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Distant_Cousin

Member Since 17 Apr 2007
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 08:23 PM
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#298779 The Bodyguard

Posted Titan on 30 March 2014 - 03:56 PM

I agree, im against the not doing any matinees, especially the Saturdays. Basically if youre going to london for a day trip you ha e no chance of seeing the lead


#298671 Stephen Ward - The Musical

Posted Jim on 29 March 2014 - 08:25 PM

It's interesting that most people are defining ALW's failure on the lack of huge Box office success; yet when he had one blockbuster, collassal financial hit after another:  Evita, Cats, Starlight, Phantom  there were many theatre snobs who claimed that didn't define success.

All of those back and forths about a man's career - especially someone involved in the arts is BS to me.  Aspects of Love has always been and probably will always be one of my favorite scores ever.  Know the entire thing backwards and forwards- note the changes to the score's evolution from when it opened to when it played on Broadway to some of it's revivals...  That's because to me the score is amazing.  Not everone liked that, obviously.  It was nowhere near the moster hit Phantom was (since Phantom in its original productions are both playing in NY and London)  Does that make it a failure?  Sad if in your narrow financial perspective you say "yes"

Stephen Ward seemed to be a creative gamble.  And as I've said at least a few times in the discussion on this, it seems it was a passion for ALW to see a miscarriage of justice brought to light.  Perhaps creatively it didn't work out, but bravo for his motivations.  Considering the producers of some of the juke box musicals simply are looking for "entertainment" as their goal  -- which is fine, there's nothing wrong with just an entertaining night out -- I kind of like when someone who can write beautiful scores like ALW takes  a risk to do something a little bit out there.  And hope that he doesn't ever let that early amazing success limit his pursuits in the future


#298580 Stephen Ward - The Musical

Posted steveatplays on 29 March 2014 - 10:39 AM

The title was a disaster. It sounded so boring, like a newsnight documentary giving a balanced and dispassionate view of a historical figure. It doesn't help that "ward" rhymes with "bored."

And this title triggered the worst sort of coverage in the papers, namely serious news coverage about clearing the name of somebody nobody cares about.

For example, if this musical were called "Orgy," and the makers said they were referring to "a political orgy of corruption," as well as the literal orgy you see in the musical, coverage would have been more salacious and critical, and might have generated "outrage" and interest, with the consequence audiences might have felt they were seeing something naughty and exciting.

But that would have been a lie, because the main problem of the production is that it comes from a newsnight mind, the mind of someone making a defensive argument about political history in a biased but reasonable manner.

This musical presented a man, who recruited teenage girls from their mums and moved them into his flat in that London with the purpose of presenting them to rich and powerful men, as an awfully nice fellow. It tries to paper over the obvious fact that Ward was a seedy creep.

Imagine if Sondheim hadn't made Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett quite so wicked, if he had omitted the word "demon" from the title, if he had tried to suggest that Sweeney and Lovett were merely the victims of society rather than their own vicious inner demons, how boring would that take have been? And isn't Ward a chamber of horrors character like Sweeney Todd after all, albeit relegated to Blackpool?

Where Lloyd Webber was completely right is that this seedy creep was no worse, and probably more intrinsically likeable and decent, than many of the society figures who welcomed him into their sphere to get at his sexy young offerings. And this is another problem: society is not demonised enough in this musical. Valjean needs his Javert, but we just don't get one in Stephen Ward: we don't get an embodiment of societal evil who we can hate and fear, who would drive the story and make us root for Ward. All we get is two silly policemen tacked on in an almost spurious scene in the second half. How uninvolving!

If only this musical had not had it's po-faced crusading agenda and it's dull title, I believe this could have been a hit. I recall with fondness the passion that Lloyd Webber brought to powerful numbers like "Human Sacrifice" and "Manipulation," the touching emptiness and neediness of Charlottle Spencer singing "He sees something in me," the lonely romantic delivery of Alexander Hanson singing "Too close to the Flame," and the number the wickedness of which I wish had more embodied the whole musical, "You've Never Had It So Good."

Stephen Ward, I mourn what you could have been. :(


#298579 Stephen Ward - The Musical

Posted Steve10086 on 29 March 2014 - 10:36 AM

A shame to see this show go.  I saw it 6 times and my only problem was with the police interviews, which seemed to go on forever and weren't very musically engaging.  Having said that, they told a very important part of the story, so not sure how else they could have been done.  Otherwise I loved it.  And 'Too Close to the Flame' is a remarkable piece of music.  Would have enjoyed seeing this many more times in the future.


#297433 Once London

Posted bickypeg on 20 March 2014 - 07:04 PM

View Postbradleyconnor, on 20 March 2014 - 06:42 PM, said:

A lot of people say this is a wonderful show can anyone that has seen this tell me? is it as good as say... Les Mis, or Wicked?
I went because everyone raved about it. I may be the only person in the world who didn't like it! Not my kind of music at all although played and sung beautifully.


#295889 Hairspray @ Leicester Curve

Posted richard2711 on 09 March 2014 - 04:57 PM

"Tracy's mum, Edna shifts into a panto dame mould, as Damian Williams – his voice like a foghorn – makes no attempt at feminity, playing her like Fred Flintstone in a frock"

I was trying to place the performance and this sums it up perfectly! YES!!


#295880 Hairspray @ Leicester Curve

Posted Titan on 09 March 2014 - 04:04 PM

I didnt read it that way

Mentions how in this production velma and edna are portrayed, sets are flimsy etc

.'However, for all its robustness, it requires a delicate balance and Paul Kerryson's new production at Leicester, with its flimsy, flat sets and front-facing performances, has strayed too far from the tone of the original movie.'

'Here, that producer is determinedly respectable, but not monstrously so; her hair neatly curled,not a towering backcomb. Likewise, Tracy's mum, Edna, originally played byDivine, shifts into a panto dame mould, as Damian Williams his voice like a foghorn makes no attempt at feminity, playing her like Fred Flintstone in a frock.'

'


#295518 Gypsy, Chichester Festival Theatre, 6 Oct - 8 Nov 2014

Posted Titan on 07 March 2014 - 07:07 AM

No I agree too. Im usually someone that would prefer an actor who can sing than the other way around but mama rose is a role that really needs both. She didn't show a vocal range in sweeney that suggests she can do it but she may surprise everyone


#294912 Starlight Revival? Original Vs Reworked?

Posted blahblah on 02 March 2014 - 07:39 PM

View PostTitan, on 27 February 2014 - 09:23 AM, said:

This should come back and do a big arena tour.  It should be a big entertainment spectacle which only an arena would provide these days.

How about using the Velodrome from the former Olympics and replace bikes with skaters? Posted Image


#294488 Starlight Revival? Original Vs Reworked?

Posted Honoured Guest on 27 February 2014 - 12:01 AM

I'd prefer a new Dawlish 2014 version.


#294112 Dreamgirls - West End?

Posted Titan on 24 February 2014 - 07:18 PM

Unless it was cast with some star names (e.g. Beverly Knight) no I dont see it doing that well here


#294208 Why Is Webber Crucified Whilst Sondheim Revered?

Posted Andromeda Dench on 25 February 2014 - 07:30 AM

View PostMrs Lovett, on 24 February 2014 - 11:33 PM, said:

and Sondheim is Princess Diana.


:lol:

At their best, I love them both. At their not-so-best, they both can annoy me - ALW can wander off into the territory of unintended silliness while looking for a big or catchy number, whereas Sondheim can be repetitive even in the subjects he chooses, a bit like Woody Allen - if he gets it right, it's great and moving, but if he doesn't, I can sit there wondering if I'm really THAT interested in over-the-top neuroses of New Yorkers.  Also, it really depends on the production. ALW shows need a director and actors who know how to not overstep the line of lavish spectacle and enter the realm of cheesiness, and Sondheim shows can be terribly annoying when handled by a snobbish creative team (and it's not that many of his songs do not tempt performers to ham it up to the max).
The edge that Sondheim does have over ALW is that he writes his own lyrics, and pretty well too.


#294199 Why Is Webber Crucified Whilst Sondheim Revered?

Posted Titan on 25 February 2014 - 06:07 AM

Modern family is superbly written TV so not sure your making the point you think.

I like both but think ALW definitely gets a rougher ride. Especially when people complain he repeats melodies, something Sondheim also does.

I think the main issue is the element of Sondheim fans who think they are somehow above anyone who doesn't like Sondheim and if you dont like it then you just dont 'get it'.


#294185 Why Is Webber Crucified Whilst Sondheim Revered?

Posted Jim on 25 February 2014 - 12:39 AM

Paplazaroo -while I can agree with you that they are different guys with different styles/etc,  perhaps the reason we have this argument is because by saying that Sondheim is like a Beckett play and ALW is like Modern Family is why some of us ALW fans are defensive and think that many of Sondheim fans are snobs.


#294175 Why Is Webber Crucified Whilst Sondheim Revered?

Posted Jim on 24 February 2014 - 11:42 PM

I've enjoyed some of Sondheim's work - Passion especially - but you are correct, his music sounds very similar - has it's trademark dissonant sounds amidst some nice melodic motifs.  For some, that's considered more "intelligent" or edgy, artistic.  Because ALW has more mass-appeal and attempts to write for more commercial purposes, and people claim he's "borrowed" musical phrases from others like Puccini, his work is dismissed   I've always found the arguments to be pretty snobbish and insulting.  For ALW to find inspiration in different stories, try to come up with music to capture the story/moods/feelings etc even if it is derivative of something else, and make it accessible/enjoyable to theatregoers is not easy by any stretch of the imagination.  Ask Sondheim - who's Into the Woods is probably the most successful of his ventures which opened the same year Phantom did and has been revived in NY three times while Phantom's original production is entering it's 26th year