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Rescued Thread, page 1/2, part 1

 

Flingo 4th February 2006 08:07 PM

Musicals

 

There has been lots of discussion about music recently (as an aside to the football discussions!), but no one seems to have mentioned the good old musical.

 

I love a good musical, me!

 

I'm not too sure what to make of the BBC show, The Sound of Musicals, that has been running for the last couple of weeks though. It seems a very self-indulgent show for the hosts, who get pre-singing interviews to talk about why they love the number they are about to sing and why they feel so nervous about not doing it justice.

 

Personal favourites for shows include Guys and Dolls, Starlight Express and Chess.

 

Anyone else have an opinion they would care to add here?

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elfstar 4th February 2006 08:21 PM

Saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in London last year does that count?

 

Film wise-Singing in The Rain is one of the very best.

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Mungus 4th February 2006 08:46 PM

I see that Moulin Rouge is on tomorrow night. Despite some slightly dodgy singing by the lovely Ewan, I really think it's a fantastic film. Over-blown, romantic, dramatic, funny, tragic - it has it all.

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megustaleer 4th February 2006 10:49 PM

I haven't been much of a cinema or theatre goer in the last 30 years, but I remember seeing Keith Michell and June Bronhill in 'Robert and Elizabeth' (The romance between Elizabeth Barrat and Robert Browning) back in 1964. I think a couple of the songs wre based on Browning's verse.

 

A couple of years later I saw Bruce Forsyth in 'Little Me', which didn't make much of an impression on the world. I can remember only one song title from it.

 

I also remember seeing the film Carousel when it did the rounds of UK cinemas, in the late 50s/early'60s I should think. Although I enjoyed most of the songs, I did not understand the story. I thought it was because I was too young, but I saw it on TV a few years back, and still didn't understand it. The male lead beats up his wife, turns to crime, and commits suicide, not my ideal hero when I was 15, and not now.

What I found even less credible was that 15years later he returns to earth to attend his daughter's graduation, which is supposed to make amends for the past.

 

Well, I suppose it made an impression, at least!

 

And during the same period I saw the film of My Fair Lady, which I enjoyed very much (even though I had long been familiar with the play, Pygmalion, on which it was based).

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David 4th February 2006 10:50 PM

I've seen very few musicals in the theatre - not wholly my cuppa, I'm afraid, and since I don't get to the theatre as often as I'd like, I tend to choose straight drama when I get the chance.

 

That said, Les Miserables was quite superb. I also saw a dream cast in a performance of the songs and own the soundtrack. I do tend to prefer musicals that aren't shiny and happy - Annie frankly needs shooting. "The sun'll come out, tomorrow..." - Not if I have anything to do with it, love...

 

So one of my absolute favourites is Cabaret (the Liza Minnelli/Bob Fosse film). The darker undertones of the rise of Nazism and seedy decadence of Sally Bowles' world are beautifully interwoven with the highly original and distinctive music. I love it!

 

Also very much enjoyed Chicago recently, despite being ready to hate it due to the presence of Catherine "My-Other-Husband's-a-Corpse" Zeta-Jones. Must be the Bob Fosse magic again, even if indirectly!

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Sylvia 5th February 2006 08:37 AM

Like you, David, I've seen very few musicals in the theatre, and for exactly the same reason.

 

However, when it comes to films it's a different matter. I first saw Cabaret when it first came out. It wasn't making much of a stir, and my mother and I almost had the cinema to ourselves. Then the Oscar nominations came out and it reappeared in the cinemas so we went to see it again.

 

I also watched Chicago on TV recently and quite enjoyed it, especially the song Mr Cellophane. I'd only heard it once before.....on The Muppet Show years and years ago........sung by Joel Grey. Now that was some performance, to linger in the memory for over a quarter of a century.

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Momo 5th February 2006 01:40 PM

I love musicals. Over here, I don't get to see any good ones but back in England I have watched a few, my favourite still is Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat but I also liked My Fair Lady, Kiss Me Kate, Jesus Christ Superstar, Me and My Girl, not too keen on Miss Saigon, the story and performance were great but I'd forgotten all the songs on my way home already. I don't mind watching them at home, either, so we own quite a few DVDs and videos that we taped when the movies were shown on TV. I especially like the older versions but there are a few new ones out that aren't too bad.

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nospacesallowed 5th February 2006 07:31 PM

"Is the real life is this just fantasy stuck in a landslide"

"I want to break free"

I went to see We Will Rock You at the Dominion

Fabbatastic

 

I've also seen The Lion King, can't remember where. THAT WAS AMAZING.

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Claire 5th February 2006 07:46 PM

I've seen parts of the musical The Lion King on TV, nospacesallowed - and it's magical the way they've choreographed the animals and made them dance. I'm not a huge fan of the animated version, but I'd love to see if at the theatre. I'm envious.

 

I saw a lot of musicals as a kid. There were a number of decent amateur dramatics groups near where I grew up, and they tended to go for musicals. I saw a fair bit of G&S, and things like Oliver and The Merry Widow and The Wizard of Oz.

 

More recently, I've mainly seen musicals on DVD and I love some of the newer ones. Chicago was one of the best films I saw last year, and I'm still haunted by some of the songs from it. Moulin Rouge was very good too - very wierd and unsettling, in a way that exactly suited the era it was set in. It was unusual in that most of the songs weren't especially written for it - I think only "Come What May". I would LOVE to see Cabaret - that's in my top ten list of films I haven't seen but want to.

 

West Side Story and My Fair Lady are very good (and singable) films too, and I'm amazed no-one has mentionned Greece yet!! The film is a classic and I've been lucky enough to see the stage version too. I struggle not to embarrass myself in Asda, as they play their "Hits From Greece" CD over their sound system far too often, and I have to make a real conscious effort not to start singing along!! :o

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part 2 of page 1

 

Flingo 5th February 2006 07:55 PM

Originally Posted by Claire

I'm amazed no-one has mentionned Greece yet!! The film is a classic and I've been lucky enough to see the stage version too. I struggle not to embarrass myself in Asda, as they play their "Hits From Greece" CD over their sound system far too often, and I have to make a real conscious effort not to start singing along!! :o

I saw it in London a few years ago, and I must say that it's singalong-ability actually spoiled it for me in the theatre. You didn't need a cast - the audience drowned them out anyway! With other "popular" musicals, the audience join in with the finale, but not every line of every song. I wanted to stand up and shout "Shut UUUUUUPPPPPPP!!!!!!"

 

The most amusing musical I have had the misfortune to see is Heathcliffe, written and starring Cliff Richard, and loosely based on Wuthering Heights. The audience were mainly menopausal Cliff Richard fans, who didn't care about the story or the music! There was an announcement at the beginning that "Patron's are to remain in their seats throughout the performance" (but which did not prevent half the audience flocking to the stage when Cliff made his first appearance). When Heathcliffe dies, the woman behind me burst out crying, and was inconsolable because "Cliff was dead". When he rose to take the curtain call, she started crying again, proclaiming it as a "Miracle"! Never again!

 

I agree with the other comments about West Side Story and Joseph though.

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Claire 5th February 2006 08:02 PM

Originally Posted by Flingo

I saw it in London a few years ago, and I must say that it's singalong-ability actually spoiled it for me in the theatre. You didn't need a cast - the audience drowned them out anyway! With other "popular" musicals, the audience join in with the finale, but not every line of every song. I wanted to stand up and shout "Shut UUUUUUPPPPPPP!!!!!!"

Oh heck, that would be irritating! I saw it in Manchester a couple of years ago, (maybe the same cast? It had that chap from You've Been Framed as Danny) I don't remember the audience singing along all the way through - although as you say, I suspect we all did for the finale.

 

Heathcliffe sounds hysterically funny!! I always reckoned Cliff seemed such unlikely casting for that part.

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Claire 5th February 2006 08:05 PM

Oooooooh Yes - how could I forget.....

 

Anyone else seen "Return to the Forbidden Planet"????? I've seen that twice at the theatre, and husband has seen it three or four times. It's Fantastic!

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and the third part of page 1

 

megustaleer 5th February 2006 08:21 PM

Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Dirty Dancing...Mmm! :yumyum:

 

Every time one of 'em is on TV I say I won't watch it, I've seen them all before...but I can't resist!

 

Not musicals, but as Claire mentioned them...Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas!

I now have the complete librettas on CD, plus a double album of the highlights which I've just downloaded onto iTunes and am listening to at the moment. I have loved them since the '60s, and used to annoy other members of the audience by following the librettas in a book.:o

I would probably sing along if I saw them live, so it's probably as well that I don't go to the theatre much these days :P

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Claire 5th February 2006 09:01 PM

Originally Posted by megustaleer

Not musicals, but as Claire mentioned them...Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas![/i]

They certainly sounded like musicals to my 11 year old ears :P , but yes, fair distinction.

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megustaleer 5th February 2006 09:04 PM

It's a fine distinction, and I'm not sure how it is made.

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page 3 until entry #24 which might or might not have been the last, anyway, this is part one of it

 

 

Claire

 

I'm not sure. I had the impression that it was partly to do with the way the "bits between the songs" are dealt with. In musicals, they're mostly just spoken, like in any play or film - wheras in an operetta (or a full blown opera), the rest of the dialogue tends to be sung as well. Does that sound about right??

 

I guess it may be more to do with when they were written :confused: or how highbrow the audience tends to be :confused:

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Opal 5th February 2006, 09:41 PM

 

I've only seen Cats and Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat but I'd love to see more! I saw Cats about 2 years ago (very cheap tickets with some uni friends) but I saw Joseph ages ago when I was in junior school. We actually performed it as our year 6 leavers play so I know all the word to all the songs even now! And yes that includes the string of colours in about the third song... :D I used to play my mum's Andrew Lloyd Webber CDs over and over, and I'd love to see some more of his musicals. Just got to hope some of them come up to Nottingham soon... ;)

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megustaleer 5th February 2006, 09:48 PM

Originally Posted by Claire

I'm not sure. I had the impression that it was partly to do with the way the "bits between the songs" are dealt with. In musicals, they're mostly just spoken, like in any play or film - wheras in an operetta (or a full blown opera), the rest of the dialogue tends to be sung as well. Does that sound about right??

That's probably right. In G&S there is ordinary speech, singing, and recitative (bits that are sung, but in the rhythms of ordinary speech).

I suppose this combination, sort of opera with talking , makes it a bit lower down the cultural scale than proper opera

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Second and last part of page 2

 

donnae 5th February 2006, 09:50 PM

 

I saw Grease when Shane Ritchie was in it, I think he played Shane Ritchie rather than Danny! Also Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat with Phil Schofield - he was surprisingly good. I also love Moulin Rouge, although the music is mainly very modern, it suits the film wonderfully.

 

On a trip to New York last year, we went to see Wicked, the musical based on Gregory McGuire's novel about the life of the Wicked Witch of the West before The Wizard of Oz. The book is great, the musical is superb. I think it has won some awards. I would highly recommend it.

 

Looking forward to Evita coming back again, I have to admit I enjoyed the film with Madonna :o

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Mungus 6th February 2006, 09:55 AM

 

I used to get student standby tickets 'back in the day' so managed to see all of the big musicals eventually. The friend I went with always came out singing, I suspect partly to embarrass me but mostly to upset the other theatregoers. I remember 'Joseph' with Jason Donovan as being excellent and 'Starlight Express' as horrendously bad. And I think we paid full price for that one!

 

We got tickets in the Gods to see 'Les Miserables' and I just about managed to follow the story despite not being able to see or hear properly, then after the interval they had all change costume and I lost it completely. I try to get the best seats possible now.

 

I really don't like all of these half-baked stories that are clumsily engineered in order to string a bunch of songs together. I know that they are really popular, but why not just sit at home with a greatest hits album or see a tribute band?

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Grammath 6th February 2006, 01:23 PM

 

I'm a frequent theatregoer, but don't go to musicals very often. Having said that, some of the most memorable shows I've seen over the past few years were just that - "The Producers", the quite marvellous "Jerry Springer The Opera" and "Five Guys Named Moe" are three that spring to mind.

 

At the other end of the scale, "Rent" was a waste of a lot of money and time. And Andrew Lloyd-Webber is such an insufferably annoying individual that it colours my judgement on most of his output.

 

I do think its a pity, though, that there are few new musicals around. I suppose this is because they often represent a large financial risk for promoters. If you look through the current West End listings, you'll see revivals e.g. "High Society", film transfers such as "Fame" and "Mary Poppins" or adaptations of existing bodies of work into a musical form like "Mamma Mia" and "We Will Rock You", but I can't think of anything that is genuinely new material.

 

Did anyone catch that Radio 4 programme on fabulous flops yesterday evening? I missed it.

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Momo 6th February 2006, 02:24 PM

Originally Posted by Flingo

The most amusing musical I have had the misfortune to see is Heathcliffe, written and starring Cliff Richard, and loosely based on Wuthering Heights. ;)

When Heathcliffe dies, the woman behind me burst out crying, and was inconsolable because "Cliff was dead". When he rose to take the curtain call, she started crying again, proclaiming it as a "Miracle"! Never again!

If Cliff Richard played Heathcliffe, it could only be very loosely based on Wuthering Heights.

As to your other comment - Oh my God!!!! :speechles

Originally Posted by Claire

Oooooooh Yes - how could I forget.....

Anyone else seen "Return to the Forbidden Planet"????? I've seen that twice at the theatre, and husband has seen it three or four times. It's Fantastic!

I cannot believe I forgot this one. I saw it twice, as well, and I loved it.

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megustaleer 26th February 2006, 06:18 PM

 

I've just had a lovely couple of hours wallowing in nostalgia, watching ( and singing along to) Calamity Jane!

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elfstar 26th February 2006, 06:41 PM

 

I just love Calam. Occasionally I have to resist what my friend refers to as A Doris moment AND not buy the gingham!!

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I went to see Oliver years ago with Ron Moody as Fagin, which was great.

My favourite musicals on film are Camelot, this I saw at the cinema way back when, and Singing in the Rain.

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I love musicals. I remember being very, very small watching The Sound of Music on telly. It was at Christmas and my mother told me the story of the film and I sat down to watch it. I've seen it loads of times since then and every time I watch it, I remember how entranced I was that first time. I think I was about five.

 

I love Grease too, but it always annoys me that Sandy changes for Danny. I like that they all end up happy, but she shouldn't have to change who she is to get the guy!

 

I've seen bits of Cabaret, but never the whole thing, so that's on my list to watch at some stage.

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We went to Spamalot a couple of weeks ago. I think it was one of the funniest musicals I've ever seen, I don't laugh out loud that easily and I had tears of laughter pouring down my face at points.

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I'm very much NOT a musicals fan, but I do love Hair on DVD. I have a slight issue with people just bursting into song for no aparent reason in musicals, which would obviously be a hindrance to their enjoyment...

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I went to see "Avenue Q" on my birthday this year. Best theatrical thing I've seen all year. Wickedly funny, very clever, hot puppet on puppet action. What more could one ask for?

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I also saw Avenue Q about a month ago and loved it. I still find myself singing 'Everyone is a Little Bit Racist'! And can I add puppets can get away with a lot of things that actors can't? Definitely not one for the kids!

 

I saw another musical called 'Parade' a couple of weeks ago. Completely the opposite to Avenue Q. It was at the Donmar Warehouse which is small dark theatre. The story is based around the true story of the trial of a Jewish man for the murder of a factory worker in the Deep South - not the usual subject matter for a musical. However the story did lend itself to some really amazing songs. I'd recommend it.

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I saw We Will Rock You last weekend - wasn't sure if I should post about it here or in the Theatre thread.

 

It has to be the weakest musical I have ever had the misfortune to spend time watching. I didn't think anything could match the horror of Cliff Richard's Heathcliff, but this comes pretty close.

 

There is no plot development to speak of in WWRY, the talk between musical numbers is basically trying to bridge the gaps between the songs, and at (rather too frequent) times you wonder "why on earth are they singing this now?". The overarching idea of the plot is quite inspired (it is 300 years time, and real music has died - everything is computer generated. A group of rebel, hippies have to find Brian May's guitar and revive music), but it fails completely in the restrictive context of Queen music!

 

Ben Elton has done many better things than this, and I am now very wary of seeing any musical based around a pop groups output.

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I'm a big musical fan but I think the genre is severly ailing of late, esp. in the West End. It's all geared towards the tourists that come in the summer so it's all review type shows (which in my mind are NOT musicals) like We Will Rock You or revivials of old ones. Occassionally we get the odd new one that hops over from NY but I can't even remember the last British born successful new musical.

 

My favourites include Miss Saigon, Rent, Phantom and Les Mis. Probably in that order. Most recently I was impressed by Mary Poppins. I suppose that was the most recent British born success but it's not exactly original material is it? But it was very well done.

 

I also enjoyed Avenue Q a lot. I laughed an incredible amount during that as the songs are just so hilarious.

 

Andrew Lloyd Webber these days seems more concerned with his 'find me a star' programmes and reviving every single musical he's every written. I wasn't bowled over by either The Beautiful Game or The Women in White as I think both found him out a little in that he seems to pen one quite good song and all the others are light copies of that one.

 

Oops... forgot Billy Elliot. I suppose that was pretty good too but the songs weren't greatly memorable. And again - I'd like to see some original material - not something that has already been on film or some other visual medium.

 

Just my jumbled musings on the subject..

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Ben Elton has done many better things than this

Has he? These days I struggle to remember anything good that Mr Elton has provided us with! (Young Ones excepted).

 

I have seen a tribute act of Queen called, wait for it, Magic: It's a Kind Of Queen, and while their name is so cringe-worthy that it makes you queasy, they are actually very good and manage to completely do Bohemian Rhapsody live (which hubby informs me Queen never managed themselves). Maybe that'd be a better outing than WWRY? ;)

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I tend to prefer musicals that are a little dark, edgy, and/or socially conscious (think Sondheim - or -?). While working as choreographer for our local community theatre, I agitated (successfully) for Oliver! - as civic theatre groups understandably tend to go for shows that will sell out, and there are lots of cute children in it to boost sales, it worked out fine.

 

I have choreographed nearly all the major shows of Rodgers & Hammerstein and so probably wouldn't cross the street to see them. Thoroughly enjoyed Sweeney Todd, Les Mis and Phantom, and am looking forward to our Spamalot outing (being a Monty Python fan from way back). I hope to get a chance to see Wicked one of these days...

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I tend to prefer musicals that are a little dark, edgy, and/or socially conscious (think Sondheim - or -?).

 

Me too. I'm visiting family in London just now, and last night we went to see Fiddler On The Roof. My sort of show - emotional, political, funny, all in one.

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Me too. I'm visiting family in London just now, and last night we went to see Fiddler On The Roof. My sort of show - emotional, political, funny, all in one.

I have it on DVD and watch it once every three years or so (on VHS before DVD). I always cry at the end, even though I know what is going to happen.

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I love musicals. Sadly I have yet to see one on stage fully but I hope I will sometime in the near future. Thanks to my nan I'm a big fan of Singing in the Rain, Showboat, Seven Brides for Seven brothers (still makes me laugh) and other from that time, you know, back in the time when people could successfully make a masterpiece in musical movie theatre.

As for recent ones Chicago, moulin rouge and Sweeny Todd have definitely become three of my favorites. Chicago is just funny and the songs are fantastic, though I am starting to loathe Renee Zel-whatever. I am sorry but I can hardly stand her in that movie. Catherine Zeta Jones upstages her every time. Moulin Rouge I thought was just fantastic, the songs, the choreography, the artwork...excellent! Sweeny Todd just really found a place in my top 5. Being a long fan of both Tim Burton and the story of Sweeny Todd I was so excited at the concept of them joining together (with two of my favourite actors Johnney Depp and Helena Carter). The movie was already a masterpiece before it came onto the screen and it didn't dissapoint.

As for Cliff Richard's heathcliff, I have to say I will always love it just for my memories sake. My nan and I would always watch it when I was little, I can still remember the songs! I thought it was great and keep on asking my nan to put it on again. I miss it heehee.

But yes musicals are fantastic. But I agree, Annie should definatley be shot.

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