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What's the Most Dated Stage Musical?

Which major musical has aged the least well?

by Anonymousreply 135January 16, 2022 2:55 AM

Showboat for me.

The secret biracial is so outdated a lot of people don’t know how big the “I pass for white” dramas used to be, it was almost a whole genre.

by Anonymousreply 1January 7, 2022 11:34 PM

Rent was always a terrible musical. The songs are awful except 525,600 Minutes. That one is beautiful but everything else is shit. The message of AIDS awareness and death has been covered endlessly in the arts community and frankly in much better ways than Rent.

by Anonymousreply 2January 8, 2022 12:02 AM

No, No Nanette needs to zip it.

by Anonymousreply 3January 8, 2022 12:11 AM

Rent is timeless. We are all Rent. Everything is Rent, Rent, Rent, Rent.

by Anonymousreply 4January 8, 2022 12:19 AM

Boom, Boom, Thud

by Anonymousreply 5January 8, 2022 2:35 PM

Finian’s Rainbow, despite having great songs.

by Anonymousreply 6January 8, 2022 2:46 PM

Dear Evan Hanson

by Anonymousreply 7January 8, 2022 2:50 PM

Didn’t Rent rip off another idea, play or book?

by Anonymousreply 8January 8, 2022 2:51 PM

R8 Rent is a somewhat modern retelling of La Boheme

by Anonymousreply 9January 8, 2022 3:38 PM

Rent isn't dated. It sucked when it opened. It still stucks.

by Anonymousreply 10January 8, 2022 3:56 PM

Being dated doesn't mean it didn't suck the first time around. You can't deny, horrible as it was, it was an enormous commercial hit and a media sensation.

by Anonymousreply 11January 8, 2022 11:44 PM

At least in La Boheme they knew well enough to let Mimi die, instead of the embarrassing spectacle of her coughing back to life in the morgue a la Rent.

by Anonymousreply 12January 8, 2022 11:47 PM

I sad Avenue Q has dated, but you really can't have songs in 2022 about making a mix tape or about teaching elementary school kids about the Internet.

Which is a shame, because the music for that show is so lovely, and the lyrics were very witty in their time. but like Company, its time is over.

by Anonymousreply 13January 8, 2022 11:49 PM

[quote] I sad Avenue Q has dated,

That should have read "It's sad Avenue Q has dated." Sorry.

by Anonymousreply 14January 8, 2022 11:51 PM

Ankles Aweigh

by Anonymousreply 15January 8, 2022 11:52 PM

Or about George Bush only being for now.

Did they change the lyrics of current productions?

by Anonymousreply 16January 8, 2022 11:52 PM

LOL @ R15

by Anonymousreply 17January 8, 2022 11:56 PM

R15 - Is that the recent revival starring Jonathan Groff?

by Anonymousreply 18January 8, 2022 11:57 PM


by Anonymousreply 19January 8, 2022 11:58 PM

I'd love to say As Thousands Cheer, however...

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by Anonymousreply 20January 9, 2022 12:00 AM

[quote]Finian’s Rainbow, despite having great songs.

My small town, all-white high school did in 1980. Because of the plot it was necessary for some of the students to wear black-face. I am guessing that would not be done now. Now that I think about it, a few years earlier the girls who played the wives were made up to look Asian.

Despite its good intentions, it is probably best left alone at all with its portrayal of race. Did the revival have the antagonist in black face when he turned black, or did they have a black actor take the role from that part? I am guessing there was probably some criticism of the plot at the time. I wonder if it was controversial in 1947, although then probably from people upset at how it clearly calls out racism.

by Anonymousreply 21January 9, 2022 12:03 AM

[quote]My small town, all-white high school did in 1980. Because of the plot it was necessary for some of the students to wear black-face.


by Anonymousreply 22January 9, 2022 12:06 AM

Christ, you people.

You've never sat through the first act of [italic]La-La-Lucille[/italic], obviously.

by Anonymousreply 23January 9, 2022 12:17 AM

Flower Drum Song

by Anonymousreply 24January 9, 2022 12:21 AM


So far, I win.

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by Anonymousreply 25January 9, 2022 12:23 AM

*Sorry, that should be "Florodora"

by Anonymousreply 26January 9, 2022 12:25 AM


by Anonymousreply 27January 9, 2022 12:50 AM

Finian's Rainbow has beautiful music and the messages are still relevant today. In 1947 White Southerners (and others) objected to it because it was one of the first musicals where Black and White people danced together and actually touched each other.

Finian's Rainbow is not out-dated but you DO NEED TO CAST BLACK PEOPLE. If you don't have them then there is simple solution: Don't Do It! And have a Black director or at least put some Black people on the production staff or as consultants. They will help avoid some of the blatant missteps many have made in some awful presentations I have seen of this show (including that really shitty 1968 movie).

Think back to the original days of Black face. It was as awful then as it is now.

The problem of Black face is that it extends beyond the make up itself. The most disgusting part of Black face is the racism displayed in the exaggerated expressions, out-sized movements and "Jive talking" that many White people think is necessary to be a Black person.

Let Black people play black Characters. Let Asians play Asian Characters.

White people are always eager to imitate other races and call it "art." It's not. It's offensive. Knock it off!

by Anonymousreply 28January 9, 2022 3:06 PM

Bells Are Ringing.

by Anonymousreply 29January 9, 2022 3:22 PM

[quote]White people are always eager to imitate other races and call it "art." It's not. It's offensive. Knock it off!

I agree. Stop color-blind/gender-blind casting as well. No more blacks in white roles. No more women in men’s roles.

by Anonymousreply 30January 9, 2022 3:32 PM

It’s not “art”.

by Anonymousreply 31January 9, 2022 3:33 PM

[quote]Bells Are Ringing.

Yes, you'd have to add some kind of prologue explaining switchboard technology, and even then audiences would be confused.

by Anonymousreply 32January 9, 2022 3:33 PM

[quote] The problem of Black face is that it extends beyond the make up itself. The most disgusting part of Black face is the racism displayed in the exaggerated expressions, out-sized movements and "Jive talking" that many White people think is necessary to be a Black person.

Well fiddle dee dee, some of y'all just have no sense of humor but none.

by Anonymousreply 33January 9, 2022 3:38 PM

Most of Rodger and Hammerstein's catalog would be most tastefully left to history. Oklahoma's still okay. But we don't need another revival of Carousel or The King and I.

by Anonymousreply 34January 9, 2022 3:39 PM

Well, it’s an operetta more than a musical, but THE MIKADO is absolutely desiccated.

That said, some contemporary performers have managed to adapt the music to suit the times. This young woman for example has written and performed some funny alternative lyrics to ‘Three Little Maids..’, describing the plight of University students during COVID.

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by Anonymousreply 35January 9, 2022 3:49 PM

R25, Florodora is contemporary, compared to anything of Cohan.

And it wasn't a stage musical.

So, that combined with your "typo," which was just a quick catch on a film about which you know nothing, you don't win anything.

You probably don't even know how wonderful Ilka Chase was in it, and how it provides a chance to see Anita Louise as a teenager.

by Anonymousreply 36January 9, 2022 4:46 PM

42nd Street

by Anonymousreply 37January 9, 2022 5:23 PM


by Anonymousreply 38January 9, 2022 6:58 PM

r36: Holy Christ. UNCLENCH.

by Anonymousreply 39January 9, 2022 7:01 PM

Speaking of dated, I watched a very uneven old Hollywood Jermone Kerns bio, Till the Clouds Roll By on Amazon Prime. Some of the musical numbers done by MGM's A-list musical stars, Garland, Horne, Sinatra, etc were good, but the drama about his life was pretty painful. I looked at his Wikipedia page, and Show Boat is his one show that is still produced. A number of his other shows were big hits, but are pretty much put out to pasture although a number of songs that are still well known. It made me wonder if there are any Broadway shows pre-Show Boat that ever get performed, or if they are all too dated. You still see Gilbert & Sullivan (which did not orginate on Broadway), I but cannot think of anything else. I suppose each generation has a couple of shows that last, but most end up disappearing, even if they were very popular at the time they were written.

by Anonymousreply 40January 10, 2022 2:39 AM

Which element dates a musical fastest, between the book, the lyrics, the characters or the plot?

by Anonymousreply 41January 10, 2022 5:42 PM

[Quote]I agree. Stop color-blind/gender-blind casting as well. No more blacks in white roles. No more women in men’s roles.

R30 I realize we are in the era of Trump where many people wear their racism and misogyny as a badge of honor but are you really too stupid to see we are talking about different things here? That's not at all what I am saying.

Finian's Rainbow is a historic piece that SPECIFICALLY ADDRESSES RACE. If you are telling that specific story then you have to tell it with the races specifically addressed or the story makes no sense. However, we all know that most stories are not race based and do not hinge on characters being a specific racist. And many roles can be played by a man or a woman. It is racist and exclusionary to make White and male the default when we live in a multi-racial and two-gender society.

And since you raised it, what is color-blind/gender-blind casting anyway? Those are just buzz words that some obtuse person came up with. Although their heart was clearly in the right place, the terminology is stupid. Nobody casts a show for stage or screen blindly. We are talking about visual mediums. This is not radio.

A better phraseology would be non-traditional casting and being open to giving more people opportunities based on talent rather than skin color or gender.

It is called being part of an evolved society. Try it, you might like it. 🤪

by Anonymousreply 42January 10, 2022 6:13 PM

R42 Read some August Wilson on colour blind casting.

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by Anonymousreply 43January 10, 2022 6:15 PM

R43 Wilson is only partially correct.

Wilson speaks only for himself and has a very self-serving opinion and interest here. August Wilson only writes Black plays. Of course he wants to highlight his works, have White theaters support him and elevate his own portfolio.

More power to the legacy of August Wilson. His works SHOULD be supported by everyone. He was an amazing playwright.

But why not have both non-traditional casting in mainstream stories AND stories specifically highlighting the Black experience in America? I believe there is room for both. There are many stories to be told. America doesn't need "separate but equal" in the theater experience (which everyone knows is inherently unequal). Why not have America (and the world) support Black theaters AND non-traditional casting? They are not mutually exclusive nor should they be.

Black people are not a monolith and can (and do) enjoy shows by Black authors and shows by White authors. They enjoy shows with all Black casts, all White casts and mixed casts. Why put unnecessary and unreasonable restraints on what Black artists can do?

What is most important is putting butts in the seats. And i can tell you as a person having seen many theater productions that the majority of the butts in theater seats are White people. They don't seem to have a problem attending shows with Blacks in non-traditional roles, or all Black productions. Why is it such a problem for you?

by Anonymousreply 44January 10, 2022 6:40 PM

R44 Yeah, Slave Play, Chicken and Grits etc have just set Broadway ablaze this season with their success. Ha.

And you seemed to have missed the point Wilson is making. Don't shoe horn black actors into white stories. Write black stories.

by Anonymousreply 45January 10, 2022 6:49 PM

R45 August Wilson can only speak from his own experience. Don't assume that some Black actors in an August Wilson play wouldn't feel shoe-horned there. There are many Black experiences, just as there are many Black experiences. Many stories written are just "human" stories with roles where race is irrelevant. Anyone can play those roles if they have the talent and fit the director's vision.

by Anonymousreply 46January 10, 2022 6:55 PM

^^^^^Just as there are many White experiences.

by Anonymousreply 47January 10, 2022 6:56 PM

R46 Again, you seemingly are willfully not getting his clear, and correct point.

by Anonymousreply 48January 10, 2022 6:56 PM

R48 You seem to not want to accept that every Black experience is different and that Wilson's view is not held by everyone.

by Anonymousreply 49January 10, 2022 7:00 PM

[quote]Ankles Aweigh

There's a musical about Hillary's presidential campaign?

by Anonymousreply 50January 10, 2022 7:03 PM

I vote Thoroughly Modern Millie- It’s good, but the flapper aesthetic and the white slavery thing (and the racism - it doesn’t hold up well.

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by Anonymousreply 51January 10, 2022 7:05 PM

The Pajama Game

[Quote]The story deals with labor troubles in a pajama factory, where workers' demands for a seven-and-a-half cent raise are going unheeded.

This represents a 1950s America that no longer exists.

by Anonymousreply 52January 10, 2022 7:07 PM

Actually, "Pajama Game" is still relevant, as there continues to be a natural divide between those who are labor (coal miners, for instance) and management/owners (coal owners), which Joe Manchin is finding out now in West Virginia. It seems the miners want Biden's Build Back Better, exposing him openly to siding with owners, where it had been hidden before under the guise of saving their jobs. The employees want the better health and tax benefits, and now, Manchin's in a quandry. So "Pajama Game" is still worthy of being performed, especially since it has a great score and is a lot of fun in how it gets its point across.

"Till The Clouds Get By', like most other Hollywood bios, is pure BS, but most of the musical numbers are great, except for the finale in that one, with skinny white boy Frank Sinatra leading the company in "Ol' Man River"!

by Anonymousreply 53January 10, 2022 7:14 PM


Was that even a musical, or just a performance piece that inspired numerous arsons?

by Anonymousreply 54January 10, 2022 7:16 PM

"Hamilton" is over-praised and its casting of not appropriate people for the original historical person's race is a gimmick. Next up, he'll cast a woman (any race but white) as Burr -- if it'll extend its run, sure thing.

by Anonymousreply 55January 10, 2022 7:17 PM

R53 , my mistake "Till the Clouds Roll By".

by Anonymousreply 56January 10, 2022 7:19 PM


by Anonymousreply 57January 10, 2022 7:37 PM

*please, God, nobody say FOLLIES**

*please, God, nobody say FOLLIES**

*please, God, nobody say FOLLIES**

*please, God, nobody say FOLLIES**

*please, God, nobody say FOLLIES**

*please, God, nobody say FOLLIES**

by Anonymousreply 58January 10, 2022 7:42 PM

R2- Rent had the same BLANDNESS and broad appeal as Hamilton.

by Anonymousreply 59January 10, 2022 8:12 PM


The messages would be good if they took the time to explore any ONE of them. They introduced enough topics for about 6 musicals. The show is unfocused. They tried to make the show about too many things. It ends up being a show about nothing relevant today. The songs are dreadful. I hate this show so much and never want to see it again.

“Hair” criticizes and satirizes racism, discrimination, war, violence, pollution, sexual repression, and just about every known societal evil. I get that it is a period piece depicting a time when a lot of things were VERY fucked up, but isn't that the case with many periods throughout history? Vomiting every current known problem all over the stage with no solutions was not only unhelpful but exhausting and depressing.

The one issue that seemed to get the most focus was being anti-war. Clearly, as the last 20 years have shown, America is not anti-war. And why was this show so focused on the Vietnam War in particular? Why is it STILL so focused on the Vietnam War? In retrospect most people would agree that Vietnam was a shit show. We don't need a whole musical dedicated to tell us that. And while men are required to register with the selective service, we now have an all volunteer military! And (for many reasons) the likelihood of America ever turning on the military the way they did after that war (or even being anti-war) is highly unlikely to occur again any time soon. Post 9/11/01 we became a very different country.

The messengers are also not to be glorified. While the period costumes and "hair" are fun and exciting, let's not forget that the narrators are all hippies acting out against the establishment. The people telling you to be better people are not being very good citizens and are taking advantage of the society they are preaching to you about. They are a bunch of druggies and "BUMS." They are railing against a society they are not contributing to. These young people were not inspirational or aspirational. They lack credibility and are not reliable narrators.

Hair premiered off Broadway in October 1967. I mean, they had "The Civil Rights Movement" right there. That would have been the most important issue in the country at that time. It also tied into the Vietnam War. While the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, we know the country at this time was still very divided and in chaos over it. Why were civil rights a footnote in this show? This should have been the focus of this musical and if it is every revived (hopefully with better songs) it will center the show on civil rights. Unfortunately, I believe that indefinitely we are going to have issues surrounding treating people fairly in this country.

Hair could have been so much better.

In its current form, Hair is an inadequate contribution to today's society.

by Anonymousreply 60January 10, 2022 10:12 PM

Show boat ( two words) is timeless

by Anonymousreply 61January 10, 2022 10:17 PM

Godspell is the most UNDERRATED musical, IMO. Two of the most beautiful songs ever written: All Good Gifts and Beautiful City.

Dated? Easy: Just don't wear the stupid clown costumes.

by Anonymousreply 62January 10, 2022 10:27 PM

R62 Beautiful City was written for the film. And it has aged poorly, all that first year Drama School bullshit.

by Anonymousreply 63January 10, 2022 10:32 PM

Musicals like Chicago and Gypsy have aged the best, because they were already period pieces to begin with. Singin' in the Rain still works as well.

by Anonymousreply 64January 10, 2022 11:27 PM

There must be a hundred of the bastards, but not one among the legion of closeted players in the Premier League will.

The FA can trot out spokespeople clad in rainbows, bribe players to give shiny statements to press about ElGeeBeeTee, and make cute little fanbait content all they want. It’s cynical, futile and manipulative tokenism to rehabilitate their brand.

Nothing changes while the money-men poisoning the game want gays stoned or hung or forcibly transitioned. Players will continue to lead double lives and protect their sexualities in their own private circles, like they always have. Gay fans of the game shouldn’t pay money to this evil business in any way (well, no-one should pay for it, really, then it might become less toxic).

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by Anonymousreply 65January 10, 2022 11:51 PM

^^wrong thread soz🙏

by Anonymousreply 66January 10, 2022 11:52 PM

R65 They are both hot! I'd love to see them go at it!

by Anonymousreply 67January 10, 2022 11:55 PM

[quote] Just don't wear the stupid clown costumes.

But clown costumes are sexy!

by Anonymousreply 68January 11, 2022 12:47 PM


The message of condemning racism remains important today, but the way they told the story is outdated. It is time to be honest.

How are you going to have a musical about racism and tell it in a racist way? The show is "yellow-washed" because they did not have the balls to cast the principal natives as Black.

South Pacific is a musical based on a novel by James Michener (and yes he lied in his book too) about US Military members stationed in that region of the world during WWII and having relations with "native girls" but deciding they cannot take these women home because of their race. There also was a French ex-patriot involved with a White female US Naval Officer. The Officer struggles to accept the French man's children from a previous relationship with a native woman because they are mixed.

Rodgers and Hammerstein in their musical (and Michener in this book) made all the principal "natives" Asian even though Asians are not indigenous to that region. There were likely foreigners there from France and Korea (and other places as well), but they were not there in any large numbers at that time and they certainly were not the "natives." The indigenous people of the South Pacific are Black! Why were they excluded?

If you are telling a story about White people rejecting natives in a specific period of time, in a specific region because of their race and you also reject those same natives in your own storytelling because of their race, you're kinda stepping on your own message. The irony is astounding!

And why were the US military troops not segregated? That would have been the case during WWII. Why sugar-coat and "Disneyfy" such important subjects?

Revisionist history (especially when it comes to Black people) is very problematic in the US. It is not new (obviously), but continues to be damaging to the society as a whole. We are too quick to vigorously applaud "well intentioned" people for addressing social issues in the arts even when it is only a half-hearted and somewhat self-serving effort. If you are using a historical backdrop to make important social commentary in the telling of your story, be honest about the history or leave it alone.

Any revival must be honest.

by Anonymousreply 69January 11, 2022 2:04 PM

R62 When Godspell first premiered off Broadway in 1971, it was beautiful and creative. It was accessible because it was presented by and for young people. It was cool and presented a great (and serious) message without being too preachy.

I agree with you that the Clown thing was like a WTF moment in the show. Clowns were not really in even during the 1970s. I think the clown theme was in Godspell as a throw back to a Vaudevillian era. So in a sense, it was kinda forced even then. But yes, Nix the clown costume and makeup.

The songs are cute but the presentation of them is very 70s and dated.

Godspell is RIPE for a revival. They should rearrange the songs so they are again accessible, maybe add a folk song (consistent with the original vibe of the show) or take it in a slightly different direction by throwing in a rap or two. They definitely need to modernize the music with a few tweaks. Other than that, I think it is still a good show.

by Anonymousreply 70January 11, 2022 2:24 PM

I finally read South Pacific. It was very different than his later books -- a bunch of episodes often with black humor (which I don't remember in any other of his books). It almost had a Catch-22 feel to it.

I recently saw a production of it. The whole Younger than Springtime - with Bloody Mary giving her young daughter to the Lt. Cable is a bit problematic now as well. ([Lt. Cable comes of even worse at the end in the book). The one thing that did stand out, is they did not sugar coat Nellie's horror, hatred and racism when she discovered her boyfriend was with a native woman and he had had children with her. Still, there are a lot of issues with the story.

by Anonymousreply 71January 11, 2022 2:25 PM

R71 I had mixed feelings after reading Michener's "South Pacific". The telling of the individual stories was unique. I liked that vehicle of storytelling. Also his descriptions were very good. He could spend pages describing something and I was totally enrapt in it. He really took you there. However I was troubled by his depictions of the natives. He really was racist. He hated these people. It is no wonder that he lied and substituted the Black people with Asians.

Thank you for reminding me about the giving of Liat to Cable. I forgot about that. Yeah that was VERY problematic. It was kinda like she was selling her. In the movie it is even worse because a Black woman is selling an Asian woman. It looks like straight up prostitution.

Younger Than Springtime is one of the most beautiful songs R&H ever wrote. Too bad it was sung by the worst character in the show. His other song "You've Got To Be Carefully Taught" was lauded as ground-breaking at the time, but its not really accurate. In a "system of oppression" nobody needs to be taught to be racist. If there is anything we have learned in the past 50 years its that the opposite is actually true. You have to be carefully taught to NOT be racist. Racism is as problematic when it is passive as when it is active. It is everyone's responsibility to support equality and fair treatment - not just the oppressed.

I applaud R&H for putting Nellie's racism on full display, but it was unrealistic for her to be able to turn on a dime and accept the kids just to redeem her. I didn't trust that. I think it was important for her to see the error of her ways, but Emile should have found someone else to help raise his adorable kids.

Lots of problems with this show.

by Anonymousreply 72January 11, 2022 3:28 PM

Even "Honey Bun" in South Pacific may be problematic from an LGBTQ perspective. I realize this is the comic relief in an otherwise heavy drama, but why is it that a man in drag is always thrown in for a cheap laugh? And at whose expense is this comedy? We all know how gays in the military were treated during this time. No way they are laughing with him. They are 100% laughing AT him! Why keep this in the show? The song is great. Absolutely keep the song, but there have got to be at least a half dozen ways they could do this song where it would still be funny without the "drag" aspect.

by Anonymousreply 73January 11, 2022 3:30 PM

R69 Black? People of the Pacific are not black. THere are many different cultures, Samoan, Tongan, Fijian. what the fuck do you even mean by black?

by Anonymousreply 74January 11, 2022 3:33 PM

R74 I mean Black as in Negroid (not Caucasian or Asian). Do some research honey.

Google is your friend.

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by Anonymousreply 75January 11, 2022 3:38 PM


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by Anonymousreply 76January 11, 2022 3:40 PM

[quote] I had mixed feelings after reading Michener's "South Pacific". The telling of the individual stories was unique. I liked that vehicle of storytelling. Also his descriptions were very good. He could spend pages describing something and I was totally enrapt in it. He really took you there. However I was troubled by his depictions of the natives. He really was racist.

Good summary of the book.

by Anonymousreply 77January 11, 2022 3:41 PM

I love how R13 says Company’s ‘time is over’ as it currently plays to capacity and receives standing ovations after individual numbers - Not Getting Married Today the night I saw it.

If Company’s time is over, so is all of Broadway.

by Anonymousreply 78January 11, 2022 3:42 PM

Not a stage play, but watched the Disney's Babes in Toyland with Annette over Christmas.

She has one song where she sings about how math is hard and another song where Tommy Sands sings about how she is his toy that had some creepy lyrics.

[quote]I love to see ‘neath my Christmas Tree, one special doll meant for me. Smiling eyes, silken hair, you’ll need such loving care, you’re just a toy. You were planned and designed with one person in mind. To hold you and keep you forever, and you’ll live for the love and the happiness of this lonely boy and each not he will say in a whimsical way, you’re just a toy.

I really listened to the lyrics of Toyland and never realized how melancholy they were. In another thread about Sally Anne Howe, they had a clip of her singing it, and she really brought that out.

by Anonymousreply 79January 11, 2022 3:49 PM

R75 You ignorant fat whore. Laughing at you so hard.

by Anonymousreply 80January 11, 2022 4:06 PM

[quote]Didn’t Rent rip off another idea, play or book?

the opera by puccini, "La Boheme"

by Anonymousreply 81January 11, 2022 4:09 PM

RENT rioted off Sarah Sculmnan's book "People in Trouble".

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by Anonymousreply 82January 11, 2022 4:38 PM

R76 What is this? It looks like Mad Men put to music! LOL And the women are complicit? OMG! Are people still doing this?

by Anonymousreply 83January 11, 2022 4:45 PM

Ripped, not 'rioted'.

But I like the ida.

by Anonymousreply 84January 11, 2022 4:50 PM

Re. RENT, the only song I like and that I think still has emotional resonance today is ‘Goodbye Love’, and only when prefaced by the argument Roger & Mark have while Roger is hustling out of the play. The undercurrent of selfishness and blind panic and eventual resignment in that scene and that song feels very Now.

Otherwise, it can be put out to pasture.

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by Anonymousreply 85January 11, 2022 4:53 PM

R29 Wins Bells are Ringing owns this thread.

by Anonymousreply 86January 11, 2022 4:59 PM

It's a shame, too, because Bells Are Ringing has a lovely score and is a cute show, but it's just impossible to relate to these days. That last revival had a lot of other problems, but I do think it was sunk by the concept itself.

I'm not even sure there's a way to modernize it.

by Anonymousreply 87January 11, 2022 5:18 PM

[Quote]The show is "yellow-washed" because they did not have the balls to cast the principal natives as Black.

R69 They did, however, cast Juanita Hall, an African-American, as Bloody Mary. I don't know if she was cast due to sheer talent, or as an acknowledgement to the actual racial appearances among the natives of the South Pacific.

[Quote]Born in Keyport, New Jersey, to an African-American father and Irish-American mother, Hall (along with three siblings) was raised by her maternal grandparents after her mother's death.

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by Anonymousreply 88January 11, 2022 5:36 PM

R88 Juanita Hall did an amazing job. She was cast in the movie because she was an incredible singer and played the role on very well on Broadway. She got significant backlash playing the role of Bloody Mary in the movie. She was WRONGLY accused of appearing in "yellow-face" because she was a Black woman playing what the audience perceived to be an "Asian" role. Her daughter in the movie and on stage was Asian.

See how messed up things can get when Broadway (and Hollywood) bend over backwards to avoid the TRUTH! They created cascading problems. All they had to do is cast the natives as Black

by Anonymousreply 89January 11, 2022 6:04 PM

Can’t understand what all the fuss is about casting to ethnicity or not.

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by Anonymousreply 90January 11, 2022 8:39 PM

There's a mostly nude performance of that opera around as well. Almost pristine, non-sexual, practically good-clean family fun, but naked.

by Anonymousreply 91January 11, 2022 9:02 PM

R51 I agree with Thoroughly Modern Millie for the same reasons. We saw it for the first time in Oxford a few years ago, and we were kind of shocked by the Mrs. Meers, Ching Ho, and Bun Foo characters/plot line. It felt so out of place in 2018 culture.

We saw Kelsey Grammer in Man Of La Mancha not long after that, and that show felt quite dated as well.

by Anonymousreply 92January 11, 2022 9:11 PM

A really good singer would help make "Man of La Mancha" stage-worthy. Grammer is probably at most an adequate singer whose acting ability and tv celebrity status have given him access to be cast in musicals he ordinarily wouldn't be cast in.

by Anonymousreply 93January 11, 2022 9:16 PM

[quote] I'm not even sure there's a way to modernize it.

Sue's Snatcherbone. The light-hearted musical of a webmaster managing a group of bored housewives and hungry college students doing Only Fans online.

by Anonymousreply 94January 11, 2022 11:40 PM

[quote] The secret biracial is so outdated a lot of people don’t know how big the “I pass for white” dramas used to be

Someone PASSING for WHITE??? Get my smelling salts!

by Anonymousreply 95January 11, 2022 11:44 PM

Pacific Islanders refer to those whose origins are the original peoples of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. Polynesia includes Hawaii (Native Hawaiian), Samoa (Samoan), American Samoa (Samoan), Tokelau (Tokelauan), Tahiti (Tahitian), and Tonga

Are Polynesians from Africa? So, while the Polynesian mtDNA haplotypes belonging to the B4a1a1 lineages can ultimately be traced back to Southeast Asia, Polynesian origins lie in both Asia and Near Oceania.

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by Anonymousreply 96January 12, 2022 12:27 AM

[quote] All they had to do is cast the natives as Black

They're not fucking black! Get over it. Racism doesn't only refer to bigotry against blacks. Anyone who thinks so is a most ignorant racist.

by Anonymousreply 97January 12, 2022 12:31 AM

Raisin in the Sun... You have to put sum white people in the cast...Reverse Discrimination& all that!!

by Anonymousreply 98January 12, 2022 12:43 AM

[Quote]They're not fucking black! Get over it. Racism doesn't only refer to bigotry against blacks. Anyone who thinks so is a most ignorant racist.


by Anonymousreply 99January 12, 2022 4:08 AM

You RACIST Assholes think you are so smart about the world when you don't even know the history of your own countries. LOL BTW, 70% OF the people in the South Pacific are Black (Negroid). The rest are Asians, White and everything else.

Oh and incidentally, the indigenous people of Hawaii were ALSO BLACK!!! Instead of immediately disputing, please educate yourselves when you come across something that conflicts with the Racist echo chamber you were raised in!

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by Anonymousreply 100January 12, 2022 4:17 AM

Fiddler on the roof

by Anonymousreply 101January 12, 2022 4:19 AM

Sorry to say it but much of the humor in "Mame" has not dated well, what with jokes about unwed mothers and lyrics about how the South will rise again.

by Anonymousreply 102January 12, 2022 6:09 AM


Although this was interesting for about 5 minutes, it quickly went downhill after that. The frenzied opening number was exciting, but no other song is worth mentioning. I remember watching this show for the first time and waiting for something to happen and then getting to the end and wondering what was the point of this?

The show opened on Broadway in 1975 and served its purpose. It was highly successful at a time the Broadway needed a shot in the arm. But the theatergoing audience has since gotten spoiled since then. The general public no longer cares about a whole show dedicated to how hard a Broadway dance audition is for a backup dancer. Boo hoo.

We don't care how this sausage is made. We just wanna see good dancing. I'd imagine even performers find auditioning the worst part of what they do. Admittedly, the movie is a lot worse than the stage version (with Michael Douglass' non-singing ass), but both have the insurmountable problem of having no there there.

Nobody cares about these people. Watching the "behind the scenes" of how someone becomes a performer is no longer novel. It may have been a new concept in 1975, but as of now, how many TV reality shows have we seen in the past 20 years featuring auditioners with sympathetic backstories? American Idol? So You Think You Can Dance? America's Got Talent? Etc. Etc. Etc. Not only is the market saturated with these shows, but we've also now heard every sob story imaginable and frankly the very dated 1970s sob stories kind of pale in comparison to today's reality tv show sob stories.

But probably the biggest difference between the TV shows of today and ACL is that reality TV explores the backstories of wanna be "STARS." Nobody really cares about backup dancers anymore. The wannabe dancers in ACL are not even auditioning to be the star. In fact, we never see the star of the show.

It's like we watched a show highlighting behind the scenes of a POTUS for four years. Do we really wanna go back to watching a show about the White House staff?

The world has moved on. It is time to retire A Chorus Line.

by Anonymousreply 103January 12, 2022 11:24 AM


They should have called it MAIM! Terrible show.

by Anonymousreply 104January 12, 2022 11:35 AM

[quote] The world has moved on. It is time to retire A Chorus Line.

Chorus Line was very much of its time. Wallowing in self-revelation and pity and endless monologues (or musical numbers in this case). It reminds me of another hit show of that ilk, a now-forgotten Stephen Schwartz musical called Working.

by Anonymousreply 105January 12, 2022 12:30 PM

R105 Oh Gosh, "Working!" That was another awful show.

by Anonymousreply 106January 12, 2022 2:37 PM

Wow, a " proof" from noirguides. com. Do they also write about how the entire civilization of the earth was founded by black people? Do you think they might be just a little biased. I prefer DNA to a black travel site.

"Now that we've got the DNA of the ancient Lapita people, the big shock is that they are really like [Aboriginal] people from Taiwan," Professor Spriggs said. Today, all south Pacific Islanders have a heritage that includes DNA from both a Papuan and an East Asian population to varying degrees.

by Anonymousreply 107January 12, 2022 2:51 PM

R107 Where is your "proof" of anything. Was professor spriggs visiting with professor plum in the study when he was killed with a candle stick? HAHAHA WTF are you even talking about?

by Anonymousreply 108January 12, 2022 2:56 PM

Aren’t Bloody Mary and Liat explicitly referred to as Tonkinese (Vietnamese) in South Pacific? I had always understood that Mary has come to the island as an immigrant peddler - kind of like a mash up of Ali Hakim in Oklahoma and Mother Courage. Just as Ali Hakim was originally played by a Yiddish theatre star - I guess Persian/Middle Eastern comic actors not being thick on the ground at the time - Bloody Mary was often played by light-skinned black women, since there weren’t many Southeast Asian character actress/torch singers working in 1949.

by Anonymousreply 109January 12, 2022 3:10 PM

In The Heights

by Anonymousreply 110January 12, 2022 3:13 PM

R109, Yes, Michener in his book defines Bloody Mary as Tonkinese. There is a Tonkin language but there is no such thing as Tonkinese people. Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that he is talking about Vietnamese people. Why stick Vietnamese people in the middle of a story about the South Pacific? They are not indigenous to those islands. It is a reach because the author was too racist to admit that the GI's were fucking the Black Island girls. That is the bottom line.

It's is like titling your story "NIGERIA" but not having the GIs interact in any significant way with the Nigerian people and saying that the thousands of military in those Islands (and the White French Ex-Patriat) were only fucking with the daughter of the White Woman immigrant from Iowa. BTW we have no idea who Liat's father is. That one girl must have a really big pussy if she is accommodating everyone. It is ridiculous! You have to read his book to realize how far Michener was reaching to obscure the obvious.

Rodgers and Hammerstein continued the racism by not only keeping the "Natives" (Emile's mixed children) as well as Bloody Mary and Liat as Vietnamese in the story but by compounding the racism by casting a Black (non-Asian) woman as Vietnamese. The casting of the show was as shitty and dishonest as Michener's racist book. It had to be insulting to both Asian Americans and African Americans.

It is 2022, why are people still telling the story in this way? We no longer have laws against miscegenation. The US Supreme Court has ruled in US. vs. Loving that people can marry people of different races. It is time to let go of the Jim Crow fantasy, be honest about what was really going on and tell this story in a way that makes sense to intelligent people.

by Anonymousreply 111January 12, 2022 3:56 PM

I saw a videotape of the original Oh, Calcutta! (complete with a nude Bill Macy) and that seemed dated when I saw it even 20 years ago. It was like I imagine an old Vaudeville show would be but with raunchy jokes and nudity (I'm old but not old enough to have seen Vaudeville). Very 1969.

by Anonymousreply 112January 12, 2022 4:28 PM

Sugar Babies

by Anonymousreply 113January 12, 2022 4:30 PM

All Broadway shows date.

by Anonymousreply 114January 12, 2022 4:41 PM

I'm glad someone else dislikes "A Chorus Line". I saw it near the middle of its run. The backstories were very predictable and much of it already seemed dated. I suspect that it's continued to have a life because it's easy to stage.

by Anonymousreply 115January 12, 2022 4:59 PM

Avenue Q. Most of the songs and concepts are not edgy anymore. It comes across as boomer humor.

by Anonymousreply 116January 12, 2022 5:07 PM

Golden Rainbow

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by Anonymousreply 117January 12, 2022 5:13 PM

Penelope Schoeffel , Associate Professof at National University of Samoa (2012-present) Answered Jan 5, 2019 So far genetic and linguistic evidence shows that Polynesians are ethnically related to Malay peoples in what is now Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and to some minorities in China and Vietnam. The Austonesian family of languages is the worlds largest, spoken by indigenous Madagascans, and Malayo-Polynesians whose languages are sub-groups of Austronesian. Currently Taiwan is thought to have been the homeland of Austronesian languages.

Where is French Indonesia? French Indochina was the collective name for the French colonial regions of Southeast Asia from colonization in 1887 to independence and the subsequent Vietnam Wars of the mid-1900s. During the colonial era, French Indochina was made up of Cochin-China, Annam, Cambodia, Tonkin, Kwangchowan, and Laos.

by Anonymousreply 118January 12, 2022 7:42 PM

Is this your way of saying that Miss Saigon is dated?

by Anonymousreply 119January 12, 2022 7:49 PM

You mean Madame Butterfly is dated, R 119. It is, as is Miss Saigon.

by Anonymousreply 120January 12, 2022 11:11 PM

R118 your diatribe doesn't mean shit without any links. And how does any of that relate to anything we are talking about? Your attempt to distract with bullshit does not negate the fact that 70% of the people of the South Pacific are Black and the specific Islands discussed in Michner's book of which the musical is based are inhabited by Black Islanders, NOT ASIANS!

Try Again! LOL

by Anonymousreply 121January 13, 2022 3:15 AM

What a Black-obsessed, unhinged racist here. According to the politically and culturally correct logic, yes Pacific Islanders should play in South Pacific. But not Africans or African-Americans (or black Brits, etc.).

by Anonymousreply 122January 13, 2022 3:30 AM

R122 There's probably not an abundance of Pacific Island Actors in Western Countries available to play in South Pacific. The next best thing is to get someone that looks like what you are trying to depict. US Africans, African-Americans and African Brits look a lot closer to South Pacific Islanders than Vietnamese people. If you are doing a play about racism... that is kinda important! DUH!

by Anonymousreply 123January 13, 2022 3:45 AM

This whole conversation about having the correct races represented reminds me of something Harvey Fierstein said regarding gay representation on stage and screen.

I don't remember the exact quote but he recalled how as a child he had no gay representation and when he complained about it [and despite Gays having always been a part of our society] he was always told to just imagine the characters are gay.

When he became an adult he started created content that included gay characters and when people complained or felt uncomfortable with it he told them to just imagine the characters are straight.

The same can be said here. How can anyone be so ignorant as to say in a play that specifically addresses racism: "well we don't have to get the races right and you all don't mind being interchangeable right?" That is insensitive as fuck and blatantly racist at worst.

by Anonymousreply 124January 13, 2022 4:03 AM

The Pajama Game, Harry Connick or no.

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by Anonymousreply 125January 13, 2022 4:28 AM

Anything by Shakespeare- that dude is like 100 years old!!!

by Anonymousreply 126January 13, 2022 4:50 AM

Mamma Mia!

Get a DNA Test!

by Anonymousreply 127January 13, 2022 4:56 AM

Lady in the Dark.

A fashion magazine editor goes to see a psychiatrist because she's having a breakdown, stemming from the fact she can't decide which man to marry. After much analysis of her dreams, the psyhiatrist tells her she never felt pretty enough to compete with other women. She solves her problems by giving up half of her job to her mouthy male assistant editor who sasses her all the time, so he can not feel emasculated and they can marry.

by Anonymousreply 128January 13, 2022 5:06 AM

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

This show was awful from its inception and although it has not been out that long (2005), it aged fast.

It pokes fun at the nerdy little kids who compete in spelling bees. I think you have to be careful anytime you center a show around making fun of kids, but this one goes after the ones that are apt to be picked on anyway. The show is merciless in its depiction and lampooning of different types of nerds. This thematically doesn't fit at all with today's anti-bullying culture.

The show tries to be funny. The humor is irreverent (even bringing Jesus into a segment) and frankly the stuff just isn't funny. All of this might be forgivable if at least the music was good since it is a musical after all. But unfortunately the only song that is a little catchy and somewhat positive is The Prayer of the Comfort Counselor. The rest of the songs are just over the top silly.

I'm not sure what audience they're trying to reach with this show. Most tv is aimed at 13 year old boys, but the average 13 year old is too smart to be entertained by this cornball humor. You can't really go with an audience younger than 13 because some of the songs go into topics inappropriate for small kids, like erections.

This show is not funny, clever or even mildly entertaining. This one can go. I honestly think it's on its last legs anyway.

by Anonymousreply 129January 13, 2022 5:30 AM

quote[The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee]

In the streaming music service I used around then - the defunct Live365, the Broadway station played recent shows which at the time was this and Avenue Q. I enjoyed Avenue Q (although can see it becoming dated quickly), but this show just seemed to be a lot of whining and the songs were not very memorable. The station played kind of a nice mix of classics, new, and obscure shows and don't think any streaming channel whether on Pandora or Amazon or elsewhere has been as good.

by Anonymousreply 130January 13, 2022 2:27 PM

I didn't think SPELLING BEE was funny either, and I loathed that fat obnoxious guy who slammed home the jokes and stuttered for laughs. But I I knew he would win the Tony. I do like William Finn's ELEGIES and FALSETTOS but SPELLING BEE was a bore.

I did like [title of show] but it was so full of in-references that I figured it would age quickly. That said, for long time it was a real staple in high schools and small theater companies.

by Anonymousreply 131January 13, 2022 10:17 PM

Hamilton. Old news now after all the insane hoopla.

by Anonymousreply 132January 14, 2022 6:27 PM

The current most popular musicals for High Schools as of 2021:

1- Beauty and the Beast.

2- Mamma Mia! ...

3- The Addams Family. ...

4 -Into the Woods. ...

5- The Wizard of Oz. ...

6- The Sound of Music.

(Surprised to see the shitty Addams Family in there)

by Anonymousreply 133January 16, 2022 2:33 AM

Another List:

1- Addams Family

2- You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

3 - The Theory of Relativity (WTF is this one? I've never heard of it)

4- Spelling Bee

5- Little Women

6 - Godspell

7- Disney's High School Musical / Little Shop of Horrors

8- Bright Star (another 'WTF is This?') / Into The Woods

9 - Little Mermaid

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by Anonymousreply 134January 16, 2022 2:42 AM

"Select Musicals that Audiences Recognize.

Community theaters often walk a careful line — on one hand, you want to provide fresh and exciting musicals for your actors and directors. On the other hand, your theater group also relies on ticket revenue. To make money off of ticket sales, you often need to choose musicals that audiences recognize."

So, no BAJOUR! And most disconcertingly...... No FOLLIES!

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by Anonymousreply 135January 16, 2022 2:55 AM
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