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 Posted:   Sep 21, 2013 - 11:32 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Mr. Greg: Wow! Fascinating details there! It was interesting to compare the audio recording of "Love Never Dies" with the Australian video I saw on PBS and quickly bought on Blu-ray -- felt the ending was more poignant as the Phantom, as I recall, sings a bit of "Love Never Dies" with his son there, over the body of Christine. Although I've now forgotten it, something popped up on my screen last week about a new Lloyd Webber show about to open. What do you know about it?

Stephen Ward? I know nothing, except that it has been publicised quite a bit, and is based around the Profumo scandal from the 60's.

 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 8:14 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Yes, the one about the Profumo affair in the early 1960s that so scandalized Britain at the time -- seems like an unlikely subject for a musical, but won't be the first for Lloyd Webber.

 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 2:12 PM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)



Broadway in a Box Disc 19
6 to go

 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 5:02 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Wow! I've not seen that album cover in YEARS! I have it among my show LPs, and while I've always loved Laurence Guittard (he was wonderful in the original "A Little Night Music"), he was probably the reason I bought it, I don't think he ever grabbed me here as Curly. But this LP had the kind of cover art that makes one miss those big 12" X 12" album covers!

 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 10:41 PM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

Wow! I've not seen that album cover in YEARS! I have it among my show LPs, and while I've always loved Laurence Guittard (he was wonderful in the original "A Little Night Music"), he was probably the reason I bought it, I don't think he ever grabbed me here as Curly. But this LP had the kind of cover art that makes one miss those big 12" X 12" album covers!

I have the original cd release of this recording.

I need to go look at my programs from the Star Theater summer stock productions I saw years ago. I believe Andreas played Laurie in that production with Jamie Farr as Ali Hakim that was years befor the Broadway revival. I believe Dirk Benedict played Curly.

 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2013 - 2:20 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

I can not be called a fan of musicals, but for the ones I like, I'm a big fan. It's just that I dislike way more musicals than I like.

My wife turned down that OKLAHOMA! revival (against my wishes), that ultimately went to Christine Andreas. She had zero ambitions to be a professional actress (although she was one for quite a while). I still regret what might have been for her. She has no regrets.

I'm enjoying reading what others like, though.

 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2013 - 2:29 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Re: " It's just that I dislike way more musicals than I like."

I couldn't always say that, but over the last dozen or so years can emphatically second it! I just don't enjoy most of the musicals that are coming out these days. I'll buy cast albums that have been well-received, and never play them again, never WANT to play them again. And I'll watch the Tony Awards and shake my head at how UNmusical so many musicals seem to be these days ... until they bring out songs from older shows that have been revived, and suddenly the ear tunes it back in and some of us are in our own little Broadway musical nirvana. But I do NOT like where I see that genre going!!! Elsewhere, I think that it was Bob DiMucci who brought up the wonderful old "Man With A Load of Mischief," which is DEFINITELY a musical, and I like the original cast recording of that show so much that I quickly started a separate discussion just to chat about it and the hopes of some to revive it. Check it out ... "Man With A Load of Mischief."

 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2013 - 5:32 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

Well, I've been saying it since around 1970, when Sondheim ruined musicals for me. No need for the Sondheim devotees to come out and defend him. I don't like him. He is the worst thing to ever happen to a Broadway musical (FOLLIES, excepted), to me. Nothing you can say in his defense will change that, for me. Not to say I haven't liked a musical, here and there, since then. RAGTIME, for example, is my favorite score to any musical, ever.

 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2013 - 10:13 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

PhiladelphiaSon:

Re: "Well, I've been saying it since around 1970, when Sondheim ruined musicals for me."

Well, it sounds like your tastes don't match what you've seen and heard in musical theatre, so you probably shouldn't waste your time. Why bother? But, for me, there have been enough amazing shows to make up for the ones that are glaringly lacking. In your case, I would recommend that you sample the music BEFORE going to a show, and if it doesn't grab you, don't even bother. As someone who probably has over 30 Sondheim-related shows and collections and have gotten enormous pleasure out of them, our tastes in no way parallel. But at least you know what you DON'T like, and so you should concentrate on music that truly grabs you and maybe forget about musical theatre. Best of luck.

 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2013 - 7:21 AM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

I've been going to the theater since the 1950s. Many of the shows I saw were within the first couple of weeks of opening. Others were prior to their even going to Broadway, so no cast albums. Even if there were, I like to experience the scores to musicals, within the context of the play, for the first time. The single Sondheim show that I loved was FOLLIES. However, only in its original staging with its original cast. I have seen other productions that I found, awful. It's also the only score of his where I like any of the songs. When I saw COMPANY, in its first week on Broadway, I could not believe what I was seeing, or hearing. The only thing I was impressed by, was Dean Jones. Otherwise, I found it a plot less, pointless waste of time, with a collection of tunes I never wanted to hear again. That's how his compositions affect me. SWEENEY TODD was, for me, the single worst night of my life in a theater. I adore Angela Lansbury, and a friend of mine was playing Tobias, and I couldn't even bring myself to go backstage to see him (and possibly meet her). I hated it, that much. Musically, it's just noise, to me.

Anyway, the shows I've seen and loved, beyond all reason, include the aforementioned RAGTIME (although I preferred the National Tour cast to the original) and FOLLIES; SEESAW (the phenomenal and under-utilized Michele Lee and the best danced show, ever on Broadway!); MY FAIR LADY (the London production with Julie Andrews and Alec Clunes - the single greatest theatrical event I've ever seen - life altering); HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING (Bobby Morse and Michele Lee were magical. Sad that her real performance is not captured. She's not on the original cast recording and they cut almost all of her singing from the, inferior, film version); MAME (incredible, on every level); 1776 (perfect cast, perfect show); HELLO, DOLLY! (the original cast just blew us all away); CAMELOT (the show was just okay, but that score and that cast were perfection!). Other shows I saw and liked - GYPSY (with Angela Lansbury and with Betty Buckley. Loved both); THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD (a lot of fun, and Buckley's jaw-dropping closer); EVITA (not so much for the show, but Patti LuPone was really worth every penny of the admission price); YOUR OWN THING; SUBWAYS ARE FOR SLEEPING; HENRY SWEET HENRY; 1992 revival of GUYS AND DOLLS; HALF A SIXPENCE; OLIVER!; NO NO NANETTE; IRENE; APPLAUSE and JERSEY BOYS.

There may be a couple more that I haven't thought of, but that's it. I've seen way more musicals than those listed above. I suppose I'm glad I saw them all, because live theater is better than anything else; but I still prefer a really good play, to a musical. Next to SWEENEY TODD, I hated FUNNY GIRL, THE WIZ AND SUNSET BLVD. the most. Just thought they were all the worst the theater has to offer.

 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2013 - 8:47 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

PhiladelphiaSon:

Well, that's certainly a fuller response than your original, which gave me the impression that there was very little in musical theatre that you did love. I didn't want to get into Sondheim, since you wrote that there was "No need for the Sondheim devotees to come and defend him," but will point out that the one show of his you excepted, FOLLIES, wasn't one of my favorites and I saw the original cast with the same Boris Aronson sets and staging as the original ... twice. But I have enjoyed many of his shows over the years, including most of the original cast of COMPANY (except with George Chakiris as Bobby) and adored A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC the many times I saw it with Jean Simmons. You mention Michele Lee in HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING and SEESAW, and I'm one of her longtime fans, but have always enjoyed Bonnie Scott in the original HOW TO, and the 2 times I saw SEESAW with Lucie Arnaz and John Gavin, Arnaz truly knocked me out and I've long wished she were on the cast recording of it; but I did see Tommy Tune and he was a delight. And you mentioned HALF A SIXPENCE, which was so much fun on stage that I took friends back to see it again and wasn't disappointed, but the movie version of it was pretty bad (as are most movie versions of Broadway shows). You also mentioned SUNSET BOULEVARD which I saw with Glen Close, and pretty much hated it too, although it has 3 songs I still like a lot (but by others!), and even though I got Lloyd Webber to scribble his name on the front of the CD booklet of the original London cast with Patti LuPone, I'll probably never play it again. Incidentally, late last night I wrote a lot about Harold Pinter's THE HOMECOMING on the thread here about memorable shows we've seen on stage, although in the case of that one, I saw a different cast and refer mainly to the filmed version put out by American Film Theatre. The text on the back of the DVD box is fascinating (and now I see that you have seen my posting.) And I'd like to also cite The American Film Theatre's terrific version of Robert Shaw's THE MAN IN THE GLASS BOOTH, to which I have a very personal connection to one member of the film's cast. Thanks for writing and emphasizing that you have enjoyed a lot of great musical theatre over the years.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2013 - 9:17 AM   
 By:   Overtones   (Member)

I was 17 when I went to School in New York. Even with a very limited budget I managed to order a single orchestra ticket for any show that appealed to me as soon as an ad appeared in the Sunday New York Times. One ticket was for a musical that had just opened the day before. Even though I knew a little about the show, I was totally unprepared for the overwhelming, visual, aural and dramatic experience. It was staggering. I was so blown away that the very next day at school I talked to anyone who would listen into going back that night for standing room ($3.00). The impact was transcendent The show was West Side Story.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2013 - 9:18 AM   
 By:   Overtones   (Member)

I was 17 when I went to School in New York. Even with a very limited budget I managed to order a single orchestra ticket for any show that appealed to me as soon as an ad appeared in the Sunday New York Times. One ticket was for a musical that had just opened the day before. Even though I knew a little about the show, I was totally unprepared for the overwhelming, visual, aural and dramatic experience. It was staggering. I was so blown away that the very next day at school I talked to anyone who would listen into going back that night for standing room ($3.00). The impact was transcendent The show was West Side Story.

 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2013 - 10:15 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Overtones: Yes, I'm sure that was overwhelming at the time, probably like when people first saw SHOW BOAT and then, in 1943, OKLAHOMA! Those 2 and WEST SIDE STORY rocked musical theatre around the globe and we still feel their impact. And all 3 of those shows have been revived again and again and again, almost always successfully. (And you might want to edit one of your 2 posts, deleting the text and replacing it with duplicate. Just a thought.) Thanks for sharing your exciting experience.

Ron

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 4:11 PM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

I now have Sirrius XM Satellite radio in my car and am having way too much fun with the Broadway channel (as well as the old time radio channel. A pity they scrubbed the film score channel except online). Although with the Detroit Tigers trying to lock down their trip to the post season, the Tiger radio broadcasts are currently getting more airplay)

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 1:21 PM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)







Broadway in a Box Discs 20, 21, & 22
3 to go

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2013 - 4:46 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

Yes, the one about the Profumo affair in the early 1960s that so scandalized Britain at the time -- seems like an unlikely subject for a musical, but won't be the first for Lloyd Webber.

'Stephen Ward' is currently in it's preview stage and it opens in a couple of weeks at the Aldwych. The Original Cast Recording will be released in the UK on December 30th. From what I've read so far, it sounds pretty promising and favourable. I've heard a few songs from the score, and I have liked them very much.

This is Alexander Hanson as the title character performing the opening piece (very 'Sunset Boulevard' sounding to me)...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0-_5wwURb4



 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2013 - 5:09 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

I now have Sirrius XM Satellite radio in my car and am having way too much fun with the Broadway channel (as well as the old time radio channel. A pity they scrubbed the film score channel except online). Although with the Detroit Tigers trying to lock down their trip to the post season, the Tiger radio broadcasts are currently getting more airplay)

Another station I've been listening to recently is 'Jemm 3', which is available on the internet or the 'TuneIn Radio' app on your phone or tablet. They play a wide variety of Broadway and West End. Give it a listen...

http://www.jemmthree.com/

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2013 - 9:02 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Thanks, Thomas! But I'm afraid that it left me quite cold, although I might enjoy an interlude-like instrumental version of it! That's discouraging!

 
 Posted:   Dec 6, 2013 - 11:30 AM   
 By:   moviejoemovies   (Member)

I recently got into a discussion about favorite moments in live theatre, and I wrote about the 6 times I saw Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin and Bob Gunton in the American cast of "Evita" -- 6 truly memorable nights!

Oh, you've opened up that old wound from 33 years ago. I had tickets for "Evita" on Broadway for a Wednesday Matinee that I was looking forward to immensely. I'll never forget arriving at the Theatre to discover that Patti Lupone did not play the Matinees and Mandy Patinkin was out sick. It left an indelible mark on me and ever since that experience, the first thing I do when I walk into the theatre is check the signs on the wall announcing that " at this performance, the part of _______ wil be played by _______".

 
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