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


  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!

  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

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