Amph The Magic of Musicals - for lovers of shows on stage or screen: Revival of Sweeney Todd

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by SithLordDarthRichie, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    I prefer my Jesus with less divine certainty, so I guess that means I agree with you. :p Well, definitely read the novel; like I say, I think it's great, but go whole hog and get the unabridged version. I've read it . . . five times, I think.

    But I've actually said before, though I don't know that I've said it on here, more or less what you've just said; The New Testament, the Gospels, is the story of Christ living the perfect example of a selfless life, but Les Miserables is about the redemption found when a flawed human being attempts to do the same. So, yes, in some ways it is more moving and, as you say, a powerful idea for a character . . . the idea that it is never too late to redeem yourself by becoming self-sacrificial and I don't mean that just in terms of dying, as he does in the end, but in terms of living your life for others, as Valjean does in the novel, somewhat less so in the musical, though Cosette is the symbolic Other in both cases.

    I suppose it is the worst kind of sentimentality when the dying Valjean sings at the end, "Forgive me all my trespasses and take me to Your glory." But it moves me anyway. Whether you believe in a literal heaven or not, I think heaven is the only possible ending for the character, within the world of the novel. I would guess that you can compartmentalize things like that in much the same way I can with more atheistic works of art and get the emotional catharsis of the character, plot and emotional arc of the story, even when you don't come close to believing what the novel posits in its universe. I guess if we couldn't compartmentalize like that, no one would read horror novels. :p And many of the religious classics wouldn't have survived into this less faith-based age. But Les Mis has and I think rightfully so; and if the book doesn't argue for God's existence, it argues for the redemptive power of Valean's belief in him, which is probably equally important. I think every person who calls themself a Christian should read Les Mis; it's a book about the powerful good that can result from faith, when it's done correctly, which I have always admitted, it often isn't.
  2. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

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    Dec 17, 2000
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    Well, yeah. I mean, I can certainly appreciate the power and transcendance of the Force within the world of its story, for example, or Trinity bringing Neo back to life with a kiss. Does the novel get pretty explicit with the Christian metaphysics?

    Like I said, I can appreciate a good story, but just as a non-Spidey fan isn't going to squee over "Go get 'em, tiger," religious symbolism etc. will never impact me as it will a true believer - no matter how well I rationally understand their meaning.

    But honestly I think that's a minor point re: my lack of Les Miz love. I just think it drags in between the good stuff. :p
  3. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    I do agree that Les Miz has slow points. It's disadvatage is how long it is. Obviously it wouldn't have run for as long as it has unless it was decent and kept getting a high attendance.

    I think the running time has changed. The movie was about 4 hours and the musical early in it's run was 3 and a half hours (I think it's now 3hours). I have trouble sitting through Hamlet despite it's quality, the same with Les Mis.

    Obviously being a hefty novel any adaptation will be long, so making it compelling all the time is not easy.
  4. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

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    The book is very concerned with Valjean's soul. God never actually 'appears,' if that answers your question. Valjean's faith is always viewed through the lens of the impact it has on his morality and his social conscience. The book is less concerned with proving God exists than showing us how the belief that He does might impact the decision making process. It's philosophical, but never preachy. In my opinion.

    I'm curious if anyone else has seen Miss Saigon.
  5. halibut Chosen One

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    Aug 27, 2000
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    I do know that the song Little People was severely cut in the show. Good idea I think as it doesn't fit in with the rest of the show.

    I have seen Miss Saigon. And it's the only musical I've seen where I knew absolutely nothing about the show before seeing it. No idea of the story, no idea of any of the songs. And I loved it. Last Night of the World and Bui Doi are my absolute favourites. I met my wife at a karaoke night, so we had karaoke at our wedding. And for the "first song", we sang Last Night of the World :)
  6. DarthIshtar Chosen One

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    Mar 26, 2001
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    I once heard a guy singing "Last Night of the World" in a tunnel on campus. He was quite surprised when I came in on Kim's part. And we sang the whole thing. Never saw him again. But Les Mis, I love. Javert for me is the best of the characters for his misguided complexity. And I always love Valjean's transformation from "Look Down" to "Who Am I?"
  7. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    I have not seen Miss Saigon, but I like some of the songs in it.

    I have a recording of Little People that is longer than the stage version appeared to be, which seemed a shame as I like the song (even if it isn't that relevant).

    Stephen Sondheim was on the news here last night speaking about why he thought government subsidies for the theate here were bad and why he wished the US had the same system.
    I think a man of his talent and experience has a lot to say and he is very respected over here. The BBC Proms season had an 80th Birthday Concert for him this year featuring renditions from many of his shows.
  8. DarthIshtar Chosen One

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    Mar 26, 2001
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    Is your version of "Little People" the one with the line about "a flea might bite the bottom of the Pope in Rome" and includes people laughing at things that are complete nonsense?
  9. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    Yeah that's the one.

    I discovered a while ago that there was a song omitted from The Phantom of the Opera movie that was new and not from the stage show. It's actually not a bad song and uses the same tune as Learn to be Lonely, the credit song that Minnie Driver sings.
    The song is called No-one Would Listen

    Andrew Lloyd Webber is producing a new version of The Wizard of Oz, due in the West End in 2011. Apparently 6 new songs have been written for the show [face_thinking]
  10. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 14, 2001
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    That sounds interesting...
  11. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    I hope it will be, although it will lagely depend on who the lyricist is for the show.

    Lloyd-Webber cast the lead through one of his reality shows. The winner, Danielle Hope, is a great talent. I think she will do well in the show and go on to great things in the West End.

    Here is the video released for her version of Over the Rainbow
  12. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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  13. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    And, to please Music Man fans here, she also did a rendition of 76 Trombones

    I thought of something interesting today whilst listening to one of my Simpsons soundtrack CDs - Does anyone have a favourite parody of a musical song or a cover from a TV show/movie?

    The Simpsons did an episode called My Fair Laddy where Lisa attempts to make Groundskeeper Willy into a more sofisticated person, and they did an Evita episode.
    There was also Sideshow Bob's modified rendition of I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face from My Fair Lady.

    Family Guy also did the Bag of Weed song which parodied Me Ol' Bamboo from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

    Anyone know any others?
  14. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Sideshow Bob would be a great Higgins.
  15. SoloKnight Force Ghost

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    Feb 13, 2003
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    Kill the Wabbit!

    Parody of an opera rather than a musical, but close enough.
  16. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    Looney Tunes are awesome.

    Kelsey Grammer does indeed have an great voice, I like Sideshow Bob's rendition of HMS Pinafore.
  17. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 14, 2001
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    "Oh, carrots are divine, you get a dozen for a dime, it's mmmaaaaagic!"

    Yes, they are awesome. That's "What's Opera, Doc?" by the way.
  18. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    Rumour going around that Michael Ball is in talks to star in the West End production of Shrek the Musical when in opens here in May 2011.
    That would be good, Ball is awesome.

    He will also be starring in Sweeney Todd again in the Spring.

    Sad to see Avenue Q close after 5 years in the West End. I never got to see it, but t was highly acclaimed and I was told it was very funny.
  19. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    I love Shrek the Musical. Especially "This is How a Dream Comes True," "Who I'd Be" and "Big, Bright, Beautiful World, reprise." Avenue Q was supposed to tour to Utah and then Gary Coleman died. In Utah. All of a sudden, no announcements about the upcoming run at the Capitol Theater.
  20. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Tonight on PBS:

    "David Hyde Pierce hosts the New York Philharmonic's salute to composer Stephen Sondheim; with Laura Benanti, Michael Cerveris, Victoria Clark, Jason Danieley, Joanna Gleason, Nathan Gunn, George Hearn, Patti LuPone, Marin Mazzie and Audra McDonald."

    9:00 - 11:00 PM PBS

    Also tonight on BBC America a reality show called "I'd Do Anything" about the auditions for a stage revival of "Oliver!
  21. DarthIshtar Chosen One

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    Mar 26, 2001
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    Oooh, very cool. I love Audra McDonald.
  22. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    "I'd Do Anything" was a good show which produced a number of talented girls. All of Lloyd-Webber's reality shows have been a hit so far and made big stars out of the participants.

    Children in Need aired last week and feautured John Owen Jones doing The Music of the Night as well as a performance from the cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

    It is great to see JOJ back in Phantom, I saw him in 2001 and he is one of the best singers ever to do the role. Add that the fact that Ramin Karimloo is playing the Phantom in the sequel Love Never Dies in London too and you have arguably the two best current Phantoms in the West End at the same time.
  23. DarthIshtar Chosen One

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    Mar 26, 2001
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    Love Never Dies is great music ruined by an utterly crap plot.
  24. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

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    And bad characterisation.
    Then again, if you look at what it is based on, it's hardly suprising.

    A shame really, with a bit more effort in the story and the characters it might have been a great show. A number of the songs are very good and the music is Lloyd-Webber's best for some years.
  25. Thrawn1786 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 8, 2004
    star 5
    I [face_love] this thread. The Les Mis discussion makes me especially happy; did anyone go to the 25th anniversary concert moviecast last week? It was aired on my birthday but I couldn't go cause I had to work. :(

    Re Love Never Dies, it's based on the novel The Phantom of Manhattan, which is even worse than what pops up onstage. I do like "Coney Island Waltz," "Til I Hear You Sing Once More," and "The Beauty Underneath" and pretty much try to view the whole thing as a fanfic that got lucky.

    Ishtar and SLDR, who do you think suffers the worst character assassination in LND- Christine, the Phantom, Raoul, or Meg?