~ by Servetus on November 29, 2016.
Posted in Richard Armitage Tags: Elliott Harper, musicals, speculation, theater theater
I just read that article this morning. Also, related to Richard, soon after the end of the infamous Francis/Chilton scene on Hannibal, I calmed myself down by hearing Raul Esparza singing “Being Alive” from Company.
Fatima said this on November 29, 2016 at 8:05 pm | Reply
I don’t know this musical. I liked Sondheim music a lot when I was in high school, though. We performed a lot of his stuff in choir and band. In retrospect now it seems very 70s so an update will probably be a good thing.
Servetus said this on November 29, 2016 at 8:07 pm | Reply
This sounds pretty good. I liked her War Horse production. It was one of the few times that I actually cried at the theatre, because it was so heart-breaking.
Vanguard said this on November 29, 2016 at 8:25 pm | Reply
I probably couldn’t watch that musical. I know people love it, but that level of emotion is almost repellent to me.
Servetus said this on November 29, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Reply
correction: play? I guess.
So not into musicals, and therefore, fairly clueless 😳 Not sure I ever really listened to Sondheim either.
But I like the new storyline
Vanguard said this on November 29, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Reply
Yes, to War Horse, it is in the end very emotional. What they did with the horse puppets was amazing though. Sorry, got a bit confused above, first thought you were referring to the new musical
Vanguard said this on November 29, 2016 at 10:23 pm | Reply
This musical has SO many problems in the playing of it today that any attempt to find a new way into the work is worthwhile. Many of the individual songs are terrific. Glad to hear that Sondheim is also involved with the process on some level. He’s notorious for protecting his shows as is, so when he allows a conceptual change to be made, it’s kind of a big deal.
heatherparish said this on November 29, 2016 at 9:25 pm | Reply
What I know of his work is that it’s more musically than dramatically interesting, but that’s true of a lot of musicals. He is a great songwriter. I hadn’t heard of this musical until the article in the Mail over the weekend about the Elliott Harper season.
Servetus said this on November 29, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Reply
It’s an obsession for a certain sort of “deep cuts” musical fan. Concert versions get done from time to time as fund-raisers for musical theater oriented groups.
It’s not my favorite Sondheim.
heatherparish said this on November 29, 2016 at 10:19 pm | Reply
I suppose everybody’s seen Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods. I remember liking a Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, but I only saw it once, over twenty years ago now.
Servetus said this on November 29, 2016 at 10:24 pm | Reply
I saw a production of Forum two years ago after a 20 year gap and I was shocked at how much I disliked it. Our attitudes about so many things have changed, it was hard to view it without a certain amount of presentism. I try to avoid it, but it was impossible with that one. Company can have the same problem.
heatherparish said this on November 29, 2016 at 10:28 pm | Reply
I can totally imagine that. I saw it when I was just starting graduate school and my attitudes about a lot of things have changed since then. I also think it’s harder to avoid presentism w/r/t things roughly in our own lifetimes, so to speak. Less distance. Roman slavery bothers me less than 19th c. US slavery, for instance (not that they were quite the same thing).
This discussion actually makes me think of that song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” We learned it high school choir as a sort of classic of American songwriting and a flirty, jokey song, but almost none of my friends see it that way anymore. “Hey, what’s in this drink?” Not funny.
Servetus said this on November 29, 2016 at 10:35 pm | Reply
Precisely. (My friends call it the “Date Rape” song.)
heatherparish said this on November 29, 2016 at 10:36 pm | Reply
Mine too. It wasn’t a thing in 1985, though.
I always wonder how much of this stuff actually survives the centuries, and now particularly since middle brow / pop cultural stuff is so dominant in the cultural realm. It’s interesting to see which plays and musicals “survive” and why, which songs they play on Oldies radio and so on.
Servetus said this on November 29, 2016 at 10:59 pm | Reply
Have you ever read or seen Anne Washburn’s “Mr Burns, a post electric play”? Set in a post apocalyptic world where one group retells the Cape Fear episode of The Simpsons around a campfire and it grows into its own form of culture in the subsequent generations. It’s an odd play, but I like it. (I know people who didn’t, though.)
I like the idea that it’s bits and pieces of pop culture that become the basis for the future. The way opera in the 19th c is viewed differently than today. Or the way ideas and props in Star Trek influence tech design today.
heatherparish said this on November 29, 2016 at 11:08 pm | Reply
I haven’t and I’m the only person I know who’s never seen an episode of the Simpsons, but there are a lot of studies of this kind of thing for how medievals and early moderns processed the ancients and so on. (Before the Enlightenment, everyone admired Sparta; it’s only the emergence of popular sovereignty that puts Athens in all the textbooks, and so on). It’s always fascinating what people take away (similarly to what people think is important about an Armitage interview).
Servetus said this on November 29, 2016 at 11:12 pm
Servetus said this on December 2, 2016 at 2:40 am | Reply
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