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Opening the can of worms: "America" 

Which version of "America" do you prefer?
Girls only - Rosalia and Anita 100%  100%  [ 28 ]
Total votes : 28

Opening the can of worms: "America" 
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Tony Winner
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Fogeyman wrote:
Personally, I'm partial to the Forbidden Broadway Chita Rivers vs. Rita Moreno version. :D


Amen

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Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:15 pm
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Off-Broadway Lead
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Yet another poll with only one choice showing. no wonder the girls only version has 100% of the vote


Thu May 11, 2006 4:19 am
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I find the male/female version not only fleshes out the bernardo character but creates a strong dynamic between anita and Nardo.

I find Sondheim's original stage lyrics for the f/f/ version a bit inane.

they actually offer both versions when you produce the show..i'd easily use the Nardo/Anita version.

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Thu May 11, 2006 5:54 am
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Fogeyman wrote:
Personally, I'm partial to the Forbidden Broadway Chita Rivers vs. Rita Moreno version. :D


I love Forbidden Broadway and that song lol


As to the real question at hand I think both versions have their ups and downs.

In the stage show America is the only number that the Shark girls really have. The guys get most of the action as well as must of the ensemble songs. The Jet girls are even usually included in Cool (at least the main Jet girls and its at the discretion of the director and the size of the cast whether to choreograph more into the song). America is the light-hearted side to the situation the Sharks are in (living conditions etc) as Krupke is the light hearted side to the situation of the Jets. To make a long story short for the stage, this number should be kept just girls.
However for the film, I think the whole point of adding the boys to America was fitting as to what was occuring at that time and it was typical for the men to see their old life as b eing better based on their limitations, while the women were enjoying all the anemities that came with life in America. Also in the film, it just added more to Bernado's character and gave George Chakiris, who had been a stage performer, a song, which otherwise he would not have had.


Thu May 11, 2006 9:35 am
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Young Hoofer
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i like the original version much better. they tried to keep so much of the lyrics of the original in the movie version so like half the lyrics don't even make sense. like: "12 in a room in america" that's taken from "hundreds of ppl in each room" from the original, it would make sense when making fun of puerto rico but not of usa


Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:10 pm
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So you can use either one? I think we're probably leaning towards the original. First of all, our Sharks were casted as the "minorities/guys who don't dance that well" because they dance so much less than the Jets. So having it be guy/girl might be catastrophic for choreography. Second of all, our Bernardo is not the best singer. He was basically casted on his dancing abilities and his dark hair. And third, our Rosalita is really talented (she was our Carrie in Carousel last year), and I doubt they would cast her for that role if she wasn't doing that song.

I've seen both the movie and stage version, and both sides have good points. Although including the guys gives them more of a part in the show, they act out of character with their "Jet" antics and weird voices. Although putting Bernardo and Anita as the leads in that song broadens their relationship, having Rosalita sing it gives it a new possible part and a whole "girl power" number. Like someone said before, the guys control this show so much, let the girls have their own number. All I can say is, if your school does that version, and you're a Shark, I feel bad for you.

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Sun Jan 28, 2007 2:52 pm
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I always thought "12 in a room in America" meant that the Puerto Rican immigrants would have to live 12 to a one - room apartment? Because of racism/bad conditions in America?

I prefer the version with the men in it, but that's the only way I've seen it done (school performance, blush :oops: )


Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:15 pm
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Does anyone know which version is used in Assassins? I think it makes more sense and is more interresting when the song is critical towards America (as in the movie version) than against Puerto Rico (as in the stage version).

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Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:40 am
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actually it is the film lyrics that byck sings..however its a very small part of the lyric.

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Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:26 am
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Salome wrote:
actually it is the film lyrics that byck sings.


That's what I thought. The movie lyrics suits better the underlying themes of immigration in WSS, and draws closer to alienation themes that run through Sondheim's canon in general.

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Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:12 am
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Post Hmmmm...
Dvarg wrote:
The movie lyrics... draws closer to alienation themes that run through Sondheim's canon in general.


I've discussed what I think about the suitability of the lyrics to West Side Story in the other recent thread about "America".

But this second part of your statement is interesting. Why should the lyrics (or any other content) of any show in particular be considered better if they "draw closer" to themes that appear in an artist's entire oeuvre?

Surely the only thing that truly matters is the contribution of the lyrics (or any other content) to the show itself? I do believe it's important to remember that each show should develop a language/form/style around it's content and the consistency to that language/form/style is part of what makes the show successful or not.

Similarities between works of an artist makes for interesting discussion, but they aren't essential, in a universal sense, to making an individual show great, are they?

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Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:45 pm
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Post Re: Hmmmm...
RainbowJude wrote:
Similarities between works of an artist makes for interesting discussion, but they aren't essential, in a universal sense, to making an individual show great, are they?


Possibly not, but it makes me like the movie set of lyrics more. It's my fetishism for coherence.

What do you mean by this:

RainbowJude wrote:
Going with the the original stage version, Tony and the Jet boys are developed as are Maria and the Shark girls


?

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Sun Aug 26, 2007 11:07 am
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