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Post ALW Musicals: On CATS
On Cats:

Idiosylph wrote:
These elements of immaturity of which you speak, can you give examples? I will agree about the simplicity of certain shows. Cats has only the barest plot to start with. But, as many fans would tell you, that's one of the fun things about it. It leaves so much to the imagination that it allows each of us to have our own interpretation of the show and the characters.

Cats has a straightforward plot, but I wouldn't call it bare and I'm not certain that I would call it simple either. I think that what makes it complex is the huge role that dance and choreographed movement play in this show as a tool for communicating things like character, character relationships and even bits of narrative, things that would more conventionally be revealed through the book or the score. The thing that makes people underestimate this complexity is either a misunderstanding of the ability of dance and choreographed movement to communicate these things, which subsequently makes them write off the physical staging of the show as mere "hoofing" for the sole purpose of entertainment, or an underdeveloped ability to read these things when they are translated into the medium of dance and choreographed movement rather than into words and/or music.

Does that mean that Cats has to rely on its original staging to communicate all of these things? No, of course not and I don't think Cats is as masterful a staging, for example, as A Chorus Line is. One could strip the show of its original choreography, but the new choreographer would have to study the original choreography thoroughly to find out what is encoded into that choreography in terms of character, character relationships and narrative so that those ideas are encoded into the new dance vocabulary that he or she develops for the show. It would be a tough assignment to take on.

Of course, the other end of the stick is seen when fans read too much of their own interpretation into the show. Dance, of course, does allow for a certain amount of subjectivity, but I've rarely seen such a thin line between real show mythology and fan fiction as I have in certain forum posts I've read about Cats and I wouldn't agree that the show 'leaves so much to the imagination' that it allows for absolutely free interpretation of the characters, their relationship and the narrative. It's not that empty and I think if an interpretation fails to take into account what is communicated within the text of the show, including the dance and choreographed movement as outlined above, is an interpretation that is lacks credibility.

What I'd really love to see is a Cats book that incorporates the dance notation - with illustrations and thoroughly annotated, of course - along with the libretto to give a complete take of what is packed into whatever the official version of the show is. An appendix could include the same information for scenes that have changed since the original production.


Last edited by RainbowJude on Mon May 31, 2010 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sun May 30, 2010 5:59 am
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Post ALW Musicals: CATS, JOSEPH, STEX and Young Audiences
On Cats and Young Audiences:

Idiosylph wrote:
(The simple plot of Cats) also makes the show very accessible to younger audiences while entertaining older audiences at the same time. I know that I wouldn't take a small child to see The Phantom of the Opera. It would be too intense for them in some spots and could quite possibly bore them. With Cats, there is interaction with the performers and the audience, and there are plenty of bouncy numbers that can keep children's' attention.

I think that Cats is obviously a better show for younger children than The Phantom of the Opera, but I do think that there are parts of the show that are very intense for small children. I know that when I saw the show again late last year, I had a friend who brought her daughter to see it on the same night. Her daughter loved the show overall and apparently listened to the cast recording non-stop for weeks afterwards, but she did find the cats entering through the audience, parts of the Growltiger sequence and pretty much everything to do with Macavity very frightening. That said, the rest did hold her attention and her mother found it very entertaining too.

On Joseph...:

Idiosylph wrote:
Another thing to remember is that certain shows, like Joseph were made for children and schools to be able to perform. I believe that Joseph in particular was made for Andrew Lloyd Webber's younger brother's school.

Alan Doggett commissioned the original cantata version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He was the head of the Colet Court music department, Colet Court being the prep school for St Paul's. Although Doggett taught Julian Lloyd Webber, I don't know whether he (the younger Lloyd Webber) actually attended Colet Court and he certainly would have moved on from there long before the premiere of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as he would have been 17 years old by that time.

On Starlight Express:

Idiosylph wrote:
Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote Starlight Express with his children in mind. So, in that, the fast races and shiny costumes are made to appeal to children.

The problem with Starlight Express - well the one that is related to this discussion anyway - is that the show is so filled with innuendo that I would rather not take a child to see it, even if the fast races and shiny costumes would entertain them. Lloyd Webber and Trevor Nunn may have been encouraged or had their intuition affirmed by the idea that their children were captivated by their toy train sets and/or their excitement at seeing real trains for the first time, but I'm not certain that the show itself is one that feels like it was written with 'children in mind'. I think there is a fantastic coming of age story somewhere in the unfocused mess that is Starlight Express and if someone was able to find that and focus it, then the show could really be transformed into a decent and worthwhile piece of musical theatre, rather than the bland sports spectacle that it is in its present form.

On Young Audiences:

Idiosylph wrote:
I think you really do have to keep in mind the intended audience for the show when you start saying things like "it's simple" or "immature."

diva! wrote:
I agree that it is good that Andrew Lloyd Webber writes musicals for children and that they are simple in the way that children enjoy them. I prefer it when a musical I watch has a tad more substance.

Of course one does, but I don't think that any of Lloyd Webber's shows, with the possible exclusion of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat - depending on which version to which one is referring, is squarely and/or exclusively aimed at young audiences. I don't see how someone could watch Jesus Christ Superstar or Evita, for example, and feel as if they have no substance, when both are complex pieces of musical theatre that offer the mind as much as they offer the senses.

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Last edited by RainbowJude on Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:08 pm, edited 4 times in total.



Sun May 30, 2010 9:12 am
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I'm not so good at quoting, so this will be without quotes.

I think part of the problem with people underestimating Cats is the poor film. Many of the editing choices rob the story from the show, especially when the camera jumps everywhere in intricate dance sequences so the steps cannot be followed properly. Additionally, despite what the squealing inclined my espouse, there are several poor casting choices and performances. Mistoffelees, Munkustrap, Jellylorum, Demeter, Mungojerrie, Skimbleshanks... All of these I feel are lacking in the film, in portrayals of the character that I don't think rings true. Also, the US version of the show is significantly toned down, avoiding the darker an more sexual elements of the show, 'Disneyfiying' it in a way that it should not.

For changing the Choreography, for Cats, I think it is as much part of the base show as the music and lyrics, and probably much more so than the lyrics, which can have very successful translations (such as Michael Kunze's German) that don't stick completely closely to the original. Of what I have seen, the Polish production is the best of the non-replica shows.


The origin of Starlight Express is from Webber being commissioned to write a Cinderella with trains, a project that never came to fruition. I do not know how much of the music was kept, but that was the first seed. It was Nunn, as far as I know, who suggested making it more about the races, and created the storyline. So I suppose you can say Webber wrote the music with children in mind. Stilgoe's lyrics are very naughty, but that's hardly unusual. Many things aimed at children are littered with adult jokes. To keep the parents amused as well, and us big kids.

As for masterpieces, I will always vote for Cats. I find the music Webber wrote to ring perfectly true to the feline character. However, it is not just his, but I find that the whole show blends together in such a magical way, so long as it is staged properly.


Sun May 30, 2010 9:56 am
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Post ALW Musicals: The Complexity of CATS
On the Complexity of Cats:

Moongewl wrote:
Cats isn't some terribly intricate piece of work. So? It doesn't pretend to be. It's a visual feast, and that's what I like about it.

I would (begin to) challenge the first point (that the show is not intricate) using the argument I've outlined a few posts above. Cats most certainly is intricacy in the choices it uses to tell the story it tells. The second point (the justification of the first, that Cats doesn't 'pretend to be' anything other than a 'visual feast') I would counter simply by quoting the words of the show's creators from the most basic of sources - a playbill from a recent production:

Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote:
The musical and dramatic images that ("Grizabella the Glamour Cat") created for me made me feel that there was very much more to the project than I had realised.... a dramatic whole...

In other words, there is more to Cats that there appears to be on the surface.

Trevor Nunn wrote:
It is this quality in the poems of hidden sophistication and double entendre that is so satisfying to grown-ups. Each poem is of course a precise and accurate definition of a particular cat, but at one and the same time... satirising the cats' owners, and the English society in which they live.... (T)here is the sense of an England now lost and never to return, a quality that Andrew Lloyd Webber has described in his music for instance in Old Deuteronomy.... The discovery about Grizabella the Glamour Cat was a fulcrum moment in our work. Here in eight lines, Eliot was describing an intensely recognisable character, with powerful human resonances, while introducing the themes of mortality and the past.... (I)f Eliot had thought of being serious, touching, almost tragic in his presentation of a feline character, then we had to be doing a show which could contain that material, and the implications of it.

Otherwise put, the adaptation gains a great deal of intricacy because of its source and the creators of the show had to create an intricate mythology to tie the characters together into one narrative that isn't only about the whimsy of many of the cats that appear in the show but also embraces the darker, more tragic characters that inhabit the world of Cats. Because of Eliot's poems, the show is able to boast a certain level of sophistication and thematic resonance. The incontrovertibility of this reading is only aided by a comparison with a similar show that has no comparable source material: Starlight Express comes nowhere near being as sophisticated or resonant, despite attempting to recycle some of the same narrative strategies used in Cats.

Gillian Lynne wrote:
Having observed that cats are at once aloof, hypersensual, cold, warm, completely elastic and mysterious, the goals we set ourselves physically were daunting in their attempt to translate those wonderful worlds in an exciting theatrical and witty way.

As such, the role of dance, choreographed movement and gesture as tools for creating characters and the relationships that exist between them is an indispensable part of the show and contributes in no small way to its complexity. It is intricately done work indeed.

Taken this way, it is impossible to assume the show is one that is empty or that it is about 'nothing', as this poster tries to pretend:

QuaxoCoricopat wrote:
Personally, I like to compare Cats to Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. While I'd say that Waiting for Godot was the superior piece, they've got the same literary concept of shows about "nothing" that force the audience to come to conclusions versus telling them what to think. There are no "right" answers when it comes to CATS...

What absolute nonsense. Not only does this show a complete misunderstanding of Waiting for Godot and the Theatre of the Absurd, but also completely sells short Cats as a piece of theatre in its own right. I'd love to see someone try to write an essay explicating the thesis that Cats is an Absurdist play, but I think the only thing it would prove is the extent to which it is not one except in perhaps the very broadest parts of the definition, which renders the attempt meaningless anyway. Even if Cats were to be reinterpreted at the level of production as Theatre of the Absurd, it would be a production that is very different to the staging that is common to most professional productions at this point in time and to achieve this the intention of the choreographic text would have to be altered and you'd still have the problem of negotiating the redemptive narrative around which the show is based.

In short, there are right answers when it comes to Cats - but you can't discover them by asking the wrong questions or by pretending the show is something that it isn't.

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Sun May 30, 2010 9:13 pm
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Post ALW Musicals: CATS and Disney, and Masterpieces
On Cats and Disney?

Pounce wrote:
When I first started posting here years ago, I suggested that Cats might be performed in a slightly different way. Well, the backs were arched, the fur was raised, and the claws came out!

Moongewl wrote:
You were suggesting that Disney do Cats.... It wasn't the suggestion of change - because after all we've seen Cats get butchered a dozen completely different ways and changed for the better in countless small (or occasionally big) ways. It was the suggestion that it be Disney, which people feel strongly about, because A) it's, well, Disney, and B) Eliot himself was dead-set against it.

Pounce wrote:
Some people.... seemed to take it somewhat personally or make wild assumptions of the result such as introducing Mickey and Goofy into the cast, something which Disney hasn't done in its (six) shows...

A) What's wrong with Disney? Certainly nothing that is so universal that it can be applied to every film every made. Treasure Planet and Home on the Range may both be awful films, but they are awful for different reasons. Furthermore, even if the studio's output isn't always consistently great as examples such as these show, Disney has a legacy of crafting fine animated films when they are presented as a part of their mainstream classics line, films that cover a range of genres and which indicate that Disney does understand (to an extent) that animation is a medium, not merely a genre. So I'm afraid this is yet another generic argument that doesn't add up if what is being discussed so cryptically here is an animated adaptation of the film. However, the idea in Pounce's post that his suggestion related to Cats being 'performed in a slightly different way' and his response to Moongewl makes me think that perhaps the suggestion was for the show to be produced by Disney Theatricals, in which case I'd also wonder where the objection lies. Disney's stage productions have each been very different from one another and each have unique problems with the most common criticism aimed at the books and scores of the respective shows. Cats already has these, so what's the problem with Disney producing the show in principle if it wasn't something else specifically to do with Pounce's suggestion for the production itself?

B) T.S. Eliot was dead set against an animated adaptation of his poetry, mainly because he was worried his cats would become too cute. Cats an adaptation of his his poetry and an adaptation of Cats would be something completely different from an adaptation of Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Disney would probably have made a series of shorts compiled into a film as was the modus operandi for all of the Disney films in the late 1940s, when the the project was suggested to Eliot and when he turned it down. However, the animation industry has transformed itself more than once since then and who is to say what he would think now? Furthermore, in spite of Valerie Eliot's approval and support of the show, there's no guarantee that Eliot would have liked what Cats ultimately became either, so the point is moot.

On Masterpieces:

RainbowJude wrote:
Anyone else find it odd that a non-fan finds The Phantom of the Opera, of all shows, to be a masterpiece? A wildly popular success, perhaps, but a masterpiece requires its characters to be a little more developed than what we get even in some of the principal characters of the show - unless the definition of a masterpiece has changed from being 'a consummate example of skill or excellence'.

Hans wrote:
David, which ALW show is, in you opinion, his masterpiece?

jcstar wrote:
Andrew Lloyd Webber's masterpiece is Jesus Christ Superstar and everything else he did with Tim Rice.

Off the top of my head, I think I tend to agree with Andy's choice. I'd say Jesus Christ Superstar with Evita coming in second.

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Last edited by RainbowJude on Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:16 am, edited 3 times in total.



Mon May 31, 2010 9:15 am
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David, as usual it's fascinating to learn what you think about things :)

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Mon May 31, 2010 12:12 pm
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Post ALW Musicals: ALW and the Popularity of Musical Theatre
On ALW and the Popularity of Musicals:

jcstar wrote:
Andrew Lloyd Webber understands the necessity of musical theatre being "popular." In his own words: "When I met Tim Rice... musical theatre was a gone form, and we were supposed to be the Beatles and Elvis Presley. Tim understood that we wanted to bring theatre back to the mainstream."

I'm not sure that there is a necessity for musical theatre to be "popular" in the context implied above - one in which the form relies on being up to date in its musical style - in order to survive as an art form. Obviously, there has to be some sort of following and musical theatre has to be "popular" to some extent in that sense if it is going to be commercially viable, but even in that context it is possible that the musicals regarded most favourably by people in general or those intended to appease the general masses are not the most successful artistically or dramatically or in terms of their longevity. Take a look for example at how many musical comedies that were popular in the 1920s and 1930s are not worth producing and which are sometimes even basically unwatchable today simply because they catered only to popular tastes of the time without sporting any artistic ambition or objective toward dramatic coherence. Even if you look back as recently as the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, there are shows that bowed to the popular musical tastes of the time that have suffered the same fate. Would anyone, for instance, really consider producing Your Own Thing today? Even if you look at the very popular current trend of jukebox musicals, where for every great success there are a few mediocre shows and several more complete flops, it is clear that it is more that just being "popular" that makes a musical penetrate mainstream popular culture: for every Mamma Mia!, there is a All Shook Up and a Good Vibrations. And in all of these cases across the history of musical theatre, did merely being "popular" make any of these shows good? I don't think so; popularity on its own is not a good enough measure of a show's artistic worth - and before someone tries to say that it's all subjective, let me make it clear that it isn't. Artistic worth is based in technique. One can measure the skill of a ballet dancer objectively by analysing their technique and it is no different, though perhaps more complex, when it comes to musical theatre.

So I think that Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice were doing something far more complex in their collaboration that simply making musicals "popular" by bringing them up to date with musical styles of the period. Yes, they were helping to create a new sub-genre of the form by helping to shape the conventions of what would become known as rock opera, but it is the way in which they did this that was significant not simply the mere fact that they did it at all.

jcstar wrote:
Name me another composer who had three shows running on Broadway and the West End at the same time.

One can't, but - in conjunction with what I've said above - I think that's a rather artificial way to compare the impact of composers over time, as there are so many variables that change - the size of the general population, the growth of the tourism industry, advances in marketing, for example, are just three of these. So is the actual context of Broadway or the West End itself at any given time, as well as other factors, such as this one:

rockyrocks666 wrote:
The reason he has so many shows running is because he... owns most of the theatres.

Could one name another composer whose company owns and manages three theatres (as it was when Lloyd Webber owned the Palace Theatre, the New London and the Adelphi) let alone the more than half dozen the Really Useful Group owned after acquiring the Stoll Moss theatres in 1999. Even today, having sold off a number of theatres, Lloyd Webber has interests in 7 theatres in the West End. So how does something like this factor into this equation?

In 1951, Richard Rodgers had Oklahoma, South Pacific and The King and I on Broadway and Oklahoma, Carousel in the West End. When Carousel and Oklahoma closed, South Pacific opened in the same year. That's as substantial an achievement - if this is what we're using as a measure of success - given the time and context in which Rodgers worked. I'm sure there are other such equivalents too.

jcstar wrote:
We all love him.

No, we don't. Who here even knows him? It is possible that some people love his work, but even that isn't a universal feeling as can be evidenced by the statements made in this thread or, for those who do love some of this his work, always applicable to all of his work.

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Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:17 am
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I'm not sure if you're saying that Webber owning the theatres is why he has them running or not.

I don't think it is. They still have to bring the crowds to keep the show open, regardless of who owns the theatre. Did he own six at the time he had six shows in London?


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Post ALW: Popularity and Musicality
On ALW and the Popularity of Musicals:

Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
I'm not sure if you're saying that Lloyd Webber owning the theatres is why he has them running or not. I don't think it is. They still have to bring the crowds to keep the show open, regardless of who owns the theatre.

No, that is not what I am saying. You are oversimplifying the issue and missing the point as a result. I am saying that the reason that Andrew Lloyd Webber has had the opportunity to have shows that have simultaneous runs is not simply because his shows are better than everyone else's throughout the entire history of musical theatre: it is because of a complex web of circumstances and contexts, one of which most certainly is his ownership of the theatres his company has managed over the years but which also factors in, amongst others, the issues I mentioned in my post above. Certainly there do have to be audiences, but when you're controlling the cost and occupation of the space in which your show is playing, then it does provide a certain leeway, especially in a season that ebbs and flows in terms of attendance. It's a factor that can't be excluded from the equation.

The implication of this argument is that many of the best musicals have not necessarily been those that have run the longest or that have run concurrently alongside others by the same composer. To isolate that aspect of a show's performance is an artificial manner of measuring its artistic prowess.

On the Musicality of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Shows:

diva! wrote:
Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals have an element of immaturity and simplicity to them which I dont enjoy. The songs are predictable and the lack of harmonies makes them dull!

jcstar wrote:
Have you ever been in a show where Andrew Lloyd Webber's name is on it? The stuff is bloody hard to sing! Sometimes, he asks the basses to try to be tenors! Plus, there's harmony all over his shows. Try being in the chorus and see what you have to sing. Sometimes, it's not pretty, but it's there for a reason.

rockyrocks666 wrote:
I've been in lots of Andrew Lloyd Webber shows and I've never thought they were very hard to sing, not in comparison to other writers anyway.

I've been in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Evita and did a concert tour with an opera company that focused primarily on the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Although there are a few rhythmically tricky passages in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, I don't think it's a particularly challenging show in terms of range; at least I didn't experience it as such. Evita I found very vocally challenging at first, but once I'd learned the show and knew what was expected of my voice, it became manageable and I could work out how to pace myself. That said, there was a lot of high stuff and the thing I remember being most difficult from a range point of view was "Goodnight and Thank-You" where the top tenor line is incredibly high. The fact that it's relatively small number in terms of the number of voices that are used made it even more challenging. So I think the point is valid relative to each particular show. The concert tour was interesting, because it was all solo and duet work and included many of the big numbers, which were great to sing but made for a very tiring evening of vocal work because it's all the money notes song after song after song, which wouldn't be the same in the context of the shows because they are separated by other numbers and divided up between more characters.

jcstar wrote:
ALW is a showman. In Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, he has music written like this 9/8 for one bar, 6/8 for another bar (this pattern repeats ten times). Suddenly, he'll throw in a few 4/4 bars, then jump to 7/8. Why? Because he can, and he wants to torture the musicians.

A supposition like that assumes that there is no dramatic reason for Andrew Lloyd Webber's use of unconventional rhythms. Now I hauled out my score for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to look for this particular passage, but couldn't find a past of the score that alternated 9/8 and 6/8 for any period of time as mentioned above. I was wondering if you were referring to "Who's the Thief?", which starts in 7/8 for 29 bars, then switches to 6/8 for 13 bars and then to 4/4 for twelve bars and 2/4 for one bar that segues into "Benjamin Calypso". The most challenging bit here is to get rhythm of the "Who's the thief?" lyrics down. The rest is completely manageable and I think all the more so because the choice of the rhythm supports what is going on in the drama. I disagree completely that the reason for Lloyd Webber's choice in this case is simply because he is a showman and/or simply because he can and/or to torture the musicians. It's because that is what the drama requires it to be. Can you imagine Joseph interrogating his brothers in 3/4 time to a gentle waltz?

On ALW and Controversial Topics in Musicals:

jcstar wrote:
Name me any other composer in theatre who has tackled controversial topics and has never apologised for pissing the general public off in doing so?

Hans wrote:
You are kidding, aren't you? :wink:

He must be - as there are many other examples: Jerome Kern, Kurt Weill, Richard Rodgers and Stephen Sondheim have all tackled controversial topics in the musicals they have written. I've never heard of Kern apologising for the theme of miscegenation as tackled in Show Boat, Weill trying to excuse his work in The Cradle Will Rock, Rodgers begging forgiveness for bringing up the theme of racial prejudice in South Pacific or Sondheim being racked with guilt over Assassins.

rockyrocks666 wrote:
Andrew Lloyd Webber doesn't tackle controversial subjects.

diva! wrote:
Andrew Lloyd Webber hardly deals with controversial topics.... Two bible stories, a train musical, a musical about cats. No doubt they're fun, but hardly hard hitting topics.

Hans wrote:
Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and The Beautiful Game... are handling controversial topics, I'll give him that. I don't think it's a coincidence Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita are his best shows.


I agree that these projects represent his choices in subject matter that deal with the most controversial issues. However, the link between the controversial nature of these pieces and it being more than a coincidence that Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita are his best shows seems tenuous to me. Following that logic, shouldn't The Beautiful Game also rank amongst his best works? And, yet, it doesn't.

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Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:47 pm
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I just want to say something about the difficulty of singing musical theatre music in general. First off, there are several kinds of "difficult".

The first one is the range difficulty. Composers who usually have range difficulty are Andrew Lloyd Webber, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Stephen Schwartz.

The second one is the one that has difficult rhythm patterns, for example: Claude-Michel Schönberg, Leonard Bernstein, etc.

A third type is the difficult diction shows, Stephen Sondheim.

The fourth type is the melodic challenging music, such as Stephen Sondheim and Cy Coleman.

The last type are the parts which demands good technique, such as Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin.

I know this is "generalizing", but in all honesty I don't think Andrew Lloyd Webber's music should be considered "difficult", because as long as you actually HAVE the range to sing his songs they aren't very demanding in other parts.


Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:17 am
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Post Re: ALW: Popularity and Musicality
RainbowJude wrote:
However, the link between the controversial nature of these pieces and it being more than a coincidence that Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita are his best shows seems tenuous to me. Following that logic, shouldn't The Beautiful Game also rank amongst his best works? And, yet, it doesn't.


I didn't mean that shows about controversial subjects automatically are better than those that are not. Obviously there is much more that also counts. Incidentally, I also think Joseph is among his best shows, and that one is one of his least controversial shows.

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Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:18 pm
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Hans wrote:
Somewhat related to the topic: What do you think of the idea of doing Cats Sweeney Todd Revival-style? All cats doubling (tripling?) as musicians/actors/dancers?

Once again, RJ has raised a topic from the dead. :P

I have seen that Sweeney Todd Revival show. It was an interesting idea but I thought the playing of the instruments takes the actor and audience out of the story. It certainly was better than sitting in on a reading of the script but it didn't feel like a play/musical either. In some scenes the actors interacted but in others they were talking from different parts of the stage as if they were in different rooms. I didn't feel in the story but rather having it told to me. Nice tour de force by the actors but I saw no benefit from the result over the original.

For CATS, I guess it could work if it were done as an on-stage orchestra of cats. But CATS has large dance numbers so there would be no "cats" available to play instruments. And the frequent dance routines are taxing of the actors' energy not to mention that CATS is a sing-through. So, it might have to be a separate cat orchestra who just play instruments or limit the number of dancers and singers for each scene. But that would come close to being "CATS in Concert".

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Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:05 pm
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