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Harold Prince Interviews 
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Post Harold Prince Interviews
Review Journal has an interview with Harold Prince about the Las Vegas production. Among the interesting things he says:

Harold Prince wrote:
(The Phantom of the Opera has) never gotten boring to me. And I think that's because its underpinnings are psychologically valid and dangerous. It's an entertainment, and yet what it says is universal: Do not assume because someone is grotesque that they're threatening. We all shy away from a visual. You can be shying away from someone with a heart of gold and a giant intellect.

It's an interesting article, with a funny anecdote at the start about people who dressed up as Prince instead of characters from the show during "Phantom Fans Week".

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Post Re: Harold Prince Interviews
Here's a new interview with Harold Prince about the 25th anniversary from The Huffington Post. Nothing very profound, but some nice little bits and pieces.

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Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:59 pm
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Post Harold Prince Interviews
Playbill also has an interview with Harold Prince about the 25th anniversary. I thought the most interesting thing he said was this:

Harold Prince wrote:
From the first day of rehearsal, [maintaining a sense of menace throughout the show] was the first thing I addressed with the whole company. We were in a rehearsal hall in Lambeth, across the Thames, and I said, "This whole play is designed to keep the audience always, always on the alert, and you must contribute to that." There is not a single scene in the show that does not have a surprise in it. It was designed that way, in terms of the book and the score, and if you look carefully at it, there's always a surprise in each scene. Sometimes it's fire that you don't know is going to be there, sometimes it's a voice, sometimes it's a piano playing by itself, but there's always something, and sometimes it's a piece of scenery almost falling on a diva. It's always there, and it's very important. I thought we must not have a single scene that doesn't have that.

I thought this was interesting because I certainly didn't feel that when I saw the show. That kind of immediacy might have made the whole affair less theatrically unsatisfying for me, though one would still be stuck with the thin dramatic material, I suppose. But the whole thing felt so paced out and contrived to me. It felt like a bunch of people working really hard to create an effect, but all you saw was the work, not the effect. I guess it would help them not to have to fight the material's intrinsic emptiness every step of the way.

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Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:07 pm
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Post Re: Harold Prince Interviews
I did sense that menace but it only appealed to me as a kid, since kids tend to latch onto the mystery and ghostly aspects of the show, so I was naturally attuned to those perceived threats. I grew out of it and couldn't deny the fact the story as adapted in the musical plays out in a very unsophisticated manner that caters beautifully to audiences who will only invest themselves loosely at best for 2 and a half hours, and will likely be wondering about what they're gonna get for lunch the next day rather than having approached such a ludicrous story with a sense of wonder or any degree of seriousness, for that matter.

I don't know how anyone can see past the cringe-worthy dialogue between Mme. Giry and the managers during Hannibal and the resulting reactionary shrieks from the ballet troupe when she announces in sinister voice bathed in dark accent...

Giry: I have a note...frrrrom de OPERRRRA GHOST!!!!

Corps de Ballet: EEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!!!!!!!

Cue to audience: *Feel threatened until further notice*

Or the troublesome detail that the ghost is also a serial killer and not to mention the many loose ends in the book, like when Christine has a nervous break down and declares she won't do his opera, only to be vocal rehearsing it a few seconds later. No explanation given and nothing anyone would logically deduce as proper rationale for her change of heart. Did Raoul convince her? If that's the case, why spend so much energy staging such a dramatic scene in which we are meant to sympathize with her desire not to buckle under the pressure? Only supports the air-headed Christine perception. Such neglect is insulting to those in the audience concerned with getting more than just a "show" out of the experience. It's really sad I feel this way about it today, because it did bring lots of joy when I was a kid.

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Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:20 pm
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Post Re: Harold Prince Interviews
It's amazing how such a childish, cringeworthy show has pleased so many people for 25 years---but, then, the great, unwashed thousands don't have your finer sensibilities. :problem:


Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:08 am
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Post Harold Prince Interviews
Pastiche wrote:
It's amazing how such a childish, cringeworthy show has pleased so many people for 25 years...

It certainly is. :wtf:

Pastiche wrote:
... but, then, the great, unwashed thousands don't have your finer sensibilities.

And they are the poorer for it. :thumbdown:

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Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:23 am
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Post Re: Harold Prince Interviews
Pastiche wrote:
... but, then, the great, unwashed thousands don't have your finer sensibilities.


Quote:
And they are the poorer for it. :thumbdown:


Rail as you like, the show continues to bring pleasure to its audiences. It must be very annoying. :x


Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:38 am
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Post Harold Prince Interviews
Pastiche wrote:
... but, then, the great, unwashed thousands don't have your finer sensibilities.

RainbowJude wrote:
And they are the poorer for it. :thumbdown:

Pastiche wrote:
Rail as you like, the show continues to bring pleasure to its audiences. It must be very annoying. :x

Not annoying, no. The feeling it elicits is more in line with that which is felt when one watches adults play with children's building blocks simply because they won't make the effort to develop the facilities that will help them move on. And even then, it's only for a short time. There are better musicals to think about.

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Sun Oct 30, 2011 3:33 am
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Post Re: Harold Prince Interviews
Golly! Other musicals? Other musicals that might be worth watching and thinking about? Many thanks for this startling information!


Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:43 pm
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