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Christian

Broadway Musical Soundtracks

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Ummm... there seem to be a series of posts by ranlin that are complete head scratchers

What? Haven't you yet had a chance to see Archlord Power Leveling: The Musical?

Dale

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Joe Biden said Barack Obama would be tested within 6 months of being elected.

I was moderator of this forum for one day before ranlin's ramble showed up.

Ranlin: Nice to meet you. Please explain your earlier post and how it relates to the current thread -- if you're still around

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Christian wrote:

: I was moderator of this forum for one day before ranlin's ramble showed up.

Moderator? Did I miss an announcement?

FWIW, I think ranlin's post is clearly spam; he or she (or it?) has posted several other posts like this in other threads today, and all of them seem to have hyperlinked ads embedded in them.

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Anna J   

Thanks, friends. I got rid of ranlin since I was in here anyway.

I couldn't agree more about Crawford and Butler. Poor Gerard....he tries so hard, and just ends up shouting. Gina - where might one get one of these "Crawford for Phantom" t-shirts? Ha.

I love all the Idina Menzel appreciation. I just saw Rent last weekend and while Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal were terrific as usual, I couldn't help wishing Idina were in there too. The touring Maureen is all right, but not spectacular.

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New to these boards - hello everyone!

We've forgotten Singin' in the Rain, Mary Poppins, and Chicago! What amazing writing... the hooks in these songs are out of this world! "Moses Supposes", "Good Morning", "Supercalifragilistic", "Spoonful of Sugar", "Chim Chiminee", "All That Jazz", "Roxie".... the list goes on and on!

I am also partial to the music from Into the Woods, particularly the Prologue from Act 1 and "It's Your Fault". Obviously, these are about the words, but I find their musical complexity lovely, too! Also, try giving "Steps of the Palace" a good sing-through once. The timing is maddening!

Of all the shows I've choreographed, I have to say that I most loved Anything Goes for its dance-ability and variety.

My two cents. :)

My Fair Lady? Sound of Music? and GUYS AND DOLLS!!!!

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Gina   

I have three different "Guys and Dolls" CDs. :) And I'd have bought a fourth if they'd recorded the new revival. It's a wonderful score.

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QUOTE (Christian @ Dec 14 2005, 02:53 PM) But I suspect that Sondheim might be a revered composer, not JUST a revered lyricist.

I know this is an ancient post, but you suspected correctly.

There's no composer of musical theater who's better than Mr. Sondheim. Sondheim effortlessly inhabits countless different styles, perfectly merges words with song, and finds an astonishing level of emotional--and even thematic--complexity within his scores. But admittedly, Sondheim's musicals are not as easily accessible, either as works of composition or as works of theater, and it's why his works have never been the blockbusters of the stage, like PHANTOM and LES MIS have managed to be. His works fit more comfortably alongside the works of someone like Kurt Weill than they do alongside the works of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Still, as an artist he operates on a higher level than practically any other composer in the field; his SWEENEY TODD remains the greatest work of composition ever produced for musical theater, bar none.

Edited by Ryan H.

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<!--quoteo(post=96767:date=Jan 5 2006, 02:52 PM:name=Jason Bortz)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Jason Bortz @ Jan 5 2006, 02:52 PM) </div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->

Idina Menzel plays Elphiba, the other lead in <i>Wicked</i>. She's also on the soundtrack/in the movie version of <i>Rent</i> as Maureen.

<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Thanks. It's her voice that I was drawn to, moreso than Chenowith's.

Putting this here, although a dedicated Wicked thread might not be a bad idea:

I have tickets to see Wicked at the Kennedy Center Aug. 2! Looking forward to it.

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Well, I suppose this is the best thread to discuss the current revival of Sondheim's FOLLIES playing at the Marquis on Broadway, since the revival was accompanied by a brand-new recording.

FOLLIES has always been something of an odd show, kinda like a weird cross between WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? and SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. The strange mix, though, is why FOLLIES remains one of the great theatrical accomplishments. When properly staged, FOLLIES is exhilarating and moving in equal measure, both an elegy and a celebration. While FOLLIES has looked very different every time it's been produced, with a book and score that has been constantly revised, for most the gold standard is the original 1971 Hal Prince/Michael Bennett production, which was grand on a scale that couldn't be replicated today. Subsequent revivals have often struggled to achieve a similar sense of scale (the remarkably pared-down 2001 Broadway production was largely regarded as an unmitigated disaster).

I must say, though, that the new production on Broadway is a winner. Recognizing that it could not match the sheer spectacle of the original, it makes sure that what hints of classic Broadway glamor deliver (the costuming is fantastic, across the board, and provides a sufficient touch of the old theatrical grandeur), and decides to let the energy of the performers carry the big show-stoppers ("Mirror, Mirror," the big show-stopping dance number, is as exhilarating as one could hope for it to be, with the performers displaying an irresistible joy and enthusiasm). Otherwise, the production plays up the spookiness, having transformed the sterile, modern Marquis theater into a dilapidated, old-fashioned stage where the ghosts of the past stalk the cast members.

But the real asset of the production is the pitch-perfect cast, which hasn't a weak link in the bunch. Considering that FOLLIES is an ensemble show, this is astonishing, but FOLLIES brings together a cast of tremendous talent across a wide age set, all of whom breathe new life into a score crammed with over-performed standards (Elaine Paige and Terri White knock it out of the park). But it's the four leads--Bernadette Peters, Ron Raines, Jan Maxwell, Danny Burstein--that give this production its heart and soul, giving their faded, wilted characters devastating honesty. Peters is particularly astonishing, given how well she transforms herself from her usually glowing self into a frumpy, fragile Sally Durant. When Sally's slide into madness reaches its apex with the ballad "Losing My Mind," my wife and I were in tears.

If I had the money and the time, I'd rush back to New York to catch it a second time before it closes on the 22nd of this month. But though I sadly won't have that chance, at least I'll have the terrific recording, which is the almost certainly the best recording of FOLLIES to date. Previous recordings were either incomplete (the Original Broadway Cast recording), disjointed (the '85 Concert recording), misguided (the Original London Cast recording), or listless (the '98 "Complete" recording). But this recording is both coherent and passionate, and Sondheim's tremendous score has never sounded better.

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I don't know if this is the best place for this link, but since we have no dedicated Rent thread (non-film), here's "Why I Still Love 'Rent,'" found courtesy of an ArtsJournal link.

 

I picked up a used CD soundtrack of the (I think) film version earlier this year -- maybe I posted about this elsewhere? - while on vacation with my family, then played it while driving around in our van. Ummm, it's not exactly family friendly, but that aside, I felt as though I no longer wanted to defend Rent. I've always had problems with some of its themes, but now the music - one or two songs excepted - seems less exciting/emotional/whatever than it once did to me.

Edited by Christian

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Evan C   

Why didn't I know about this thread sooner?

 

 

I picked up a used CD soundtrack of the (I think) film version earlier this year -- maybe I posted about this elsewhere? - while on vacation with my family, then played it while driving around in our van. Ummm, it's not exactly family friendly, but that aside, I felt as though I no longer wanted to defend Rent. I've always had problems with some of its themes, but now the music - one or two songs excepted - seems less exciting/emotional/whatever than it once did to me.

That's how I've always felt about Rent. It has a couple good songs, but other than that, I don't see what all the fuss is about.

 

Still, as an artist he operates on a higher level than practically any other composer in the field; his SWEENEY TODD remains the greatest work of composition ever produced for musical theater, bar none.

Amen.

 

On to a few more Broadway musicals that haven't been mentioned:

 

Sunday in the Park with George - because any album that has Mandy Patinkin singing "Finishing the Hat" and Patinkin and Bernadette Peters singing "Move On" is something special.

Merrily We Roll Along - the book has many, many problems, but the score is really a joy to listen to.

Sunset Boulevard - (LA cast recording) competes with Phantom for my favorite Lloyd Webber, and Glenn Close *is* Norma Desmond.

 

I second what Ryan said about the 2011 Follies revival.

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