Monday, October 26, 2009

A Way Back to Then


Hello J+1 Fans!!

I grew up a child of the 80's and 90's which of course means my first exposure to musicals were the blockbusters of the day: Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, slowly graduating to Rent, Aida and Next to Normal.

I loved and adored this over-synthesized music mostly because is was a departure from 'my parents' musicals like anything Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lerner & Loewe and Cole Porter.

Over time and being involved in musicals I'd come to appreciate even adore some of these musicals where theatre got it's start. One show I NEVER liked was 'South Pacific'...that is until I saw the most recent revival at Lincoln Center. The beauty of that production as transcending. The one thing I was stuck by was the overwhelming beauty and sound of a full orchestra and to hear a score the way it was written

This past week I had the fortune to see 'Finian's Rainbow'. I didn't know the story and was stuck by how amazingly SIMPLE this production is. In it's simplicity was it's beauty. I sat there and watched what a musical should be, no huge productions, simple sets, amazing dance numbers and a beautiful story strung together with stirring music.

It really made me wonder why we've gotten SO far away from it. I think think the bottom line is that when you have a good story, beautiful music - all else will come together. The flash and shizam we see today is simply a distraction from where the writers lack (i.e. Legally Blonde, Spring Awakening and any other slew of jukebox musicals)....oh a way back to then

3 comments:

  1. Haha! First you said shizam! I love it! I prefer to "shazzam" it myself but what the heck.

    But yes, I too began with Les Miz and Miss Saigon and the likes and always thought these huge over the top productions were the norm. It wasn't until I actually began to do theater myself that I realized what true "theater" was.

    I happen to think FR is one of the best musicals I've seen in along time. For exactly the same reasons you pointed out. It just simply is. I couldn't have said it any better.

    Thanks for sharing the shazzamity with us, Jeremy!

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  2. You are welcome. True theatre and be so much MORE moving when left alone and without all the 'decorations'

    It's an indication of our society today that's for sure

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  3. Hahaha! Looks like Justin hated the current production. Lol! 5, 6, 7, 8! Shazzam!

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