May Madness: Revivals of the 2011-2012 Season

HAIR

To purchase the 2009 Broadway Revival Cast Recording of HAIR, click on the image above.

May is a mad month. A month of random musings about various topics related to musical theatre. Feel free to share your thoughts on each topic in the comment box below.

Revivals of the 2011-2012 Season

After a poor 2010-2011 season for revivals, the current season looks a great deal more promising. To which revival are you most looking forward? About which are you most intrigued? Which do you think will succeed? Which do you think will fail? Thoughts please…

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13 Responses to May Madness: Revivals of the 2011-2012 Season

  1. Brian says:

    Most looking forward to – Evita
    Most intrigued by – Porgy and Bess
    Follies will succeed.
    On a Clear Day will fail.

  2. gabriellivingston says:

    Most looking forward to Funny Girl.
    Most intrigued by Follies.
    Evita will succeed.
    Funny Girl will fail.

  3. Lauren Brooke Ellis says:

    Most looking forward to – Follies
    Most intrigued by – Godspell
    Funny Girl will succeed.
    Porgy and Bess will fail.

  4. Hans Anders Elgvang says:

    Follies must succeed.

    I think productions of Evita have become more and more about celebration and sexy, latin-flavoured music than about politics and a critical view of using popularity to become powerful. I don’t believe this will be better.

    I am intrigued by Funny Girl.

  5. Brian says:

    Gibson DelGiudice wrote:
    Funny Girl is a show that really depends on its lead and I don’t know Lauren Ambrose’s work, so color it on the fence.

    Funny Girl will be Ambrose’s first musical. Her only Broadway credits to date are revivals of Awake and Sing! and Exit the King.

  6. And now I’m even more on the fence, leaning toward “fail,” unless she can really step up her game.

  7. Most looking forward to the expected Jesus Christ Superstar transfer.

    Most intrigued by Godspell, which so far seems to have made all of the wrong casting choices and opened the floor with a sketchy investment scheme, which is never a good sign; if it opens, I’ll be surprised, but am willing to be proven wrong (Just discovered the producers have hired a special effects guy… for friggin’ Godspell! Any production that values style over substance loses! I predict a flop if it even limps its way onto the stage)

    Follies (moderately, before fading into obscurity as just another good-but-not-perfect production), Evita (hit or miss as to how effective Ricky Martin’s star power will prove; if very effective, a socko hit, if not a moderate success), the expected Jesus Christ Superstar transfer (really a generic production and not quite deserving of the love letters it got from the critics, but always sells well in America no matter the version) will succeed.

    On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (too obscure, and the changes have apparently done nothing for an already flawed show), Porgy and Bess (when Sondheim writes a letter in the NY Times effectively “burning” your show before it’s even opened, you might as well stick a fork in it no matter how ticket sales go, and early word of mouth is not good), and the remounting of the Hair revival (this started over the summer, technically isn’t this the end of last season? – also, ticket sales have not been good) will fail.

    Funny Girl is a show that really depends on its lead and I don’t know Lauren Ambrose’s work, so color it on the fence.

  8. Brian says:

    Hans Anders Elgvang wrote:
    I don’t see how (Lauren Ambrose) can avoid doing wonders with the lame score.

    What makes Funny Girl a ‘lame score’ for you?

  9. Hans Anders Elgvang says:

    Brian wrote:
    What makes Funny Girl a ‘lame score’ for you?

    The boring songs? I do really like “Don’t Rain On My Parade” and “I’m The Greatest Star”, but I think the rest sounds like an optimal cliché of Broadway music.

  10. Enrique Sanchez says:

    Evita is one of my top 5 musicals but I am not looking forward to it very much. My enthusiasm pretty much died the second I learned it was to be the recent London revival. Not that I was expecting yet another Harold Prince version (that’d be awesome), but I keep being let down by these so-called dynamic new stagings of my favorite musicals because, well, there’s absolutely nothing dynamic about them. They inevitably cause one to sorely miss what had worked so well before and in a way, I sort of hate feeling that way because I so want to be pro new takes and fresh perspectives. Sadly, most of what’s fresh and new to most audiences who lap it up is just awfully tacky, shallow, and – worst of all – far, FAR less effective than the apparently tired, washed-up versions of past years. This current obsession of wanna-be theatre directors of going in and gutting a proven work, talking trash about it, and claiming they will single handedly make a proven piece, well, a masterpiece by way of inserting meaningless details, ridding scenes of their subtext for in-your-face explanations and rationalizations that are spelled-out aggressively as if it were a flaw of prior versions, when all they’re achieving is insulting their superiors and their audiences.These morons DON’T KNOW THEATRE, much less respect it.

    I’m not willing to accept my favorite shows in forms that are drastically cut down and robbed of what made them work. I no longer applaud “freshness” or “revitalization” of older musicals because people’s idea of revitalization includes insulting the directors and creative teams of previous versions and exalting their own experimental messes, which are usually still very reliant on the original ideas. The recent Sondheim letter to the NYT greatly moved me because I knew EXACTLY how that man felt as he ranted on his disapproval and there really is nothing quite as infuriating as someone as influential as a director non-chalantly making the press rounds talking smack about something you’re passionate about and is revered by most. Now I just wish people would take the initiative and quit allowing themselves to be fooled by the hype and see hat most revivals nowadays are shadows of the originals. And no, I don’t mean sets. I mean in the areas that matter: concept, music, and storytelling in the truly unique form of expression known as live musical theatre.

    What made Evita so thrilling is gone and replaced by what is essentially the film on stage. I agree with Hans in that there’s an irritating focus placed on making it “authentic”. Jesus Christ, these people wouldn’t know nor feel the magic of true theatre if it crawled up their hineys. All they’d be concerned about is staging authentic Argentine dances, casting real Argentinians, having Webber’s brilliant orchs replaced by Tango-ey sounds throughout, making “Rainbow High” such a sorry excuse of a glamour number, completely missing the point.

    I’d happily settle with the ultra 70’s wood and mirror door of “Goodnight and Thank You” if it means I’d be treated to the effective revolving door concept that makes the number such a hoot. I’d gladly embrace the freako landing strip lighted stage deck if it will be the platform upon which “Buenos Aires” will tell of Evas torrid early days in the capital and reveal much inner demons, all by way of dance. Oh, I was very willing to accept new ideas, but when you see such a brilliant number reduced to choreography that is so full of itself and tells us NOTHING about the characters, the old suddenly begins to have a luster about it.

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