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Men in musicals

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#11 M George

M George

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Posted 04 March 2007 - 07:10 PM

QUOTE(angelfan @ Mar 4 2007, 04:52 PM) View Post
I was writing to an online friend in New York and was telling him about How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria and the story of Connie and her, then, alternate.  He didn't really understand what I meant by an alternate and when I explained he said it wasn't really something done on Broadway (he works in theatre and is on the Tony judging panel).  So are alternates only an element of British theatre?

I think some Broadway shows employ alternates....although I'm basing this assumption on only having seen Miss Saigon and Phantom there.
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#12 ptwest


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Posted 05 March 2007 - 04:07 PM

I have no objection to alternates as I have seen many (if you include understudies) that were excellent. The evita mess summed up the problem though, base the entire show marketing around one person then release the alternate schedule after the show opens.

#13 thecrucible



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Posted 06 March 2007 - 06:23 PM

I'm interested in all this talk of alternates because there seems to be a general trend emerging in the conversation that if a role is demanding (particularly psychologically or in sheer amount of stage time) then it's not surprising to have an alternate in the role. Yet actors in Shakespeare climb the mountain of King Lear or Macbeth or Richard III or Cleopatra night after night with no alternates in sight.
Now I'm laying aside for a moment the particular vocal strains caused by singing big belting numbers night after night (although the demands of hammering out Hamlet's 1000-odd lines to a 1500 seat auditorium is not to be ignored) but I don't think it's right to say that alternates are fine with a demanding role - actors are paid to perform night after night and if they aren't up to that, is there the possibility that we simply don't train people well enough anymore?

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