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Pro-marriage or anti-marriage (or neither)? 

Pro-marriage or anti-marriage (or neither)?
Pro-marriage. Listen to 'Being Alive'. 41%  41%  [ 9 ]
Anti-marriage. 'Being Alive' was tacked on to make audiences feel better. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
It's deliberately ambiguous, and should be performed that way. 36%  36%  [ 8 ]
It can be interpreted/performed well either way. 23%  23%  [ 5 ]
It makes no statement or judgement about this at all. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Other. 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 22

Pro-marriage or anti-marriage (or neither)? 
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Off-Broadway Lead
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Post Pro-marriage or anti-marriage (or neither)?
Do you think that Company has a positive or negative view of marriage overall? This was discussed a bit in an older thread (http://www.musicals.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=66398) in which qmechanic mentioned this article (http://www.carlinamerica.com/newsletter/intune2.html), which outlines the various different finales considered by the creators. Some say that the more pro-marriage 'Being Alive' was not true to the spirit of the show, and was added to make the show more acceptable to audiences. OTOH, Sondheim has said (I think it was quoted in the book 'Art Isn't Easy'?) that they did intend the show to be pro-marriage. What do you think?


Fri Oct 10, 2008 4:44 pm
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Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
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Sondheim has said in interviews that both that the show is pro-marriage and, at another part of hte interview, that it is in both points of view. Being alone is impossible, he said. Marriage isn't perfect and has problems, and these problems have no solutions.


Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:16 pm
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Fresh Face
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Post happily ever after....
to preface this, "Company" is my favorite Sondheim show (although I don't think it's his best...that right is reserved for "Sweeney" and "Sunday")

well, if you listen to to the cut song "Happily Ever After," it's pretty much an anti-marriage viewpoint. BUT...Sondheim said the reason "Happily Ever After" was cut was because some of the producers thought that the same effect was needed, but with a more optimistic tone. thus, "Being Alive." But I thought the effects were completely different?

Here's the catch: Bobby makes such a quick change from sour and ambivalent to proactive and pro-commitment with "Being Alive", that it's hard to justify anything but a pro-marriage view. there's basically no "well, I'm starting to think about wanting to be with someone" moment. it goes from one extreme to the next. "Tick Tock" helps us get inside Bobby a little more, but..."Being Alive" has to be performed as stringently pro-marriage and basically uplifting and powerful or else the audience is taken nowhere with the character of Bobby. if only Sondheim hadn't written such an amazing song, we would view this quick shift as a dramatic flaw...but it's such an amazing, amazing moment that we don't really care.


Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:28 pm
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Off-Broadway Lead
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Yeah, personally I don't really believe in Bobby's change, even though it is a great song. The book From Assassins To West Side Story (by Scott Miller) has a chapter where he tries to find progress throughout the show to Bobby's pro-marriage viewpoint, but I don't find his analysis to be very convincing. I think the show's score is great, but other aspects of it annoy me.


Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:21 pm
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Fresh Face
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I couldn't comment as to any official answer, but I personally like to think of it as being just generally ambiguous - or making no certain comment either way on the matter of marriage. Sorry/Grateful pretty much sums up what I think to be the ideas of marriage in the show - it's just kind of... there, with both good points and bad, and there is no use in glamourising it, or showing it in a bitter light.


Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:24 pm
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Broadway Legend
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I does not feel that the show really is about marriage. To me it is about identity. It is about Bobby. How Bobby is whoever his friends want him to be. In the end, Bobby realizes that not being dead, isn't the same as being alive. He also realizes throughout the show, that as long as you don't know yourself, you can't learn to know others, and others can't learn to know you. Therefore, he is not ready to get married before he realizes who he truly is.

This is just the way I see it though.


Sun Feb 22, 2009 4:24 pm
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Fresh Face
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Do you feel marriage and becoming parents have to be a package deal?
Im just wondering how many people believe in "first comes love, then comes marriage, and then comes a baby carriage"? And if so, does marriage actually guarantee an ideal parenting/upbringing situation for a child? How do you guys feel?
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Last edited by pamelax on Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Wed Jun 03, 2009 10:20 pm
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Tony Winner
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In some stagings, there is a gay couple - even though it isn't specifically called for, I found it working in one production. I haven't seen the revival, and I'm basing my answer on the original production which I've seen, and done in college.

I believe that Being Alive means that Bobby is ready for what's next. For him, that will probably be marriage with someone - and by opening himself up, he will be more likely to find the person who is uniquely his, and "waiting."

As for changes leading up to this moment - even the most sardonic of the group KEEPS getting married, even when it fails - there must be a reason she's done it three or four times. For myself, after 28 years of marriage, even several rocky years, and a short separation, it IS the little things. I wouldn't trade it for the world, and that's part of the point of view I personally bring to this musical.

All this to say I voted "marriage" - the first option. :D

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Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:28 am
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