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Details on the 1980 Paris production 
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: Details on the 1980 Paris production
Hans wrote:
Thanks for the information.

Haha, that makes no sense. Why should La Misere be more difficult to transalte than any of the other songs? It's not as if the translations are particilarly close to the originals anyway. Besides, Fantine still keeps La Misere as Come to me, Cosette.


Agree !

That's why I said "Official reason", as in my opinion, it makes no sense... :eh:

Maybe the "real" reason is that they had to give more importance to Eponine in order to cast someone in that role without her arguing that the role is not important enough.
It is known that Michael Ball said he would not accept the role if "Empty Chairs" was not added. It could be the same for Frances Ruffelle as Eponine...

This is only speculations from me... :shh:


Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:29 am
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Post Re: Details on the 1980 Paris production
Gargamel wrote:
Maybe the "real" reason is that they had to give more importance to Eponine in order to cast someone in that role without her arguing that the role is not important enough.


Sounds plausible. I suspected it was because they wanted a hit song, and either thought La Misere sounded more lie a hit than L'un vers l'autre and/or that they thought that plugging the La Misere tune would help making it a hit.

I agree it probably would be too radical changing it by now. Yet, I have heard of productions of Hamlet cutting the To be ot not to be soliloqui...

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Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:42 am
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Post Re: Details on the 1980 Paris production
Hans wrote:
Gargamel wrote:
Maybe the "real" reason is that they had to give more importance to Eponine in order to cast someone in that role without her arguing that the role is not important enough.


Sounds plausible. I suspected it was because they wanted a hit song, and either thought La Misere sounded more lie a hit than L'un vers l'autre and/or that they thought that plugging the La Misere tune would help making it a hit.

I agree it probably would be too radical changing it by now. Yet, I have heard of productions of Hamlet cutting the To be ot not to be soliloqui...


I am really shocked about the Hamlet thing. Is nothing sacred??


Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:59 pm
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Post Re: Details on the 1980 Paris production
Gargamel wrote:
It is known that Michael Ball said he would not accept the role if "Empty Chairs" was not added.


To be more exact, after he was already cast there was talk of cutting "Empty Chairs," but he threatened to quit if it was cut, because Marius's character would have been "neutered" without it.

I just wanted to clarify because I do love Michael Ball... he wasn't some prima donna who demanded an unnecessary big solo... he just didn't want to lose the big solo he already had, for the sake of the depth it brought to his role. :D


Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:21 pm
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Tony Winner
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Post Re: Details on the 1980 Paris production
Vanessa20 wrote:
Gargamel wrote:
It is known that Michael Ball said he would not accept the role if "Empty Chairs" was not added.


To be more exact, after he was already cast there was talk of cutting "Empty Chairs," but he threatened to quit if it was cut, because Marius's character would have been "neutered" without it.

I just wanted to clarify because I do love Michael Ball... he wasn't some prima donna who demanded an unnecessary big solo... he just didn't want to lose the big solo he already had, for the sake of the depth it brought to his role. :D


You're right... My post could sound as he acted like a diva.
Thanks for correcting it.


Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:52 pm
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Post Re: Details on the 1980 Paris production
No problem. I knew you probably didn't mean it the way it sounded. :D :D


Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:45 am
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Post Re: Details on the 1980 Paris production
humanracer wrote:
I am really shocked about the Hamlet thing. Is nothing sacred??


I'm always baffled by how radical theatre direction must be in Norway compared to other places. In Norway a director is considered very consevative, if not reactionary, if they don't make some substantial changes in a script of a play/musical.

Personally, obviously, I think it's ridiculous.

For the last great revival of WSS here, for example, they had "improved" the play by rearranging the scenes, making America close the first act, cut I Feel Pretty and had both Tony and Maria die.

Regarding anything as "sacred" in theatre here is a great taboo, in effect an insult towards both the audience and the director.

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Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:04 am
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Post Re: Details on the 1980 Paris production
Hans wrote:
For the last great revival of WSS here, for example, they had "improved" the play by rearranging the scenes, making America close the first act, cut I Feel Pretty and had both Tony and Maria die.


Whaaaaat? I don't know if what schocked me the most between the Hamlet thing and that.
I don't consider anything sacred in a play, I like directors who make changes in a show rather than simply copy what had been done before. But you can't just cut I Feel Pretty. Or To be or not to be for that matter. Cutting them takes off a horrible lot in the depth of the characters.

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Tue Jun 04, 2013 5:20 am
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Post Re: Details on the 1980 Paris production
Mibuulle wrote:
Cutting them takes off a horrible lot in the depth of the characters.


Yup. but the director gets to shine because of his/her "bold" and "irreverent" approach. Which is after all the main goal of a play.

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Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:58 am
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Post Re: Details on the 1980 Paris production
Actually, cutting "I Feel Pretty" could be seen in many ways as an improvement...

Personally I have no issue with dramatic changes to a piece as long as it's an actual artistic improvement, and not just change for the sake of change. I think reinstating both "La Misere" and "L'un vers l'autre" would be marked improvements to the show artistically- a shame those sorts of decisions are now usually made for monetary reasons rather than artistic.


Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:28 am
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Post Re: Details on the 1980 Paris production
Flynn wrote:
Personally I have no issue with dramatic changes to a piece as long as it's an actual artistic improvement, and not just change for the sake of change.


Would you think the same about a novel, a painting, a movie or a symphony?

The point for me is that it is the composer, the lyricist and the book writer who are the artist, not the director, who should just interpret the material, not "improve" it. If the director feel the piece needs improvement, he/she should either abstain from directing it or direct it like it is, wars and all.

Putting back L'un vers l'autre is obviously somewhat different, as it is already composed by Schönberg and Boublil. It's more like using text from the different editions from the early plays by Shakespeare, or putting back lost/cut material from a classic novel or movie.

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Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:03 am
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Post Re: Details on the 1980 Paris production
I rather agree with Flynn, as long as the director do not pretend it is the original show, I can find some changes interesting. To me, every person who contributes to a show can be called an artist : the lyricist as well as the director, the performers or the electrician.
But cutting I Feel Pretty or make both Tony and Maria die... no, that's ridiculous. I think that West Side Story is one of the best musicals ever and every change can only be a ludicrous impoverishment of the show.

And I rather find "L'un vers l'autre" boring... probably because of the lyrics. :)

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Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:55 am
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