020|
R256, what a great post.
I knew with Lansbury and Lupone that they were planning to kill Tobias during that song, but never saw the moment of decision. I am not a fan of Loudon but she always good at pinpointing specific moments in a scene. (Then she would often overplay them.)
Having Lovett recognize Todd from the start makes more sense out of Worst Pies in London. While I love the song, why would a smart operator like Lovett have to gain by sharing her inability to make edible pies with a potential customer? But if she knows it is Todd, the song is a bit more actable.
|by Anonymous||reply 259||05/21/2020|
So they are making a musical based on a 2 season flop t.v. show? How stupid and desperate and rich are these people?
|by Anonymous||reply 260||05/21/2020|
Will Bernadette get to reprise her role for the stage?
|by Anonymous||reply 261||05/21/2020|
I met and chatted with Victor Garber on the subway some years ago. Very nice. On the bus I saw Quentin Crisp years ago, as well as Sylvia Miles.
|by Anonymous||reply 262||05/21/2020|
I thought that press release about SMASH was a joke, but I double checked, and today is not April 1.
|by Anonymous||reply 263||05/21/2020|
Miss Seldes from a Perry Mason episode with the eternally vivacious Miss Ruta Lee.
|by Anonymous||reply 264||05/21/2020|
Didn't Greenblatt producer the uber flop 9 to 5?
|by Anonymous||reply 265||05/21/2020|
In the video of SWEENEY TODD with Lansbury, it seems to me there's quite a specific moment when Lovett realizes that Tobias needs to be killed, because he has started to become suspicious about what happened to Pirelli. As for the other point, I'm not sure if Lovett recognizes Benjamin Barker as soon as he walks into the shop, but if not, it's shortly thereafter. I'm pretty sure she's pretty sure he's Todd when she begins telling the whole story of Lucy and the Judge.
|by Anonymous||reply 266||05/21/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 267||05/21/2020|
Elizabeth Franz is a subway rider. I saw her on the subway after a performance of Death Of A Salesman.
|by Anonymous||reply 268||05/21/2020|
Sorry, I meant I'm pretty sure Lovett is pretty sure her customer is Benjamin Barker when she begins telling the whole story of Barker and Lucy and the Judge.
|by Anonymous||reply 269||05/21/2020|
R266, I have never seen the video....now I will.
|by Anonymous||reply 270||05/21/2020|
Mrs. Lovett knows she's going to kill Toby the minute that she starts baking people into pies.
|by Anonymous||reply 271||05/21/2020|
A certain Mr. Iverson has kindly posted all of these AMTSJ videos...
|by Anonymous||reply 272||05/21/2020|
[quote]Mrs. Lovett knows she's going to kill Toby the minute that she starts baking people into pies.
Maybe you're joking, but if not, I don't agree. I think she really thinks she loves the kid, almost the way someone might love a pet, because he's so trusting and simple-minded and because she feels sorry for him for having been mistreated by Pirelli. The point is, though she does love him, she's so ruthless that she's able to turn on a dime and plan to kill him (or have Todd kill him) when she realizes that Toby has become suspicious about what happened to Pirelli.
|by Anonymous||reply 273||05/21/2020|
Thanks for posting that R182. I had seen that production in 1998 and remember having enjoyed it.
As you can see, they did the show with an intermission. The Act I curtain came down after "Who's That Woman?". After a brief entr'acte, Act II started with a reprise of WTW but but it played more like a continuation (or encore) of the number so it didn't feel like a break in the action. I remember thinking at the time it was a rather clever way to keep the story moving yet give the audience a break.
The need for an intermission may have been one of necessity. Not only is the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts a huge barn of a theater, with over 1900 seats in the orchestra alone, it has the dreaded 'festival seating', i.e. no center aisle, with the longest row being 60 seats across. . Any poor soul who feels the call of nature has to step over dozens of fellow theatergoers to get to the side aisle. Give the average age of AMTSJ subscribers was somewhere between sixty and death, an intermissionless 2 hours would've been torture.
|by Anonymous||reply 274||05/21/2020|
Isn't there also a musical cue in the orchestration when Tobias brings up PIrelli that also underscores that Lovett thinks she better get kill Tobias now that he's getting suspicious of what's going on?
|by Anonymous||reply 275||05/21/2020|
“Wait, what’s yer rush, what’s yer hurry? You gave me such a fright, I thought you was a ghost...”
From the moment he steps into her shop, she knows it’s him (and that his Lucy lived).
|by Anonymous||reply 276||05/21/2020|
Thanks for the link R272.
As a companion piece, here is a Master's thesis by SJSU student Mike Scott Cymanski entitled 'The Demise of American Musical Theater of San Jose', which includes an exhaustive list of all productions.
Almost a decade after I moved away, I happened to be back in the area and a friend and I went to see the revisal version of FLOWER DRUM SONG in 2008 (with Broadway cast member Alvin Ing and dreamy Paolo Montalban as Wan Ta). Although the show had originated in Los Angeles and the tour had played Sacramento, it had not yet been performed in the Bay Area. Despite the packed house on the day I attended, it was not enough to save the organization, and FLOWER DRUM SONG would sadly prove to be American Musical Theater of San Jose's final production.
|by Anonymous||reply 277||05/21/2020|
I wonder if Dorothy Loudon would have had an Elaine Stritch type comeback had she not gotten sick.
She seemed destined for Lansbury, Channing type status, but after Sweeney, the momentum just stopped.
|by Anonymous||reply 278||05/21/2020|
He husband died and she got lost in the drink.
|by Anonymous||reply 279||05/21/2020|
[quote] I wonder if Dorothy Loudon would have had an Elaine Stritch type comeback had she not gotten sick.
Her niche was outlandish characters and flirty women. American tv didn't have much for that type of character. She would have fared better with British tv. She would totally be at home on a show like EastEnders where she's the bosomy, man-stealing flirt who worked as a bar maid.
|by Anonymous||reply 280||05/21/2020|
[quote]From the moment he steps into her shop, she knows it’s him (and that his Lucy lived).
I think she strongly suspects it's him from the first moment he comes into the shop. But later, after "Poor Thing," when he shouts "Would no one have mercy on her?" (Lucy), Lovett then says: "So it IS you, Benjamin Barker." Which indicates that she wasn't 100 percent sure, but now she is. I don't think it matters all that much when exactly she realizes it's him, though it is a good point that it's a little weird for Lovett to sing "The Worst Pies in London" to this man whether she thinks he's a just a customer OR if she recognizes him as Benjamin Barker.
By the way, I think maybe there's a little bit of a plot hole in SWEENEY TODD. After Lovett has locked Toby in the bake house, she and Sweeney go searching for him down there ("Toby, where are you lad? Nothing's gonna harm you..."), but they can't find him. So, just how big is the bake house supposed to be, and where do we think Toby was hiding? We know he's been in there all the time, because he was locked in, and then of course he turns up out of the shadows at the end of the show. Any ideas?
|by Anonymous||reply 281||05/21/2020|
I had a chance to talk with Marian Seldes at a book launch party for Ruth Gordon, who, in 1981, published her first novel ("Shady Lady"). Garson Kan.in was there, so I got to meet both the present and the future Mrs. Kanin. Marian Seldes was as gracious in talking to me (I was less than nobody, to quote Eve Harrington) as everyone described. I told her about having recently worked on the movie version of "Deathtrap," and she told me that the Broadway cast (as of 1981) had been invited to a screening of the film and that she had walked out of it. "I just couldn't watch any more of it," she said, without being specific. Maybe seeing Dyan Cannon in her role became too much for her.
|by Anonymous||reply 282||05/21/2020|
I think she definitely knows by the point she says, "My, you do like a good story, don'tcha?" in the midst of "Poor Thing."
I used to have the Sweeney script, and I think Toby escapes into the sewers? I think Lovett has a line about the sewers and "a few rats that have gone home to Jesus," or something like that. Incidentally, I had once read a pre-production script of Sweeney where Toby's hair was meant to turn white with terror upon seeing the Beadle's body come out of the chute. No idea how it would have worked, but I loved the visual. The original staging just had him reenter with white hair for the final scene with Todd.
|by Anonymous||reply 283||05/21/2020|
Misses Foley & Mazzie...
|by Anonymous||reply 284||05/21/2020|
Loudon would have made a first rate Rose in Gypsy.
Broadway in the 80's was rough for a lot of leading ladies. Between Evita and the revival of Gypsy, there seemed to be a dearth of female centered musicals.
|by Anonymous||reply 285||05/21/2020|
Loudon was a great performer, especially wonderful in comedy, but I think her fast vibrato (or slight wobble) might have made Rose in "Gypsy" seem kind of nervous, and Rose wasn't nervous, just nervy.
|by Anonymous||reply 286||05/21/2020|
Seldes was great as a grande dame, but I heard her do some brilliant work as St. Joan in a kind of "miscast" evening at Project Shaw.
|by Anonymous||reply 287||05/21/2020|
Loudon would have been a great, but different Rose. Maybe more nervous and vulnerable than most. I don't think that would be an inherently bad thing. Maybe she'd play her more as a covert narcissist instead of the usual grandiose or malignant narcissist. To me, it makes her even more cunning and calculating by using her vulnerability and feminine charm to get what she wants.
|by Anonymous||reply 288||05/21/2020|
Being Alive is a great song, but the closest I've come to being genuinely moved by it as Adrian Lester's performance in that Mendes production in the 90's. He didn't have the voice for it at all, but his performance has been the only one that's truly moved me.
|by Anonymous||reply 289||05/21/2020|
You weren't move by Dean Jones in the documentary?
|by Anonymous||reply 290||05/21/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 291||05/21/2020|
R281 is correct. In the original production of "Sweeney Todd," out of view of the audience, Tobias escaped onto the bare stage of the cavernous Uris Theater where a number of actors with lanterns ran around and called his name for a while.
It was utterly confusing where anyone was, what they were really doing, or how they might possibly find the young man. Luckily, they got things back on track pretty quickly.
|by Anonymous||reply 292||05/21/2020|
Thanks, R283. Maybe the bake house is supposed to connect with the sewers (which I think we sort of see in the beginning of the movie). But Toby does turn up back in the bake house at the end of the show, of course, so that specific plot point still seems a bit sketchy to me.
I never thought of Loudon as having any kind of a wobble when she sang. I think she might have been a great Rose if she had done the role at an age-appropriate time and when she was also up for it physically and emotionally, but I don't know if those periods ever really coincided. I am glad that she was able to pull herself together for quite some time to have that triumph in ANNIE. She was absolutely phenomenal in that show.
|by Anonymous||reply 293||05/21/2020|
3 Wang Tas.
|by Anonymous||reply 294||05/21/2020|
The unsuccessful rewrite of FDS.
|by Anonymous||reply 295||05/21/2020|
Loudon was more a stylist than a singer. She didn't have a great big belt. I think he emphasis on growling was not just for comic effect but to give her a bigger/ballsier sound than she had.
|by Anonymous||reply 296||05/21/2020|
[quote]Adrian Lester's performance in that Mendes production in the 90's.
I saw that production and it was great. It was very well acted. The British approach a musical like a play and develop an inner life. Most American actors approach a musical like "Hey, let's put on a show."
|by Anonymous||reply 297||05/21/2020|
I found the script to Sweeney online. When Lovett first brings Toby into the bake house, he mentions the smell. She says:
"Them steps go down to the old cellars and the whiffs come up, love. God knows what's down there — so moldy and dark. And there's always a couple of rats gone home to Jesus."
After the Beadle's body appears, and Toby is terrified, the stage directions say:
"Wildly he tries to break down the door. It is too solid for him. Whimpering, he stands paralyzed. Then he sees the open trap door leading to the cellar steps. He runs and disappears down them."
And when Toby reappears, the stage direction say:
"TOBIAS emerges from the cellar, singing in an eerie voice. His hair has turned completely white."
...which means Toby hid in the cellars, and Lovett and Sweeney are very bad at hide-and-go-seek.
|by Anonymous||reply 298||05/21/2020|
[quote]...which means Toby hid in the cellars, and Lovett and Sweeney are very bad at hide-and-go-seek.
Which means all of that explanatory text was added by the editor when the text was published. It is part of "Sweeney Todd" in only the most cursory way.
|by Anonymous||reply 299||05/21/2020|
Speaking of Loudon and Seldes, does anyone have memories of the Dinner at Eight revival at Lincoln Center? It’s a decent play but I’ve seen two dreadful productions.
|by Anonymous||reply 300||05/21/2020|
Loudon's Live at the Blue Angel is one of my favourite live albums. Even the cabaret novelty songs, which I usually hate, are put across brilliantly.
|by Anonymous||reply 301||05/21/2020|
This is more than I ever expected to write about this subject, but Toby does come out of a cellar trap door in the original Broadway production. You can see him do so in the Cariou/Lansbury bootleg.
He just sort of walks out onstage through a side door for the final scene in the 1982 national tour taping, which is pretty anticlimactic. Hal must have phoned it in that day in rehearsal...
"Just do it! Just casually walk in from the side door, and no one will care, except a group of homosexuals in 28 years."
|by Anonymous||reply 302||05/21/2020|
uhhhh.... 41 years!
|by Anonymous||reply 303||05/21/2020|
I know it's unfair to judge performances retroactively via bootlegs and TV performances, but I'm too young to have seen Lansbury or Loudon in person. I adore Loudon, but, to me, there's just no comparison, she doesn't come close to Lansbury and I always see Loudon, not Lovett when watching her. Again, I get it, perhaps you just "had to be there," but I feel like people say that about the dreadful Imelda in Gypsy, too. Not that I would besmirch the wonderful Loudon by comparing her to the strident Imelda.
R302 -- I didn't realize there was a video bootleg of Lansbury and Cariou! Is that.... posted somewhere??
|by Anonymous||reply 304||05/21/2020|
R303 - you're both wrong. 38 years. R302 was referring to the 1982 touring production.
|by Anonymous||reply 305||05/21/2020|
Does Hal really get blamed for the cutting down of the staging for the tour?
Does he get blamed for Sweeney running around from behind the oven for his initial entrance instead of rising from a trap?
|by Anonymous||reply 306||05/21/2020|
Sorry! Left off 10 years there. Where did the time go?
Here's the bootleg. Primitive of course, but you'll get a sense of what it was on Broadway. Lansbury is less broad, and Cariou is just fantastic.
|by Anonymous||reply 307||05/21/2020|
The exigencies of the road. No blame.
We can blame him for building the largest set in the world and then playing 80 per cent of the show on a revolving box. The original production was impressive in its size, but it swallowed "Sweeney Todd."
|by Anonymous||reply 308||05/21/2020|
[quote]The British approach a musical like a play and develop an inner life. Most American actors approach a musical like "Hey, let's put on a show."
|by Anonymous||reply 309||05/21/2020|
It has also been Eugene Lee's solution to the shows he designed for the Uris/Gershwin and the Ford Center/Lyric: lots and lots and lots of set to focus the eye on a reduced playing area in a humongous, inhospitable theatre. He did the same thing for Show Boat, Ragtime and Wicked.
|by Anonymous||reply 310||05/21/2020|
[quote] Being Alive is a great song, but the closest I've come to being genuinely moved by it as Adrian Lester's performance in that Mendes production in the 90's. He didn't have the voice for it at all, but his performance has been the only one that's truly moved me.
I thought John Barrowman in the Kennedy Center production was excellent but I was really knocked out by Justin Guarini at Bucks County.
|by Anonymous||reply 311||05/21/2020|
The Howard Ashman celebration.
|by Anonymous||reply 312||05/21/2020|
Justin Guarini really studied voice after "American Idol", since he was excellent in Encores "Paint Your Wagon" singing "I Talk to the Trees" among other songs.
|by Anonymous||reply 313||05/21/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 314||05/21/2020|
For absolutely no reason...
|by Anonymous||reply 315||05/21/2020|
Noel being Noel, for 30 minutes.
|by Anonymous||reply 316||05/21/2020|
Thank you, R307 - I'd always read that Cariou was more subtle than Hearn (whose performance I've loved since I saw it on TV as a kid), but he seems pretty dialed up from the beginning -- at least in this recording.
I fear bringing back the pronunciation trolls, but it seems strange to me that I've never had a problem with Cariou or Hearn's accents in Sweeney. In fact, I prefer theirs to the probably more accurate Depp or Michael Ball takes with more cockney accents. It's probably more likely that he'd have had a cockney accent or perhaps traces of Aussie from his time in prison?
But, somehow, the way Cariou and Hearn speak just... works. I feel like if they'd gone cockney they would have lost some of the power and authority they had. Whereas, Lansbury was dead right to go full on heightened cockney for the "music hall" aspects of her character.
|by Anonymous||reply 317||05/21/2020|
Cariou nearly destroyed his voice doing Sweeney. You can hear why during Epiphany on the bootleg above - the key is lower and he scrapes his voice on most of the lower notes.
If pressed, I can’t think of a better Broadway musical than Sweeney. It has aged extremely well, and will be due for a great revival in a post-pandemic, post-prosperity Broadway.
|by Anonymous||reply 318||05/21/2020|
WIth Imelda as Lovett.
|by Anonymous||reply 319||05/21/2020|
R318 He did sound very ragged in "Dance a Little Closer" (a/k/a in theater circles at the time as "Close a Little Faster") from too many (terrific!) performances of "Sweeney Todd".
|by Anonymous||reply 320||05/21/2020|
[quote]If pressed, I can’t think of a better Broadway musical than Sweeney. It has aged extremely well, and will be due for a great revival in a post-pandemic, post-prosperity Broadway.
I think most people would want to watch something more light-hearted, a la post-9/11.
|by Anonymous||reply 321||05/21/2020|
Len doin' some easy listening....
|by Anonymous||reply 322||05/21/2020|
Possible, r321, but I am not sure. Who knows what people will want? Urinetown was a surprise post-9/11 hit.
|by Anonymous||reply 323||05/21/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 324||05/21/2020|
[quote]This is more than I ever expected to write about this subject, but Toby does come out of a cellar trap door in the original Broadway production. You can see him do so in the Cariou/Lansbury bootleg. He just sort of walks out onstage through a side door for the final scene in the 1982 national tour taping, which is pretty anticlimactic. Hal must have phoned it in that day in rehearsal...
Well, I think that's because they didn't have a trap setup in the touring houses, or not in all of the touring houses, so the staging was simplified for the tour. That's why Hearn doesn't come out of a trap at the beginning, or Hearn and Lansbury in the final scene.
|by Anonymous||reply 325||05/21/2020|
R324 - that was very sweet. Here's Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn in 1994. Also, sidebar, how gorgeous was Ruby Dee's speaking voice?
|by Anonymous||reply 326||05/21/2020|
How gorgeous was Ruby Dee?
|by Anonymous||reply 327||05/21/2020|
R300 that production of DINNER AT EIGHT at Lincoln Center was fantastic. Seldes took over for an ailing Louden and not only knocked it out of the park with her performance but learned all the lines in just a few days. A real professional joining a terrific ensemble
But the real star of that production was the set by John Lee Beatty. Gorgeous
|by Anonymous||reply 328||05/21/2020|
[quote]Speaking of Loudon and Seldes, does anyone have memories of the Dinner at Eight revival at Lincoln Center? It’s a decent play but I’ve seen two dreadful productions.
Surely my 1966 production isn't one of the two of which you speak.
|by Anonymous||reply 329||05/21/2020|
On that Sweeney boot, it is interesting to see how quickly they play everything. No meaningful underlining, no self indulgence. I think every Sweeney since then has run 10 to 20 minutes longer.
|by Anonymous||reply 330||05/21/2020|
It’s also why I know Sweeney since has had the inevitable excitement of that first production. A thrill ride.
|by Anonymous||reply 331||05/21/2020|
R312 Thanks for sharing that, but wow, was it atrocious. High-school level performances with no depth and a few terrible vocals. Jodi Benson's part was touching at least.
|by Anonymous||reply 332||05/21/2020|
I saw the last London revival of Sweeney Todd, and although unpopular here I thought Imelda Staunton was wonderful and sinister as Lovett oppposite an astoundingly good Michael Ball as Todd. I liked the production so much I went back twice in the same short trip. I'm not old enough to have seen the original, and this was the first one of the many I've seen that felt like it featured actors who sing instead of singers who act. I remember Peter Polycarpou was an excellent Beedle and it was the first time I'd seen Sweeney with authentic british accents. Jonathan Tunick's reduced orchestration was excellent. I wish it would be remounted, it was fantastic. My trip also coincided with the cast recording CD signing at Dress Circle, and I stood in line and met the cast. A great memory.
|by Anonymous||reply 333||05/21/2020|
Imelda needs to tread the boards of Broadway, if only to torture the denizens of DL Theatre Gossip.
|by Anonymous||reply 334||05/21/2020|
I also saw Imelda in Sweeney Todd and thought she found some humor even Angela missed and god knows Angela milked the shit out of that role by the end of the tour.
|by Anonymous||reply 335||05/21/2020|
Did Angie do the vertical vs. horizontal stripes motion in "By the Sea"?
|by Anonymous||reply 336||05/21/2020|
Colleen Dewhurst was one of the greats.
Marion was good, but not one of the greats.
|by Anonymous||reply 337||05/21/2020|
[quote]I'd always read that Cariou was more subtle than Hearn (whose performance I've loved since I saw it on TV as a kid), but he seems pretty dialed up from the beginning -- at least in this recording.
Amazing how different people can look at the same video and see something completely different, or not have the proper words to express what they're seeing. Cariou's performance in SWEENEY is very intense and contained, not "dialed up" in any negative way, especially at the beginning of the show. I would say Hearn did a bit more screaming in the role, but even he doesn't do that at the beginning -- of course not. So, what are you talking about?
|by Anonymous||reply 338||05/21/2020|
But I'm quicker on the trigger, r337.
|by Anonymous||reply 339||05/21/2020|
When people talk about Marian Seldes' TV appearances, I distinctly remember two:
* On a very emotional episode of "The Rifleman," she played a chanteuse who reminded Mark McCain of his dead mother (and of whom his father Lucas definitely did not approve his hanging around). It was called "The Vision."
* She played Susan Saint James' mother on an episode of "Kate & Allie" in the '80s.
|by Anonymous||reply 340||05/21/2020|
I love Colleen Dewhurst!
|by Anonymous||reply 341||05/21/2020|
British theater on verge of collapse. How will Broadway get any good shows?
|by Anonymous||reply 342||05/21/2020|
I will always have a soft spot for Colleen Dewhurst because of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES and its sequel, which I grew up with in the '90s and watched on repeat.
|by Anonymous||reply 343||05/21/2020|
Br[quote]itish theater on verge of collapse. How will Broadway get any good shows?
London makes great plays, but they can't compete with the Broadway musical. They have a lot of dreck there when it comes to musical theater, a lot which didn't transfer stateside.
|by Anonymous||reply 344||05/21/2020|
The Broadway musical, with the exception of jukebox crap, pretty much gets its start in Britain. At least the good ones do.
|by Anonymous||reply 345||05/21/2020|
That Young Vic (on YouTube) Streetcar with Gillian Anderson that a poster told us about earlier in this thread is really good, despite a cumbersome set completely unsuited to theater-in-the-round. Anderson is terrific, the most irritating Blanche I've ever seen--but she's supposed to be. And her Stanley, Ben Foster, has really gymmed up for the part. He used to be thin; how he's a hunk and a half. And you get a lot of skin from him.
The Stella and Mitch were good, too. It was very interesting how the show handled the rape--very carefully, yet you still got the horror of it in the way the cast come onstage to fix up the set in a very deadpan way.
|by Anonymous||reply 346||05/21/2020|
R345 Like what?
|by Anonymous||reply 347||05/21/2020|
R346 - I didn't care for it. Love Gillian Anderson, but she was so shrill from the very start. Miscast and/or misdirected.
|by Anonymous||reply 348||05/21/2020|
"Anderson is terrific, the most irritating Blanche I've ever seen--but she's supposed to be."
Oh, please. Anderson is a fine actress, but her Blanche was...well, the less said, the better. Ms. DuBois is many things but unsympathetic and unappealing are not among them.
|by Anonymous||reply 349||05/21/2020|
R436 I question your taste levels
|by Anonymous||reply 350||05/21/2020|
R436 I question your taste levels
|by Anonymous||reply 351||05/21/2020|
Wanna give that one more shot, R350 / R351?
|by Anonymous||reply 352||05/21/2020|
I have seen most recent productions of SWEENEY and I loved Imelda and Ball's production. I got tickets to see it but I got to see it three times. I thought she was incredible. Very touching and there was an inner rage that came out of nowhere that was truly frightening. Her "Not While I'm Around" was perfection on stage (not so much on record). One of those indelible theatrical moments, as they say. I did not get much into Ball's performance. Voice wise very good but I never truly believed him.
|by Anonymous||reply 353||05/22/2020|
[quote] I got tickets to see it but I got to see it three times.
Run your sentence through the grinder three times.
|by Anonymous||reply 354||05/22/2020|
Was at an event with a friend and Marian Seldes was there. We got to talking with her. My friend and her were talking about something and she said "but I'm not a violent person". I said "But you did push that man out a window on Murder, She Wrote". She took my hand and said "Wasn't that delicious". Loved that woman.
|by Anonymous||reply 355||05/22/2020|
IMHO, Sweeney is the greatest musical written by an American. (I put Porgy and Bess in the opera category.)
|by Anonymous||reply 356||05/22/2020|
[quote]My friend and her were talking about something
|by Anonymous||reply 357||05/22/2020|
Sweeney Todd didn't destroy Len Cariou's voice. Benson & Hedges and scotch whiskey did.
|by Anonymous||reply 358||05/22/2020|
I remember going to see TEDDY AND ALICE in previews and he literally croaked his way through the score, far worse than he sounded on CLOSE A LITTLE FASTER.
|by Anonymous||reply 359||05/22/2020|
It belongs to them...
|by Anonymous||reply 360||05/22/2020|
Cariou has said that he had major vocal problems for a while during SWEENEY because he was breathing in the dirt that was used in the grave-digging scene at the beginning of the show, and it started to coat his vocal cords. I don't think he describes it as permanent damage, but I don't believe I ever heard him sing at full power and without a rasp again after SWEENEY.
|by Anonymous||reply 361||05/22/2020|
R361, don't believe what actors say about things like this. They are professional story tellers. Liars. None of them are ever going to admit to health problems, or technique problems. That would go directly to their future employability. That will be avoided at all costs. Theater is all fantasy, anyway. And health problems are none of anyone's business.
It's all show biz, kid.
|by Anonymous||reply 362||05/22/2020|
As opposed to what, R356? The greatest musical written by a Peruvian?
(Not trying to be a nationalist, but in this case, aren't virtually all of the great musical theatre composers American?)
|by Anonymous||reply 363||05/22/2020|
I have no idea if what Cariou said was true, but I had a similar experience in my long-gone performing days. I was in an extended run of a regional production of Man of La Mancha that used a lot of real dirt on the set and I was the only one in the company who seemed to be affected by it. I would breathe too much of it in during fight/more active sequences and a couple of weeks into the run, I could barely produce any sound while singing because of it. Eventually, they replaced it with something else that wasn't coating my throat and I was fine.
|by Anonymous||reply 364||05/22/2020|
If an actor playing Sweeney Todd in a Broadway musical titled, "Sweeney Todd," had an allergy to some stage dirt, it would be changed at the actor's request. If not, then the union would certainly speak up to protect the health of such a prominent actor. It makes no sense that Cariou destroyed his voice with some stage dirt that could have been changed (or cut as all the business was on tour.) Cigarettes and scotch makes sense, though. I'm not saying it was cigarettes and scotch. I'm just saying that hypothesis makes sense.
|by Anonymous||reply 365||05/22/2020|
Was Cariou a trained singer?
|by Anonymous||reply 366||05/22/2020|
Two old masters show the youngsters how it's done r360. Thanks.
|by Anonymous||reply 367||05/22/2020|
[quote]If an actor playing Sweeney Todd in a Broadway musical titled, "Sweeney Todd," had an allergy to some stage dirt, it would be changed at the actor's request. If not, then the union would certainly speak up to protect the health of such a prominent actor. It makes no sense that Cariou destroyed his voice with some stage dirt that could have been changed (or cut as all the business was on tour.)
Sorry, the point is that it took a while for him or anyone to realize that the dirt was a problem. They DID change it somehow after that, I think by putting more water in the dirt so it wouldn't become breathable dust, and then, as you say, it was cut completely for the tour. I think Cariou was very honest about what happened, he even said it affected his singing on the SWEENEY cast recording. Where he maybe wasn't 100 percent honest was I don't think he ever said, "My voice was never the same after that." But I think we can all understand why he would avoid saying that.
|by Anonymous||reply 368||05/22/2020|
It was the dirt emanating from Terri Klausner that caused my vocal problems during Evita.
|by Anonymous||reply 369||05/22/2020|
Why did Claudia Shear not become a bigger presence on Broadway? When "Dirty Blonde" opened, everybody was talking about her. I think she did one or two other Broadway projects, but not very high profile.
|by Anonymous||reply 370||05/22/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 371||05/22/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 372||05/22/2020|
Did Cheryl Crawford have the kind of life that would make a good mini-series?
|by Anonymous||reply 373||05/22/2020|
I asked the same question some time ago, r370. If I remember correctly, it's because she's..."difficult". Or maybe it was because she's a cunt.
|by Anonymous||reply 374||05/22/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 375||05/22/2020|
[quote] Sweeney Todd didn't destroy Len Cariou's voice. Benson & Hedges and scotch whiskey did.
I thought it was the acid from G's pussy. At least that's what Patti Lupone told me.
|by Anonymous||reply 376||05/22/2020|
Shear was a massive pain in the ass according to somebody I know at NT Theatre Workshop. They did one of her plays a number of years ago.
|by Anonymous||reply 377||05/22/2020|
Thank you, R307 for that Sweeney bootleg! *That's* how I remember the show, not the overly broad performances in the DVD of the tour. (Any idea who played Antony? I saw Victor Garber, and the bootleg actor didn't sound like him.) Thanks again!!
|by Anonymous||reply 378||05/22/2020|
It looks and sounds like Cris Groenendaal, who did the tour and later played Louis the baker.
|by Anonymous||reply 379||05/22/2020|
Ben Platt concert.
|by Anonymous||reply 380||05/22/2020|
Love Letters - Sally Field and Bryan Cranston.
|by Anonymous||reply 381||05/22/2020|
Heart of Darkness.
|by Anonymous||reply 382||05/22/2020|
I want someone to do a Valley of the Dolls reading.
|by Anonymous||reply 383||05/22/2020|
The actor playing Antony in the boot with Cariou/Lansbury and the tour video with Hearn/Lansbury are one in the same person, Cris Groenendaal. Betsy Joslyn is Johanna in both, and MUCH better in the boot, partly because the key of "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" hadn't been raised yet, but also because it was a somewhat more controlled performance. Several of the other performers in both of those vids are the same, but I think it's Merle Louise, the original Beggar Woman, in the boot video, and she's not in the tour video.
I do agree that most of the boot performance is better, and partly because the show is played less broadly overall. But guys, we do have to remember that in the boot we're seeing everything from the mezzanine, at a fair remove from the stage, with no closeups, so of course broader acting and singing is going to come across better from that perspective than in the pro-shot video with lots of close-ups and more video and audio clarity in general.
|by Anonymous||reply 384||05/22/2020|
There is also an audio boot of what is cited as the Broadway opening night performance. The audience is going out of their minds, so it's probably true, and it differs from the first preview boot, where Lansbury goes up on the lyrics for "Worst Pies..." It also includes a real Sweeney rarity... exit music. I saw the original Broadway production about two months after it opened and don't remember the exit music - have other major productions used it? Don't be upset that a piece of the Final Sequence appears to be missing. For some reason, the entire bakehouse scene follows the exit music.
|by Anonymous||reply 385||05/22/2020|
Eve that opening night audio demonstrates that Sweeney was not an ideal fit for Cariou's voice. He's scraping his voice on all the low parts.
|by Anonymous||reply 386||05/22/2020|
Claudia Shear was one of the book writers on TUCK EVERLASTING.
Not to be rude, but it's probably better she focus on offstage participation. Even by Bway standards, she's not exactly leading lady material.
|by Anonymous||reply 387||05/22/2020|
I saw a matinee of “Sondheim on Sondheim” and Tom Wooster absolutely ruined “Epiphany.” Ragged voice, off-pitch, the works. At curtain, people applauded generously and he made a gesture of apology. As he should. I suspect that that is not a song done well out of the context of the singer having sung the rest of Sweeney’s songs. Yes, Wopat had already sung in the show, but my guess is the demands of the role and of the song itself need a preparation that most of the other haritone songs in the revue don’t.
|by Anonymous||reply 388||05/22/2020|
R388 - Epiphany seems like SUCH an odd song to perform out of context, yes. I mean, it's obviously a great moment in the show, but without all that build up to that moment, it must look... well... bonkers.
But, I feel that way about concert performances of Rose's Turn, too.
|by Anonymous||reply 389||05/22/2020|
[quote]Even that opening night audio demonstrates that Sweeney was not an ideal fit for Cariou's voice. He's scraping his voice on all the low parts.
I can't think of any musical theater voice that would be an ideal fit for that very challenging role. The low notes are very low for a musical theater baritone or bass-baritone, and there are quite a few of them. But then there are also the higher sections that require a great deal of power. The "Epiphany" alone sounds like something of a voice killer to me, or at least a voice-damager. You really need an opera singer for the vocal requirements of Sweeney, and of course, they would never be asked to sing it eight times a week.
|by Anonymous||reply 390||05/22/2020|
Who the hell is Tom Wooster?
|by Anonymous||reply 391||05/22/2020|
I guess it shows that Carious was not a musical theatre star. Ethel Merman had her top note written into her contract.
|by Anonymous||reply 392||05/22/2020|
What like there was a top note she wanted to sing at every performance and it was in her contract that it had to be in the score? What if there were more is that a breach of contract?
|by Anonymous||reply 393||05/22/2020|
She would not sing a note higher than that note, so the songs in a score had to be written with that clause in mind.
|by Anonymous||reply 394||05/22/2020|
[quote] What like there was a top note she wanted to sing at every performance and it was in her contract that it had to be in the score?
|by Anonymous||reply 395||05/22/2020|
I'm still confused at the Victoria Clark business in the Sister Act musical. Shouldn't Clark's keys have been fit to her voice before the show opened.
|by Anonymous||reply 396||05/22/2020|
Has anyone else heard that Equity is demanding the all these LORT theatres who have had to cancel their seasons need to pay their actors anyway? They are apparently claiming that pandemics aren't "Acts of God.." The arbitrators are going to make lots of money on this one.
|by Anonymous||reply 397||05/22/2020|
R390 - I'll have to disagree. Anytime I've heard opera singers tackle Sweeney they, as they are wont to do, oversing it. I'll take George Hearn and Len Cariou over a more "legit" opera singer in that role any day of the week. As for Epiphany, it's not all straight singing -- some of it is almost sing-shouting which is very effective at that point in the show.
It's amazing to me how well Hearn held up, still performing Sweeney in concert with such power decades later.
|by Anonymous||reply 398||05/22/2020|
This, on the other hand... not so great.
|by Anonymous||reply 399||05/22/2020|
I had no idea Elaine Paige did Lovett. She's... okay. I'm not familiar with Tim Nelson's work, but his work here... well.... her certainly makes me appreciate George Hearn and Len Cariou even more. It's like he's playing Don Quixote playing Sweeney.
|by Anonymous||reply 400||05/22/2020|
Sorry, Tom Wopat not Wooster and baritone not baritone.
|by Anonymous||reply 401||05/22/2020|
Anybody see...Miss Havoc's Lovett?
|by Anonymous||reply 402||05/22/2020|
Baritone not haritone. Damn.
|by Anonymous||reply 403||05/22/2020|
Paige does everything to do with her makeup to look glam in that wig and costume. And her accent is a bit too posh for Lovett as well. It is a if an aging ingenue took the role hoping to show them that she could still pull off a Gigi or Maria von Trapp.
|by Anonymous||reply 404||05/22/2020|
R402! WOAH! I had no idea that the real "Baby June" had a legit career let alone that she ended up taking the female lead in Sweeney. That's... crazy. I wonder what she thought of the way she was portrayed in Gypsy.
|by Anonymous||reply 405||05/22/2020|
Sheila Hancock and Denis Quilley were a strong pair for the OLC. The original production was a big flop, due to the idiot London critics, but the audience is going crazy.
|by Anonymous||reply 406||05/22/2020|
You certainly haven't done your homework, r405.
|by Anonymous||reply 407||05/22/2020|
June Havoc was in "Pal Joey." She had a smalltime movie career. She also wrote plays, most notably based on her experiences doing marathon dances (similar to "They Shoot Horses, Don't They").
|by Anonymous||reply 408||05/22/2020|
JUNE HAVOC OUTTAKE - BROADWAY: THE GOLDEN AGE
|by Anonymous||reply 409||05/22/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 410||05/22/2020|
June Havoc singing "The Man with the Big Sombrero"
|by Anonymous||reply 411||05/22/2020|
June's Wiki page...
|by Anonymous||reply 412||05/22/2020|
When Ethel Merman dropped out of the musical "Sadie Thompson," June Havoc got the part. Dolores Gray auditioned for the role but the better known Havoc got the part. Dolores sings one or two of the numbers from the show on a Ben Bagley album.
|by Anonymous||reply 413||05/22/2020|
R405 "Baby June" Hovick went on to become the actress June Havoc. She did Hollywood, television, and Broadway. She has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for film and TV. She was also a playwright and author. They mentioned her acting career in passing toward the end of GYPSY:
ROSE: You need something to remind you that your goal was to be a great actress, not some cheap stripper.
GYPSY: June is the actress, Mother. And I'm not a cheap stripper; I'm the highest-paid in the business!
As for her thoughts on GYPSY, she didn't like how she was portrayed. At one point, her character was going to be called Baby Claire because she intended to sue. But she was placated by the creators by titling it GYPSY: A MUSICAL FABLE. However, if you read Gypsy's memoir, the musical is rather faithful to her book, so it seems as if June had issues with Gypsy's version of events. IMO, June tended to be a drama queen and saw herself and her life as very tragic; her own memoir is a chore to get through, whereas Gypsy's memoir is a fun read; she saw the humor in everything.
|by Anonymous||reply 414||05/22/2020|
What I really need to know is, what rhymes with schwa?
I'm writing a musical about this thread.
|by Anonymous||reply 415||05/22/2020|
[quote]What I really need to know is, what rhymes with schwa?
|by Anonymous||reply 416||05/22/2020|
bah (bah black sheep)
|by Anonymous||reply 417||05/22/2020|
Interesting tidbit: June Havoc had a small role as a former tenant of Ruth and Eileen Sherwood's cellar apartment in the 1942 film adaptation of the play MY SISTER EILEEN, starring none other than Rosalind Russell, who later went on to play Mama Rose in the 1962 film adaptation of the musical GYPSY.
June on the left:
|by Anonymous||reply 418||05/22/2020|
Man, this is all so fascinating! World's colliding with June Havoc. Thank you for educating me, eldergays! This is why I love these threads.
|by Anonymous||reply 419||05/22/2020|
R381, why can’t I get audio on your link?
|by Anonymous||reply 420||05/22/2020|
Gypsy's memoir was meant as an entertainment rather than an archive. Havoc was trying to write a more accurate story.
|by Anonymous||reply 421||05/22/2020|
Hope it's okay if I ask a question. Reading these threads I see the same names mentioned all the time playing the choice roles.
Are there any actors under the age of 50 that are in line to take on these parts or is there that much of a dearth of talent for Broadway and the stage?
|by Anonymous||reply 422||05/22/2020|
Gypsy Rose Lee also replaced Ethel Merman in... DuBarry Was a Lady.
|by Anonymous||reply 423||05/22/2020|
I can supply a disturbing visual to add to the June Havoc anecdotes.
An old-time Broadway producer once told me, "I fucked June Havoc. She had an enormous clitoris."
|by Anonymous||reply 424||05/22/2020|
Did anyone see Christine Baranski and Kelsey Grammer in Sweeney Todd? I would think she's too "refined" to play the role.
|by Anonymous||reply 425||05/22/2020|
No one's ever milked more laughs out of that number than Baranski.
I thought her Worst Pies in London was pretty great too.
|by Anonymous||reply 426||05/22/2020|
Baranski was a grating Lovett, flanked by a soap opera Sweeney. The Judge had full frontal nudity, and they changed “like a perfect machine he planned” to “like a fucking machine he planned.” According to a friend in the cast, Baranski would obsessively run the lyrics backstage. It showed in a very mechanical performance. When I saw it, there was a moment where she really connected in By the Sea, but then was so shaken by actually feeling something that she lost the lyrics. Baranski does not do well with emotions.
|by Anonymous||reply 427||05/22/2020|
R422 - on that note -- if there were to be a major revival of Sweeney (none of those dreadful teeny, tiny British imports), which current Broadway actors would be best for Sweeney and Lovett?
|by Anonymous||reply 428||05/22/2020|
Mrs. Patmore (Padmore?) for Lovett!
|by Anonymous||reply 429||05/22/2020|
I actually think Havoc's memoirs are pretty well-written and compelling. Despite such ventures as "Can't Stop the Music," I think she was a Solud actress--especially good as a "passing" Jewish secretary, showing her own internalized anti-Semitism, in "Gentleman's Agreement." Her few minutes of screen time are real and complex than Celeste Holm's entire Oscar-winning performance, a head-scratcher for the aged, in that movie. Of course, we all know Anna May Wong actually won the Oscar that year for "Meg."
|by Anonymous||reply 430||05/22/2020|
Toni Collette would make a great Lovett in a triumphant return to Broadway. Then she could follow Imelda Staunton's lead and move to Rose, then Martha, then Sally, then Dolly, etc.
|by Anonymous||reply 431||05/22/2020|
[quote]What I really need to know is, what rhymes with schwa?
|by Anonymous||reply 432||05/22/2020|
Toni Collette is not a star.
|by Anonymous||reply 433||05/22/2020|
Toni Collette nearly got the film. Burton was leaning towards casting her but at the last minute he changed his mind and went with Bonham Carter.
|by Anonymous||reply 434||05/22/2020|
I thought Meryl Streep in serious contention for film Lovett?
|by Anonymous||reply 435||05/22/2020|
She’s chewed enough scenery. Cannibalism wouldn’t be much of a stretch for her.
|by Anonymous||reply 436||05/22/2020|
Toni also "nearly got" CHICAGO. But close ain't no cigar.
|by Anonymous||reply 437||05/22/2020|
I loved her books, r430.
|by Anonymous||reply 438||05/22/2020|
June Havoc took umbrage with the show "Gypsy" had her competing in an amateur show. June said she was a pro from the beginning and never did amateur shows.
Btw, I was volunteering for AFTRA (before it combined with SAG) on a telephone bank call-in for elections, and someone said they had just spoken to June Havoc's assistant, who said that Havoc was still very interested in what was happening in the union. She was quite elderly, but folks were happy to hear she was still interested in show biz until nearly the end of her life.
|by Anonymous||reply 439||05/22/2020|
Burton should have stuck with Collette, but maybe he would have drained the humor out of her like he did with Carter.
I was always told that Meryl was offered Sweeney Todd and Mamma Mia at the same time and went with the lighter, more fun musical. Must have been the right choice, because it cemented her as a true box office champ for a bit there.
|by Anonymous||reply 440||05/22/2020|
In addition to throwing out the humor, Burton also through out the sexual dynamic of an older women able to use crime to hold onto a younger man she has wanted for two decades.
|by Anonymous||reply 441||05/22/2020|
Burton cast her girlfriend, a very good and beautiful-looking actress, but hardly a musical one.
|by Anonymous||reply 442||05/22/2020|
his girlfriend, sorry.
|by Anonymous||reply 443||05/22/2020|
Bonham Carter has spoken about how Burton was very dismissive of her during the filming of SWEENEY TODD. All her ideas were shot down to the point that she learned to suggest things to Johnny Depp and that those suggestions would be better received from Burton than if she said them directly.
|by Anonymous||reply 444||05/22/2020|
Sondheim told friends that Bonham Carter played the part "like an overripe whore" and he enjoyed her performance. And it's true she and Burton frequently clashed on her interpretation. She felt he was stripping the humor from the part, as mentioned, and she was right.
|by Anonymous||reply 445||05/22/2020|
If you ever watch the Sweeney film again, pay attention to Bonham Carter's bosom. She found out she was pregnant shortly after shooting began and her breasts began to swell enormously as filming went on. In some scenes she seems nearly flat chested but in others her bodice can barely contain her huge melons.
|by Anonymous||reply 446||05/22/2020|
[quote]June Havoc took umbrage with the show "Gypsy" had her competing in an amateur show. June said she was a pro from the beginning and never did amateur shows.
Didn't she start out performing in her grandfather's Elks Lodge, because he was against show business?
|by Anonymous||reply 447||05/22/2020|
June was quite enjoyable in her Murder She Wrote episode.
|by Anonymous||reply 448||05/22/2020|
The night I graduated from high school, while all my friends were going to parties, I drove to Pittsburgh and saw June Havoc in the second national tour of Sweeney Todd. Yes, I was that gay. After having memorized the OBCR, I was shocked to hear how low Havoc's voice was compared to Lansbury's. I don’t know for sure, but I think they took her numbers down. She was good, darker and earthier than Lansbury. Ross Petty was a very lightweight Sweeney. I still have the poster somewhere. It was very silly and cartoony and not at all like the original.
On a side note, how weird must it have been for Havoc to be sitting in her dressing room backstage at Pal Joey listening to the actress playing Melba sing a song about Gypsy Rose Lee?
|by Anonymous||reply 449||05/22/2020|
Wasn't it just yesterday that The Widow Kloots ran to the press to exclaim that Nick was on his last breath? Now today he's on an upswing. How about you quit running off at the mouth every chance you get.
Man, I can't stand this opportunistic bitch.
|by Anonymous||reply 450||05/22/2020|
Havoc was the first woman to be nominated for a Tony for directing. She directed her own semi-autobiographical play Marathon '33, about the time she spent as a marathon dancer in the early 1930s, after running away from Rose but before she started getting acting parts. This was in the early 1960s.
I read years ago that she got a very small cut of the profits from They Shoot Horses Don't They because she was making noises about suing because of the similarities between the film and her play. The lawyers and accountants figured it would be cheaper to pay her off than fight a lawsuit. But I couldn't find out anything about that after a google search and film is based on a 1935 novel of the same name that had been in and out of development since the 1950s.
|by Anonymous||reply 451||05/22/2020|
[quote]Man, I can't stand this opportunistic bitch.
You should probably delete your Google Alerts about her then
|by Anonymous||reply 452||05/22/2020|
Dear, she's all over the mainstream news, every fucking day. She pops up on Apple News daily.
So do fuck off.
|by Anonymous||reply 453||05/22/2020|
Don't forget its star, Miss Julie Harris, r451!
|by Anonymous||reply 454||05/22/2020|
R453 Maybe you need to re-assess what counts as mainstream news. E Online hardly counts as a news source.
Not to mention the fact you don't need to click on it, much less post it. How dare his illness not take the course you demand.
|by Anonymous||reply 455||05/22/2020|
It was also on CNN, where I read it on Apple News, but we can't post CNN articles on here.
You should probably just shut up. You're not doing so well.
|by Anonymous||reply 456||05/22/2020|
[quote] What I really need to know is, what rhymes with schwa?
It depends. In Boston?
|by Anonymous||reply 457||05/22/2020|
[quote] Gypsy Rose Lee also replaced Ethel Merman in... DuBarry Was a Lady.
I never knew this, but in checking old editions of the Times, it's true.
Lee's opening coincided with the show's move from the 46th Street Theater to The Royale in October 1940. Bert Lahr stayed with the show. Ads show Lahr's name alone above the title and 'with Gypsy Rose Lee' below (Merman had been billed above the title, Lahr on the left, Merman on the right)
The new tenant at the 46th was PANAMA HATTIE, starring...Ethel Merman (did she even bother to clean out her dressing room?).
DU BARRY sans Merman did not fare well. It lasted 6 weeks at The Royale and closed in December, while PANAMA HATTIE (which was Merman's first show where she alone was billed above the title) ran for 501 performances, her longest run to date.
|by Anonymous||reply 458||05/22/2020|
PANAMA HATTIE is such a lackluster show. Even with Merman making a feast of the songs, I can't imagine ever thinking more highly of it.
|by Anonymous||reply 459||05/22/2020|
R431 - Toni Collette is inspired casting! I wonder if she'd really want to commit to a long run on Broadway. But if you're going to cast a name, she's such an interesting choice. And, perhaps, that way they could cast a Sweeney that wouldn't need as much name recognition, because I can't think of a film or TV actor that could pull Sweeney off. Well... can Bryan Cranston sing?
|by Anonymous||reply 460||05/22/2020|
Ann's rather fun, r459...
|by Anonymous||reply 461||05/22/2020|
Lilian Roth should have got all of Merman's roles for the movies.
|by Anonymous||reply 462||05/22/2020|
One of Ben Bagley's albums has Kay Ballard singing I've Still Got My Health and it's fabulous.
Hattie had a lame book but it had a terrific Cole Porter score tailored for Merman. Audiences loved the show for the music, the jokes, the the cast of old vaudeville pros and the great production values. Betty Hutton was the ingenue and supposedly Merman had her most successful number cut inspiring the Helen Lawson/Neely O'Hara feud in VOTD.
|by Anonymous||reply 463||05/22/2020|
Eldergays, was Robert Lindsay as charming as he seemed here performing on the Tony Awards? I love the way he moves and all of his hat work -- almost Chaplain meets Alfred Doolittle meets Fred Astaire.
Looks like this was his only Broadway credit.
Did he do other West End musicals?
|by Anonymous||reply 464||05/22/2020|
He did "Filthy Rotten Scoundrels" not too long ago. And Fagin in "Oliver!" in the 1990s.
|by Anonymous||reply 465||05/22/2020|
[quote]Eldergays, was Robert Lindsay as charming as he seemed here performing on the Tony Awards?
He spent 11 seasons doing the British sitcom "My Family" which is excellent. His wife is played by Zoe Wanamaker.
|by Anonymous||reply 466||05/22/2020|
I won't say Lindsay is a great performer, but yes, he can be absolutely charming.
Here's a fascinating contrast to the Lambeth Walk posted above. In 1939 the BBC broadcast parts or all (sources vary) of a performance of Me and My Girl on live TV, which was experimental at the time, and recorded it. Here's the original Lambeth Walk from the original production. We have so few original performances recorded from that era. It stars Lupino Lane, a great West End matinee idol of the time.
|by Anonymous||reply 467||05/22/2020|
WHET Maryann Plunkett? She won the Best Actress Tony for Me and My Girl (see R464) and then seemed to disappear.
|by Anonymous||reply 468||05/22/2020|
I'm not sure if Cranston can sing, but he'd be a great Sweeney in the acting department. I'd also love for them to ditch the ghoul makeup and weird hair. I like Michael Ball's look as Sweeney. It's also the first time I ever found him sexy.
|by Anonymous||reply 469||05/22/2020|
Maryann Plunkett continues to work, more in plays than musicals. She and her husband, Jay O. Sanders, were in all of RIchard Nelson's "Apple Family Plays."
|by Anonymous||reply 470||05/22/2020|
I totally hated Depp's hair in the film. It reminded me of Maxwell Sheffield, or Lily Munster. I couldn't take him seriously.
|by Anonymous||reply 471||05/22/2020|
I thought Johnny Depp's hair looked tremendous!
|by Anonymous||reply 472||05/22/2020|
I saw Cariou and Lansbury twice late into the run. He was not made up in an extreme way like what i see in the boot. He just seemed like a damaged guy but his hurt and his rage grew and he had a transformation as the show went along. His story had an arc.
But then I saw Hearn and Loudon and Hearn was very different. From the moment he appeared onstage he looked like a slightly less severe version of Frankenstein's monster and his acting reflected that. He was a deranged monster from the get go. I understand that is the way Sweeney had been portrayed on British stage and film since the 19th century.
I couldn't choose between them. Cariou gave the more detailed, nuanced performance but Hearn had a much better singing voice and they both embraced their performance choices and made them work for them.
|by Anonymous||reply 473||05/22/2020|
R467 - that IS fascinating! Thanks for posting that. But, Lupino Lane was considered a matinee idol? I guess the footlights were blinding. But, that said, who is the main actress in that clip? The one with the dress with the slit up the side who kisses the old man? SHE is gorgeous.
|by Anonymous||reply 474||05/22/2020|
I replaced Maryann Plunkett in Me and My Girl and got a Hirschfeld out of it!
Eat shit, Markie Post!
|by Anonymous||reply 475||05/22/2020|
[quote]What I really need to know is, what rhymes with schwa?
|by Anonymous||reply 476||05/22/2020|
This is wonderful, too. Seem like Broadway caliber performers.
|by Anonymous||reply 477||05/22/2020|
Lupino Lane was a big comedic star; he was also double-jointed apparently and an incredible acrobatic dancer, if you ever see the film "The Love Parade" starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette McDonald (in her excellent debut). Lane's paired with Lillian Roth as the secondary couple, and they are great in "Let's Be Common" -- watch for his incredible acrobatics in the middle.
Robert Lindsay was very charming in "Me and My Girl" -- an ok singing voice, dancing pretty well, but praised also since he was hyped as a Shakespearean actor from the UK doing a musical, but really a lot of fun and a lot of panache on stage. Jim Dale was also excellent as his replacement.
Who was full-frontal in "Sweeney Todd"? I seem to recall I might have seen the Judge's butt in the original Sweeney but not his front side when he was abducting/raping Lucy.
|by Anonymous||reply 478||05/22/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 479||05/22/2020|
Doe anyone know who the clogger daddy is in the latest Geico commercial? (Family living below a clogging family love their apartment except for the "clogging problem.") Surely he is some Broadway dancer. There are advertising marketing sites that give the credits for commercials but none of them give the cast for this commercial.
|by Anonymous||reply 480||05/22/2020|
I realise I must be very trivial, but my main thought while watching R324's historic video was, Hmm. I wonder why Sondheim never affected the pirate look, to invest that wonky eye with some charisma?
|by Anonymous||reply 481||05/22/2020|
The Staunton Sweeney has an absolutely enormous set. The tiny British revivals mainly originate in the tiny Menier Chocolate Factory.
|by Anonymous||reply 482||05/22/2020|
The first Teeny Todd was in NYC during the late '80s. It was very successful. I was disappointed that i didn't get to see it because after I saw that overblown mess at the Uris, I always thought "This would work much better as a chamber musical."
|by Anonymous||reply 483||05/22/2020|
Surprisingly, one of the best versions I ever heard of Epiphany was sung in concert at Birdland by none other than Betty Buckley. She prefaced the song by saying that she would love to play the role on stage, although she wasn’t sure that Stephen Sondheim would OK it. She still had her full voice then, and she acted and sang the hell out of the song.
|by Anonymous||reply 484||05/23/2020|
That mention of Teeny Todd made me think of the first tiny revival of Pacific Overtures off-Broadway. I remember loving it and also remember Hal Prince making a fuss in the press that some of his directorial choices had been stolen.
|by Anonymous||reply 485||05/23/2020|
A little late to the game, but June Havoc wrote two autobiographies, which I read years apart. Many years after that I read them both back to back (along with Gypsy's.) She really should have read the first before writing the second because she changes many of the stories. Neither of the sisters were big on telling the truth, a trait they learned from Momma.
|by Anonymous||reply 486||05/23/2020|
My favorite Lovett is Julia McKenzie in the NT version from the 90s. Brilliant. I saw the orignial at the second performance and I thought Lansbury couldn't be bettered but McKenzie was less cartoony and deadpan funny. (and scary as well.) She won the Olivier that year over Patti in SUNSET BLVD. No one has topped Cariou's performance for me.
|by Anonymous||reply 487||05/23/2020|
Patti playing Libby singing first verse of Eponine’s big song
|by Anonymous||reply 488||05/23/2020|
R483, Sondheim always claimed that he always conceived of Sweeney as an environmental production rather than the grand thing Prince made.
|by Anonymous||reply 489||05/23/2020|
Most of Sondheim’s show scale down well to smaller venues. I have seen excellent small productions of Company, Assassins, Passion, ALNM, and Sweeney
Others do not (I’m looking at you, Follies)
|by Anonymous||reply 490||05/23/2020|
[quote] That mention of Teeny Todd made me think of the first tiny revival of Pacific Overtures off-Broadway.
Was that the 1984 revival at the Promenade? That was a lovely show, featuring the adorable Kevin Gray, who went on to success in THE KING AND I revival and POTO, and sadly died of a heart attack at age 54.
I liked that production far more than the Roundabout revival, and the less said about the John Doyle directed production at Classic Stage starring George Takei the better.
|by Anonymous||reply 491||05/23/2020|
Many may not remember this. The year Miss Maryann Plunkett won her Tony award, she was also named Miss Shoulder Pads of the Decade.
|by Anonymous||reply 492||05/23/2020|
The best SWEENEY TODD I ever saw was in Matunuck, RI, at Theatre-by-the-Sea. Tommy Brent did what he always did which was to steal just about every concept from the original production and reduce it to fit on the stage of that 300 seat theater. All of Eugene Lee's ideas looked great when reconceived for that kind of space.
A LOT of Sweeney Todd happens in the text, some of which is sung, some spoken, usually with some sort of British accent layered on. It can even be choral work and some of that is fast and percussive. You can miss plot points. There were times in the Uris when it all got confusing. And that lowers the tension considerably.
I had a friend in the cast and I saw several of the performances at Theatre-by-the-Sea. People were bouncing in their seats and gasping as the plot twisted and turned. When Joanna jumped out of the trunk after the judge was killed, I heard a woman near me say out loud, "Oh, my god!" After seeing the Broadway production several times with each cast and then the tour with Lansbury and Hearn, I was taken by surprise how gripping the whole thing was in a small theater.
|by Anonymous||reply 493||05/23/2020|
Ms. Plunkett also played a small role in the recent LITTLE WOMEN film.
|by Anonymous||reply 494||05/23/2020|
Although she isn't a star, I nominate Carolee Carmello as one of the best Lovett's ever. Second only to Lansbury for me.
I saw the Mitchell/Baranski SWEENEY, but she was indisposed, replaced by someone whose name escapes me. Think she was a local DC actress. She was quite good given the circumstances, but quite large and had some difficulty running up and down those stairs. I didn't care, since I've never been a Baranski fan.
|by Anonymous||reply 495||05/23/2020|
I agree on Carmello. If they had managed the deaths better, that was an almost perfect production.
The performance Baranski missed is fairly legendary in DC theater circles. Jane Pesci-Townsend (who passed away in 2010) was a renowned local character actress, who taught at Catholic and inspired and mentored many local actors. She apparently went up on the lyrics to A Little Priest, but the audience ate it up.
|by Anonymous||reply 496||05/23/2020|
R491, yes it was at the late and very-much-missed Promenade.
|by Anonymous||reply 497||05/23/2020|
I've seen dozens of Sweeney productions. My favorite show. Lansbury remains the best Lovett but I did enjoy Baranski who found all the humor in the role. My favorite Sweeney is Michael Mayes a couple years ago at Atlanta Opera
|by Anonymous||reply 498||05/23/2020|
[quote]I saw Cariou and Lansbury twice late into the run. He was not made up in an extreme way like what i see in the boot.
Really? I would be surprised if the makeup changed. And the boot with Lansbury and Carious was done late in their run together, because there had already been replacements as Johanna and Antony. The date I have for the boot is January 1980, and the show opened on March 1, 1979.
[quote]Most of Sondheim’s show scale down well to smaller venues. I have seen excellent small productions of Company, Assassins, Passion, ALNM, and Sweeney.
Agreed, they scale down well because there is so much quality in the writing. BUT the original productions with full orchestras and sets were also great. And no matter how many times some of you people INSIST otherwise, the original, spic, large-scale production of SWEENEY TODD at the (then) Uris Theatre was brilliant in every way.
[quote]I had a friend in the cast and I saw several of the performances at Theatre-by-the-Sea. People were bouncing in their seats and gasping as the plot twisted and turned. When Joanna jumped out of the trunk after the judge was killed, I heard a woman near me say out loud, "Oh, my god!"
I've always found it wonderfully creepy and sad how things happen in the final scenes of SWEENEY TODD -- SPOILERS AHEAD! If the beggar woman hadn't ventured into the barber's room, and if the judge hadn't happened to turn up right at that moment, then Sweeney would have had no reason to kill the beggar woman. Then, a few minutes later, Johanna and Antony (along with a policeman) burst into the bake house IMMEDIATELY after Tobias has killed Sweeney by slitting his throat. If the timing of a few key events had been just a tiny bit different, then Benjamin Barker's family might have been reunited after all. But as it is, Johanna is the only one left of the family, AND she will never know that this crazed barber and this beggar woman were her mother and father (because there is now no one with that knowledge left alive to tell her).
|by Anonymous||reply 499||05/23/2020|
The production at the Uris had some fantastic things going for it, including the performances, the orchestrations, etc. All very professional. But that theater was a huge barn, you were distanced from story going on onstage and Prince's staging, though sometimes clever, was often incoherent and you were often not sure what was supposed to be actually happening.
Oh, and Eugene and Franne Lee's sets and costumes were totally undistinguished. Typical for them. Huge does not equal good.
|by Anonymous||reply 500||05/23/2020|
The production at the Uris had some fantastic things going for it, including the performances, the orchestrations, etc. All very professional. But that theater was a huge barn, you were distanced from story going on onstage and Prince's staging, though sometimes clever, was often incoherent and you were often not sure what was supposed to be actually happening.
Oh, and Eugene and Franne Lee's sets and costumes were totally undistinguished. Typical for them. Huge does not equal good.
|by Anonymous||reply 501||05/23/2020|
R500 speaks the truth. EXCEPT...
Mrs. Mooney was a nice touch. She was in the chorus.
The first time I saw it, I was in the mezzanine and the set ate everything. When they were running around in the dark looking for Tobias, it was ridiculous. But the 2nd time I saw it, I got an orchestra seat, much closer to the stage. That's when I saw the chorus woman in the costume trimmed in cat fur and cat tails. Thumbs up!
|by Anonymous||reply 502||05/23/2020|
I'm not really having the trashing of the original production. As the first, it set the mold of a very crazy, audacious piece with conviction and confidence. One thing not mentioned: with the almost constant underscoring (very much based on Bernard Herrmann), the large orchestra (28 pieces) of the original production was a huge part of what made the show so scary and effective.
The original TV commercial - completely ballsy, it doesn't shy away from anything that the show is about - affords some great views of the set.
|by Anonymous||reply 503||05/23/2020|
The original London production isn't much talked about. I presume they tried again to get Patricia Routledge?
|by Anonymous||reply 504||05/23/2020|
Thought some might find this excerpt from Walter Kerr’s original review of interest. I do think the barber contest goes on too long.
Strangely, events are thinned out, interrupted, sometimes halted by the use of music. A long central portion of the first half, for instance, is taken up by a quite arbitrary contest between a traveling Italian barber and Mr. Cariou. Passersby place bets on which barber can shave a man fastest. The Italian pauses between each stroke to burst forth in song. Mr. Cariou does not; he simply whips his blade across a customer's chin twice, and that's that. He has won because he did not sing. But this is a contradiction in musical-comedy terms. The form turns in on itself, denies its special level of reality. The ploy is then repeated: which will be first to pull a tooth? Mr. Cariou again, for precisely the same reason. The sequence, even allowing for its extreme artifice, isn't really funny; neither is it taking us anywhere we can guess at.
More importantly, the device is used to delay matters so that there will be something left over for a second act. At the end of the first half, Mr. Cariou at last has the bitterly hated judge in his barber's chair. He is lathering him, at length. He could slit the man's jugular at once, as he does a dozen times elsewhere in the venture. Instead, he extends the sequence to still greater length because, once again, he is singing. Indeed, he sings long enough for another character to pop in and interrupt, permitting the judge to escape. It is almost like using music not to tell the story. Extremely curious. Musical comedy has its legitimate formality; it seems to me that this cannot be one of them.
The last incident gives rise to a further question. Having failed in his attempt at direct vengeance, Mr. Cariou bitterly decides that since all men are vermin, why not exterminate them all? Whereupon, with Miss Lanbury's exuberant assistance, he proceeds to do so -- to the limit of his assembly-line abilities. But, with personal revenge put aside for the next hour and with the barber's activities taking on what must be called a broader philosophical base, we are forced to ask ourselves: what is this musical about? Efforts are made to provide just such a base. At the evening's outset, we hear that "There is a hole in the world like a great black pit / And the vermin of the world inhabit it." We also hear that the name of the hole is London, though that doesn't begin to take us toward mass murder. Later, when Miss Lansbury is chuckling over the meat-pie proposal and asks, with a speculative grin, what that little crunching sound she hears might be, Mr. Cariou replies "Man eating man, my dear."
|by Anonymous||reply 505||05/23/2020|
Which is why the licensed version gives you the option of making major trims to the barber contest scene, which are usually taken. Baron Cohen does a brilliant job as Pirelli in the film, one of its best virtues.
|by Anonymous||reply 506||05/23/2020|
From the distinguished author of Goldilocks, with its ridiculous, preposterous book. Kerr was an idiot.
|by Anonymous||reply 507||05/23/2020|
Miss Franne's costumes were distinguished by the unmistakable aroma of tomato sauce and romano cheese, r500.
|by Anonymous||reply 508||05/23/2020|
Walter Kerr is right about all of it. Stephen Sondheim wrote a penny dreadful. Hal Prince turned it into a polemic on the theme, "Capitalism kills!" The set is a Victoria era sweatshop that devoured all who worked there. Etc., etc.
This photo gives those who were not there a better sense of just how big the damned set was. The photo only gives you stage right. So you can double what you're seeing there.
|by Anonymous||reply 509||05/23/2020|
Sorry. Not quite double. But there is still more set there, lurking in the dark.
|by Anonymous||reply 510||05/23/2020|
[Quote] Stephen Sondheim wrote a penny dreadful.
Stephen Sondheim didn't write the book.
|by Anonymous||reply 511||05/23/2020|
Can anyone link a picture of the show curtain of Sweeney Todd? Wasn't it a picture of a hierarchy of people?
|by Anonymous||reply 512||05/23/2020|
There was a dinner theater near me that did "Sweeney Todd." I really didn't want to see what was on the menu for that performance.
|by Anonymous||reply 513||05/23/2020|
The show curtain was a beehive, the beehive of Victorian society, an established trope of the Victorian age.
|by Anonymous||reply 514||05/23/2020|
[quote]The original London production isn't much talked about. I presume they tried again to get Patricia Routledge?
Patricia Routledge was the original choice of Lovett for the Broadway production. She turned it down. I saw her in an interview where she commented on it. She said, "As a child, we were told that if you were bad, Sweeney Todd would get you. You don't mess with stuff like that." She thought the subject matter was too grisly.
|by Anonymous||reply 515||05/23/2020|
What if they told her the set had room for a pony?
|by Anonymous||reply 516||05/23/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 517||05/23/2020|
[quote]What if they told her the set had room for a pony?
They really missed their chance to do it at the local operetta society. Hyacinth as Lovett, Emmett as Sweeney, Richard as the Judge, Onslow as the Beadle, Daisy as the Beggar Woman, the Vicar's wife as Joanna, Sheridan as Anthony, Elizabeth as Toby, Our Rose as Pirrelli
|by Anonymous||reply 518||05/23/2020|
[quote]There was a dinner theater near me that did "Sweeney Todd." I really didn't want to see what was on the menu for that performance.
The recent Off Broadway revival had the theater remodeled to look like a bakery and they sold actual meat pies to the audience. It was based on an English production which used a real bakery as its site specific set.
|by Anonymous||reply 519||05/23/2020|
When I saw Sweeney Todd in previews, Allan Carr was in attendance. Upon entering with his entourage, he turned to look at the set, then loudly declared, "It looks like my place in Malibu".
|by Anonymous||reply 520||05/23/2020|
[quote] Eugene and Franne Lee's sets and costumes were totally undistinguished.
r500 (and r501, since your posting skills are as high caliber as your taste), you couldn't be wronger. Anyone can argue with Prince's visions for the show, but the sets and costumes perfectly execute what he was going for. The set, with the scaffolding rising above the lovers during the quartet, and the thrilling, working-man-powered functionality of the revolving pie-shop unit, was thrilling and inventively deployed by Prince. And for nearly every character, the costumes are iconic.
|by Anonymous||reply 521||05/23/2020|
[quote]Stephen Sondheim wrote a penny dreadful. Hal Prince turned it into a polemic on the theme, "Capitalism kills!" The set is a Victoria era sweatshop that devoured all who worked there. Etc., etc.
How the hell did Prince get "Capitalism Kills!" from Sweeney Todd?
|by Anonymous||reply 522||05/23/2020|
However, I just realized one of the only inconsistencies I've ever encountered in the material. "Such a nice plump frame whatshisname has" when Pirelli was played by such a slender, diminutive actor.
|by Anonymous||reply 523||05/23/2020|
No, r521. The original sets and costumes were undistinguished. And "wronger" is an anathema to most English speaking people, who would write "more wrong." Unless you were using the word as a noun referring to a person who committed a wrong and you weren't.
|by Anonymous||reply 524||05/23/2020|
Wouldn't that be a wrong'un?
|by Anonymous||reply 525||05/23/2020|
On the left, in the foufy black wig and striped skirt... Mrs. Mooney.
|by Anonymous||reply 526||05/23/2020|
And her husband...
|by Anonymous||reply 527||05/23/2020|
The link to that commercial for the original SWEENEY TODD on YouTube led me to an interview with Lansbury where she said that she first heard of the project when she got a telegram from Stephen Sondheim and Arthur Laurents. Of course, the book for the show was written by Hugh Wheeler. Maybe Laurents was originally going to be involved, but I think rather this may just be a rare case of Lansbury misremembering. Sondheim and Laurents had a very contentious relationship, and I don't think they were planning on working together again at that time, plus Laurents was involved in other things. Anybody know for sure?
|by Anonymous||reply 528||05/23/2020|
OK now I'm in a quarantine Sweeney Todd k hole
Check out what Loudon does here @5:00. Big choice but it was a big theatre and a melodrama. Chilling.
|by Anonymous||reply 529||05/23/2020|
Hugh Wheeler's book for Sweeney Todd hewed very closely to Chris Bond's 1970 play Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Sondheim saw the show in London and it was the inspiration for the musical. IIRC, it was an environmental production.
|by Anonymous||reply 530||05/23/2020|
[quote]How the hell did Prince get "Capitalism Kills!" from Sweeney Todd?
"They all deserve to die. Tell you why, Mrs. Lovett, tell you why: Because in all of the whole human race, Mrs. Lovett, There are two kinds of men, and only two. There's the one staying put in his proper place And the one with his foot in the other one's face."
"Oh, what's the sound of the world out there? Those crunching noises invading the air? It's man devouring man, my dear, And who are we to deny it in here?"
It's not so much "capitalism kills" as it is the haves taking advantage of the have-nots. That theme is written into the book and lyrics of SWEENEY TODD, though I don't know how much of it was done specifically in response to Prince's vision or whether Sondheim and Wheeler would have come up with it anyway.
|by Anonymous||reply 531||05/23/2020|
Agree or disagree with Walter Kerr, but you have to admit he’s leagues more interesting to read than any current critics. And is the book to Goldilocks really terrible. The score is great and has fun lyrics by Kerr, his wife Jean, and Joan Ford.
|by Anonymous||reply 532||05/23/2020|
[quote]However, I just realized one of the only inconsistencies I've ever encountered in the material. "Such a nice plump frame whatshisname has" when Pirelli was played by such a slender, diminutive actor.
I noticed that from the beginning, but had forgotten until I watched the video the other day. I guess that fellow was just so perfect for the part of Pirelli that they cast him anyway and didn't bother to change the lyrics. And they probably didn't want to pad his body because that would have looked very unnatural, given his thin face.
But anyway, it's not an inconsistency in the material if you cast a plump-ish Pirelli.
|by Anonymous||reply 533||05/23/2020|
I've seen many productions of SWEENEY TODD over the years, going back to Lansbury/Hearn (superb), including the Doyle (poor) and the Staunton/Ball (excellent).
One of my favorites was a minimalist version done 5 years ago in a small theater in North Hollywood. It had only a piano and flute for accompaniment, but the direction was inspired and the performances -- led by Douglas Ladnier (Sweeney) and Alison England (Lovett) -- were exemplary. I would have loved to have seen it remounted with a larger orchestra.
|by Anonymous||reply 534||05/23/2020|
[quote]Hugh Wheeler's book for Sweeney Todd hewed very closely to Chris Bond's 1970 play Sweeney Todd
So Hugh hewed?
|by Anonymous||reply 535||05/23/2020|
Oh, my! Mr. Ladnier is hung!
|by Anonymous||reply 536||05/23/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 537||05/23/2020|
No need to ask if Doug has experience with meth, then.
|by Anonymous||reply 538||05/23/2020|
Agree with r521. The enormous set was part of the thrill of the original production. The whole thing felt oversized, operatic, and wonderfully theatrical—with never-to-be-equalled performances. It opened on the brink of the 1980 recession, where the average Joe and Joan were in dire enough financial straits for the thought of devouring their neighbors for survival had a grim resonance. Ronald Reagan was just around the corner.
|by Anonymous||reply 539||05/23/2020|
[quote]Are there any actors under the age of 50 that are in line to take on these parts or is there that much of a dearth of talent for Broadway and the stage?
Well, Jackman is 51 or 52 and is fit enough to play 10 years younger, as Harold Hill is usually played these days. Beyond that, i think you make a point. There is a dearth of younger performers truly equipped to play the leads in the classic Broadway canon.
|by Anonymous||reply 540||05/23/2020|
Would Jackman make a good Sweeney?
|by Anonymous||reply 541||05/23/2020|
Jackman as Sweeney? Good enough, yes. Great? Who knows.
|by Anonymous||reply 542||05/23/2020|
R523, I saw a copy of the libretto many years back and I believe it offered the word "lean" as an alternative for thinner Pirellis.
|by Anonymous||reply 543||05/23/2020|
R526: Oh my gosh. I'd never noticed Mrs. Mooney in her cat furs before. What a fun easter egg!
As for this tired debate, I can't speak for everyone who has great affection for the original production, but I know that I don't have any issue with the more intimate productions. My issue is when they come to Broadway. There are dozens upon dozens of great regional and Off-Broadway theatres where those intimate versions of musicals should be mounted (and where they should stay put.) It just makes me so sad that when new audiences come to see Sondheim on Broadway, they're seeing these reductions. And, of course, it's always the orchestra to go first.
|by Anonymous||reply 544||05/23/2020|
If you consider these productions inferior, then you do have an issue with them.
And if you do not find them inferior, is it not great that they come to Broadway?
|by Anonymous||reply 545||05/23/2020|
Angela Lansbury - on Recording Sweeney Todd Album
|by Anonymous||reply 546||05/23/2020|
R545 - my point is that there are dozens, if not hundreds of regional and Off-Broadway companies that can mount those intimate revisals in their reduced formats. Very few of them can mount the productions at their full scale, so it's just dismaying that, with rare exceptions, like the 2011 Follies revival, Broadway has become the home of these intimate productions and generations of theatre goers are growing up only hearing Sondheim's scores played by miniature chamber bands.
|by Anonymous||reply 547||05/23/2020|
My biggest gripe with the original production in the vast cavernous Uris was that there were so few people in the chorus that the stage in crowd scenes was woefully underpopulated. It really looked to me like Prince really cut the budget on performers as if the payroll was spent on Cariou and Lansbury. On that huge set you needed to see the swarming population of the poor being crushed collectively by the industrial revolution in England and all you saw was a Broadway producer who spent all the money on his stars and the set. I don't need to see a cast of hundreds on a Broadway stage but that one could have comfortably been put on the Royale or Plymouth stage. Unlike the large cast of the Houston Grand Opera Porgy and Bess which a few years earlier filled the stage quite nicely. That one was even better at the Mark Hellinger where life on Catfish Row was teeming with people. At the Hellinger Todd also would have been better. It's was a large but focused theater. As Frank Rich said George Gershwin got the booby prize.
|by Anonymous||reply 548||05/23/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 549||05/23/2020|
I was at the Saturday preview matinee of Sweeney Todd at the Uris when the steel bridge slowly started to lower, almost finishing off Cariou and Lansbury. It was in Act 2 when Todd and Mrs. Lovett are searching for Toby. And it was just at the bit when Lovett sings “Nothing’s gonna HARM YOU, Toby, not while I’m around.” Curtain was lowered, we sat there for about a half hour and the curtain went back up, Cariou yelled “Take two!” and they resumed the performance at the same spot.
|by Anonymous||reply 550||05/23/2020|
Oh, wait, was there a curtain at Sweeney Todd? I don’t remember. Maybe the lights just went up during the time they fixed the issue with the bridge.
|by Anonymous||reply 551||05/23/2020|
And yet there are more overblown Broadway shows with pointless production elements, than ones that are too intimate, R547.
|by Anonymous||reply 552||05/23/2020|
Was the curtain within the steel frame of the foundry? I don't remember it either. I remember just before the performance started the guys handling the spotlights in the framework getting into position.
|by Anonymous||reply 553||05/23/2020|
There was not a curtain. There was a squarish banner with the classic cartoon of the Beehive of Britain. Two actors pulled it down at the start.
In the Uris, the set precluded any "show curtain" or curtain of any type.
|by Anonymous||reply 554||05/23/2020|
God bless Paul Rudnick.
|by Anonymous||reply 555||05/23/2020|
[quote]My biggest gripe with the original production in the vast cavernous Uris was that there were so few people in the chorus that the stage in crowd scenes was woefully underpopulated. It really looked to me like Prince really cut the budget on performers as if the payroll was spent on Cariou and Lansbury. On that huge set you needed to see the swarming population of the poor being crushed collectively by the industrial revolution in England and all you saw was a Broadway producer who spent all the money on his stars and the set.
Now you're just being ridiculous. Sure it would have been nice to have even more chorus people in the production, but there were 18 of them, and they certainly produced the necessary vocal sound required, which is the most important thing. I cannot believe you people who KEEP INSISTING on finding major flaws with one of the greatest productions in Broadway history.
|by Anonymous||reply 556||05/23/2020|
I don't think I've seen this since it aired a decade ago. I forgot how much Patti grew in the part. I always liked her in the 2000/2001 concert versions with the NY Phil and SF Symphony, but here, in 2010, she was so much stronger. Hearn still sounds magnificent, too. And, Lord, there is no beating the NY Phil led by Paul Gemignani.
|by Anonymous||reply 557||05/23/2020|
Compare that to this. You have Bryn Terfel who oversings and really can't act and Thompson who proves that you actually CAN overact as Lovett -- she can't resist her inner ham. And how is that the NY Phil's longterm music director gets a messier and far less accomplished sound out of the orchestra than Paul Gemignani does? Just listen to the last 30 seconds for comparison -- the way Gemignani and the Phil end is just thrilling -- awesomely powerful, but incredibly precise. Compare that to R557 that ends far... mushier.
|by Anonymous||reply 558||05/23/2020|
Complete Broadway Company.
|by Anonymous||reply 559||05/24/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 560||05/24/2020|
18?!! That should have had 28! Even I didn't think it was that low. And I thought the set was great. No wonder the stage looked so underpopulated. Even Evita looked like they had a fair sized cast. The Broadway is big but the show filled the stage.
|by Anonymous||reply 561||05/24/2020|
I'm seven and one half minutes into it and I concur with r560.
|by Anonymous||reply 562||05/24/2020|
R559 needs some kind of reward for posting the show and saving people a lot of money that they would have spent on seeing this quasi-Encores version.
|by Anonymous||reply 563||05/24/2020|
Why, thank you R563!
|by Anonymous||reply 564||05/24/2020|
[quote]Compare that to this. You have Bryn Terfel who oversings and really can't act and Thompson who proves that you actually CAN overact as Lovett -- she can't resist her inner ham. And how is that the NY Phil's longterm music director gets a messier and far less accomplished sound out of the orchestra than Paul Gemignani does? Just listen to the last 30 seconds for comparison -- the way Gemignani and the Phil end is just thrilling -- awesomely powerful, but incredibly precise. Compare that to [R557] that ends far... mushier.
I really wouldn't say that Thompson "overacts" the song as compared to Lansbury (for example), whose performance was also intentionally very broad. My problem with Terfel is that he doesn't have the kind of acting energy required for the part, especially not considering what's happens in the show plot-wise. The stakes seem so low for him. As for your other question, maybe it's partly that Gemignani had so much more experience with the score, even if less experience conducting the Philharmonic.
|by Anonymous||reply 565||05/24/2020|
I love Emma Thompson, but my god she was truly awful in that concert.
Lansbury is broad and precise. Thompson is just broad and sloppy.
|by Anonymous||reply 566||05/24/2020|
Emma doin' the Lambeth...
|by Anonymous||reply 567||05/24/2020|
To be fair, Emma had just a few weeks of rehearsal for her Lovett . . . and Lonny Price as her director.
|by Anonymous||reply 568||05/24/2020|
Emma singing the Bavarian version...
|by Anonymous||reply 569||05/24/2020|
Company video is gone. Surprised it stayed up for five hours or so.
|by Anonymous||reply 570||05/24/2020|
The producers had it taken down before too many people saw what a piece of dreck it was.
|by Anonymous||reply 571||05/24/2020|
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|by Anonymous||reply 573||05/24/2020|
The greatest crime of Western Civilization is that Maggie Smith never filmed Lettice and Lovage. There should be congressional inquiries into that fuck up. AFTER we have a vaccine...
|by Anonymous||reply 574||05/24/2020|
In that clip of Emma Thompson in SWEENEY, her performance was actually much better than I remembered. Partly because she doesn't have to use her upper vocal register in that number ("A Little Priest"), which -- she doesn't have one. I thought her acting choices were very specific, not especially broad, and spot-on.
|by Anonymous||reply 575||05/24/2020|
I hated Emma Thompson in the role and I'm a fan of her film and early tv comedy work.
|by Anonymous||reply 576||05/24/2020|
The Company video has been pulled now.
|by Anonymous||reply 577||05/24/2020|
I’ll bet Patti had the video pulled.
|by Anonymous||reply 578||05/24/2020|
Should we start a pool for how many people will announce that the Company video has been taken down?
|by Anonymous||reply 579||05/24/2020|
I’m hoping several people were able to grab it YouTube and it will show up on Vimeo or some such.
|by Anonymous||reply 580||05/24/2020|
Did anyone capture it?
|by Anonymous||reply 581||05/24/2020|
Did anyone capture it?
|by Anonymous||reply 582||05/24/2020|
[quote]I’ll bet Patti had the video pulled.
Patti had nothing to be ashamed of. Katrina Lenk should have had it pulled.
|by Anonymous||reply 583||05/24/2020|
Is there anywhere online to read original reviews for original Sondheim productions? I can find many NY Times reviews archived on their site, but there were other papers and magazines doing reviews.
|by Anonymous||reply 584||05/24/2020|
This is so lovely. Do you think Blitzstein was an influence on any of the late 20th C. arty composers? The ones who Audra recorded a lot with.. LaChiusa, Guettel, Ricky Ian Gordon.
|by Anonymous||reply 585||05/24/2020|
Anyone have a boot of The Barbershop Chronicles? It was probably the best of the NT Live at Home so far.
Funny, moving and not pointlessly overproduced like the other ones.
|by Anonymous||reply 586||05/25/2020|
3 GIRLS 3
|by Anonymous||reply 587||05/25/2020|
You know what Broadway needs? More hair ornamentation....
|by Anonymous||reply 588||05/25/2020|
[quote]The greatest crime of Western Civilization is that Maggie Smith never filmed Lettice and Lovage.
|by Anonymous||reply 589||05/25/2020|
I saw both Maggie Smith and Geraldine McEwen play the role in London and actually preferred McEwen. She was very birdlike and more vulnerable than Smith. With Smith you didn’t worry too much about the character when she falls on tough times. With McEwen you did.
|by Anonymous||reply 590||05/25/2020|
Thank goodness Maggie Smith got to record that scene for the 1990 Tony Awards, with the Mary Queen of Scots dress reveal, probably the play's highlight. For all of the talk that scenes from plays do not work out of context, that scene and a few others worked brilliantly for the three years of so that they tried it. I do wish we had also gotten the scene with the cat, bemoaning the "Friskies and Whiskas of affliction."
|by Anonymous||reply 591||05/25/2020|
Anybody starting a new thread?
|by Anonymous||reply 592||05/25/2020|
Wow I thought Lettice had at least been filmed in England and hidden somewhere. That seems insane considering that at that point in time they were beginning to film a lot. Though much older her scene from Hay Fever shows how brilliant that production was and how terrible it is they didn't film it in its entirety.
What happened to her and Williams? They were so close and at some point she seems to have turned on him. What a lonely man he must have been killing himself in his early sixties. Did Smith abandon him as a friend? Did she dislike being associated with him? She never talks about him.
|by Anonymous||reply 593||05/25/2020|
Williams = ?
|by Anonymous||reply 594||05/25/2020|
Kenneth Williams, R594.
|by Anonymous||reply 595||05/25/2020|
|by Anonymous||reply 596||05/25/2020|
So no new thread?
|by Anonymous||reply 597||05/25/2020|
A CHORUS LINE!
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