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Member Since 15 Feb 2013
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#300829 Sunset Boulevard Doc

Posted Anthony on 15 April 2014 - 06:12 PM

I am from Sydney in Australia (I live here now) and first became aware of Sunset Boulevard- aware of the stage show and the movie- in 1993.  We were backpacking and in Australia were certainly aware of the musical and the grandness of that elaborate set. In fact of memory serves me correctly we saw it about a week after it had opened, so we saw Patti LuPone and Kevin Anderson.  My best friend had seen the film but I was a complete novice and really knew nothing about it and was just completely blown away by this show- the costumes, the floating set, the story.  We actually discussed it throughout the rest of the trip and bought the cast recording from HMV on tape to listen to.  The terribly recoded gun shot, the reference to vicuna (and you know what you can do with that).

I then saw it the next year with Betty Buckley and John Barrowman and really wanted to see the dead Joe Gillis floating in the pool and despite leaving with time, was delayed on the tube being seated literally as the lights came down. So i got to see it (yes!) however was panting in such a manner that the lady next to me reassured me that I’m made it on time.

I then moved to London on a two year working visa in 1995 and it was still running and I saw Elaine Paige. I can’t remember who the male lead was. She was very good however I do also remember that at the end in Norma’s madness scene and she was coming down the grand staircase her accessories (a bangle, I think) somehow got stuck into her headpiece, limiting her arm movements.

I now have both cast recording on my i-Pod on random play so at one minute could be listening to pop, only to slip seamlessly into a show tune.  To me, comparing both recordings, Alan Campbell sounds much ‘’harder’ and harsher/cynical’ than Kevin Anderson. Also, on the UK cast recording, despite the rubbish gun shots, things like Norma’s comments “It’a return” are somewhat lost.  There’s also and extended Schwab’s drug store between Artie, Joe and Betty.

On the the US recording, there’s Norma’s sobbing over the death of the pet chimp, the introduction of “Every Movie’s a Circus”, a slight change to Sheldrake and “The Lady’s Paying” and Norma’s comments about being a platinum blonde bitch and the second verse of ‘Eternal Youth is worth a little suffering”.

#294779 X Factor The Musical To The Palladium

Posted theatremonkey.com on 01 March 2014 - 02:26 PM

I heard the real reason for the delay was that Nigel Harman has vanished below the waistband of his costume. They are now waiting for the team who rescued the Chilian miners in 2010 to fly in with their specialist equipment.* Meanwhile, emergency calls have been placed to Gok Wan and the Royal Institute of British Architects to come up with a solution.

Seriously, I’m one (of a seeming very few) who is actually looking forward to seeing this very much in a couple of weeks time. Hope it all works out

*Harman fans, don’t worry, I hear they know at least which leg he is in, and have managed to get air and supply lines down there.

#284338 'The Musicals' - New Channel 4 Documentary

Posted Titan on 19 November 2013 - 09:50 PM

Thats been in a musical before but pop style ones. Duncan James?

#278252 West Side Story Uk Tour Cast Announced

Posted djp on 15 September 2013 - 06:10 PM

View PostDeNada, on 15 September 2013 - 12:01 PM, said:

All people of all races should be able to play any role regardless of ethnicity as long as there is a strong justification for it and the rest of the production supports it - particularly when ethnicity is an important component.

A black actor playing Grandfather in Ragtime in an otherwise traditionally cast production = an idea that didn't really work (sorry, Tim Sheader).  A white Othello should, in my opinion, be contrasted in some way with the other characters - not necessarily with a black Desdemona/Iago/whatever, but there has to be something that sets him aside IMO. If you're dead set on having an actor of an ethnicity that doesn't match that of the text, the director needs a damn good justification for it.

A black Eponine matters in absolutely no way to the rest of Les Mis.  But a white Nabalungi would to Book of Mormon.

West Side Story is a tricky one, though.  Puerto Ricans are generally Caucasian and from a theatrical point of view it's almost impossible to distinguish between them and the Sharks save through a hammy cod-Hispanic accent in many productions.

Katie Hall will probably wear a wig/dye her hair, and her beautiful soprano will undoubtedly do the score justice.  I don't know the young soprano "market" very well - who else would you guys suggest for the role that looks more Puerto Rican?

A black Eponine is a questionable example. Its actually one role where it does potentially  matter to the story and the show. Eponine's situation is determined by the fact that she is the daughter of the Thenardiers. Its what limits her prospects and leads to her fate. With both her parents  on stage,  it just invents  new subplots in the mind of anyone two actually thinks about what they are seeing - while making acting a distinct family unit even  more important. There's no reason at all why one or both of the parents and Eponine  couldn't be black or anything else, but  that doesn't happen - possibly because no one wants to cast someone from an ethnic minority as the show's venal, money grabbing lead. In the event it didn't matter to the plot because that Eponine was played as isolated, feral  and street,  and she didn't relate to anyone much - unfortunately that meant I didn't care when she got shot either.

You could argue that we should be truly colourblind to all roles - whatever the story and script says and who else is cast, but people would find the implications of being consistent about  that difficult. There's no reason then why the Bodyguard should be sung by someone black,  or why there shouldn't be an asian or black  actor singing as a Beatle in Let It Be. At the moment we live is messyland where Eponine can be cast, regardless, because some casting directors regard Eponine as a less important  role than it is. But I doubt if a really good black candidates for Fantine and I can think of one) would get the role, and if  its ever occurred to anyone that the Bodyguard could be sung at least as well by actors of all races.

#273302 Momentous Musicals 2013

Posted ajkb7926 on 25 July 2013 - 10:27 PM

You sure it wasn't Scottish? if so then it would be Ashleigh Gray

#272960 Three Phantoms

Posted Rozzi Rainbow on 21 July 2013 - 08:15 PM

I saw this in Darlington and really enjoyed it. I loved the setting of the stage, with this musicians in the middle, and enjoyed their song choices - it wasn't always the most well known songs from each show they sang. There was lots of interaction with the audience, with each Phantom telling stories of being in POTO. I didn't know all of the songs as some were from shows I haven't seen - sometimes they introduced them but other times they didn't, I would have liked to have known what some of the songs and shows were. The audience was very small, which I was really surprised at. A few years ago when I saw Beyond the Barricade there it was almost full, and I thought this show would have the same effect - hopefully their autumn shows will be busier coz I thought it was a great night out.

#270704 Booing

Posted armadillo on 29 June 2013 - 05:48 AM

View PostMrs Lovett, on 26 June 2013 - 11:09 PM, said:

Us british r so polite! If we hated it we just don't cheer as much!!!
I have taken everyone's thoughts and now don't boo. Instead, as the curtain call starts, I instantly stand, unclapping, and stare each member of the cast in the eye
  How daringly rock'n'roll. And what productions have you pretended to do that for? :lol:

#243225 Love Never Dies In Copenhagen

Posted Morten Aagaard on 31 October 2012 - 03:41 PM

Its not a translation, but a list of how many stars the different newspapers gave the show :-)

#267964 Momentous Musicals 2013

Posted Viceroy on 06 June 2013 - 10:15 PM


#267827 We Will Rock You - 10Th Anniversary World Arena Tour

Posted Steve10086 on 05 June 2013 - 09:07 PM

Losing the story could only be an improvement

#262267 Phantom Of The Opera ~ 2012, Uk Tour

Posted danieldabell on 17 April 2013 - 01:43 AM

I'm pretty astonished at any "cheap" comments about this production. It's fairly epic for a touring show & the sets / automation must have cost a lot. They are extremely impressive & the revolving ever-changing centre piece is incredible. I've been twice in Birmingham and went once in Milton Keynes. The end if Act I felt far more impressive in Birmingham. Having sat under the chandelier, I was surprised to have faux-glass scattered over me at the end of act I. The stage set demolished more too.
Cast were impeccable & staging is much more contemporary & straightforward from a storytelling perspective.
Lavish & impressive.

#263258 Stephen Ward - The Musical

Posted ABowlerHat on 25 April 2013 - 09:27 PM

Not many people were that aware of EVITA!

#259906 Andrew Lloyd Webbers New Musical Stephen Ward

Posted Annasette on 25 March 2013 - 04:04 PM

I am not up on any latest news re the "Stephen Ward" (it won't end up being called that) new show, but I think it would be extremely unlikely that the name of Profumo is only supposed to be going to be mentioned once, as per post somewhere above. Where was that information from? But I am really not inclined to be negative for the sake of it. My original impression was that this is a bit of a challenging (for want of a better word) subject, but I think I can see where ALW is coming from in choosing it. I have never been one of the ALW detractors, not because I like everything, but because enough of what he has done has been SO good that he has earnt his place in history already and the common petty spite only reflects badly on those who indulge in it. "Originality" and/or innovation (albeit everything derives from something else in one way or other) is predominantly associated with youth. ALW isn't going to compete with youth, and he shouldn't have to. He is at a different point in his career. There isn't a place for criticism in that, it is just the natural way of things. And if the silliness seen so often re everything being supposed to need to be "original" was real, then even Shakespeare should be supposed to have to be discarded.

And re ALW's "Stephen Ward", he is the enviable position of being able to suit himself and subsidise himself. Personally, I think it is a bit of a shame that it seems he has some difficulty being advised, but it is his ballpark. And I will be interested to see what comes of it anyway, even if I don't like it. Someone above referred to "Sunset Boulevard" as "stodgy", which I can actually agree with to some extent re aspects of the show, but I still think it's good and I don't think the Don Black and Christopher Hampton collaboration was too bad at all, whatever the American criticisms.The title song isn't just my favourite ALW song, as long as sung well, it is one of my favorites of all time. So I am intrigued to see what they come up with again.

There is a whole generation (or three) who won't now have even heard of the Profumo affair, though, let alone Stephen Ward. But his is an intriguing story. I have seen it quoted that ALW has referred to him as a "scapegoat", and, in truth, that is the one thing that is pretty irrefutable. He WAS the scapegoat. But that doesn't mean he was necessarily a complete innocent. The truth will probably never come out in entirety, although I suspect there will be a flurry of interest when the file does eventually comes out of official wraps. His trial and suicide effectively let the lid be put back on a can of worms that had far greater potential to do damage than was ever made public, even though it ruined careers and arguably brought down a government. The Profumo affair, itself, was only the tip of the iceberg. There were lots of convoluted rumours and allegations, all at the height of paranoia re the cold war, which was a very dangerous situation. But how much was real and how much was paranoia and how much was just made up, to expedience, to sell a story? Was the talented and charismatic Stephen Ward, at the heart of the highest London society, actually guilty of anything other than being convenient? That he wasn't, certainly seems to be the popular take now, but he was a ridiculously obvious target for intelligence agencies of all sides. There is no question that he will have been scrutinised by MI5, but was it really more than that? Was he working for them? Was he working for the Russians? Was he really running a call girl service for the elite of society at all? And whatever he was doing, was any of it at the instigation of MI5, the KGB, neither, or both? History might eventually clarify, but it wasn't publicly known then and it still isn't known now. Scapegoats are presumed to be more expendable, but that isn't a given, and that still doesn't mean he wasn't involved in a bigger game. So the book of the effective rise and fall of Stephen Ward could be angled in various ways. I am hoping it won't be a whitewash, ergo effectively the rise and fall of an innocent man hounded to death. It will be more interesting if some of the other allegations are explored. The whole cold war theme didn't work too well for "Chess" though.

#259266 Priscilla Tour

Posted BrumCub on 21 March 2013 - 08:11 AM

I have to say that I went on Tuesday night in Birmingham with some trepidation after seeing it a couple of times in London ... overall I thought that they have done a good job, lots of energy on stage and plenty of fun - after all that's what the show is all about :-)

#259289 Barbra Streisand Live! European Tour

Posted alec_e10 on 21 March 2013 - 12:20 PM

I saw her last time at the o2 and had one of the seats in the gods, almost back row at the back of the arena. I am pretty sure I paid over £100 then. However, I felt as if I was watching people watching a show as I was so high up and so far away could not see her and even on the screens she was tiny. You feel very removed from the event up there. She was pretty amazing but I would not go again and sit up there and certainly not preparted to pay the price of the better seats (thats if you can get one of them).