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Why do ppl dislike ALW, call him a hack, etc, etc, etc 
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Post Re: Why do ppl dislike ALW, call him a hack, etc, etc, etc
Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
He also seems to at least not allow the same melody to be part of two shows at once.


What does that mean? The English Girls/Tire Tracks, for example, now has been officially part of both Song & Dance and WDTW. It's not as if it ceases to be part of one show once it's out in public, even if it's cut, reorchestrated and put into another show.

It matters because publication cements where the tune is intended to be, and if it's reused in an official, public version of another show, it reveils that it was not really intended for any place in particular.

It's of course ok to have a great tune in the trunk and try it out in different show to see if it fits, but once the show has official premiered, it is set in stone.

It is like writing a chapter in a novel and publish it, then write another novel and copy the chapter with just different names and different spoken lines.

(It happens of course that shows are changed after the premiere, songs are cut for example, but it is a very great difference between cutting a song from an officially premiered show (which is as acceptable as adding a song after the premiere) and cutting a song from an officially premiered show and use it in another show later. I don't think I can remember anyone else than ALW that has done it.)

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Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:29 pm
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Post Re: Why do ppl dislike ALW, call him a hack, etc, etc, etc
Writing a new musical often seems to be a process that doesnt stop even after the show has premiered. And if you cut out a good tune after the shows premiered I dont see the difference between that and if you cut the song out before the premiere.

And for Wicked, I totaly agree that As Long As Youre Mine totaly doesnt fit within the score, even thou you have to remember that its a very od situation for the two characters (Elphie and Fiyero.) because theyre on the run and theire love cant last for long. But it works better when seeing the show live than hearing the song on the cd. As a side note I can tell that song was a song that the score writer had in his closet and picked to be in the musical, even thou I am not ceartain if it was the best choice he could have done. But overall the score is amazing so sure you can accept a couple off songs thats not so great. :)

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Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:59 am
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Post Re: Why do ppl dislike ALW, call him a hack, etc, etc, etc
Profetikus wrote:
Writing a new musical often seems to be a process that doesnt stop even after the show has premiered. And if you cut out a good tune after the shows premiered I dont see the difference between that and if you cut the song out before the premiere.


What was unclear about the novel analogy? It happens that people revise novels they have published, but each version is still out there. The variants don't get unpublished even if the author decides that the revision is the definitive version.

There are two differences:

A show can be changed after the premiere, but the premiere marks what is official and not. Once it is official, it is official. Any changes before the premiere is a part of the experimentation. Changes after the premiere means more than one public version. Candide is a perfect example. Follies another. All versions of both shows still exist no matter how much one wants there to be only one. What happened before the curtain rose on those shows are none of our business (although we luckily have been granted a few glorious glimpses of the fascinating tumults). Now we have the right to decide which version we find artistically most satisfying, even if the authors claim another version is the definitive.

There is also a difference between cutting a song from a premiered show and cutting a song from a premiered show and reuse it in another show later (particularly if there is made a recording of a song (like the case with English Girls/Tire Tracks). Ideally a song in a musical should rise out of the situation and character(s), music and lyrics being written simultanously to create a perfect amalgam of them, so that the tune and lyrics could belong only to each other and to the character(s) and situation. Obviously that does not always happen. But most writers of musicals at least makes an attempt to pretend that their songs were written that way. ALW just seems to be careless about this principle.

If you don't see this difference, then you might as well accept that any music from any show can be reused in any other show. Following such a principle, ALW wouldn’t need to compose more music at all after Cats. He could have used the Memory tune with new lyrics in every later show. It could have substituted the Phantom’s Music of the Night, Norma Desmond’s With One Look (as it actually was intended to), Anything But Lonely (whoever sings it), and he could have saved Which Witch by putting the With One Look tune in it (as he actually intended: the composers refused, as they meant it hurt the show’s artistic integrity, thus (at least partially) securing its monumental failure). I don't mind if you find joy in that. I find it unconvincing, insincere and random.

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Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:15 am
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Post Re:
IndigoMedusa wrote:
The theatre could do without him. It did without him for 40 years...Broadway is a perfectly good place without his shows. There aren't any as of right now and it's doing fine without him.


I know this was posted a long time ago, but I have to point out that the British invasion saved Broadway. During the 80's Broadway struggled so much with economy that if Les Mis, Cats, Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon had not come along in the late 80's Broadway as we know it today might not exist! I think all four musicals are poorly written, but I still have to acknowledge that if it had not been for the British invasion (where ALW contributed) Broadway could be dead.

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Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:28 pm
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Post Re:
kiwitechgirl wrote:
Salome wrote:
Webber's problem is..he isnt talented enough to write music for characters. his melodies are generic..they can fit in Phantom or Sunset Blvd , or Cats..he doesnt have that extra gift to write strong character themes.


I'd definitely agree with that. I've never been his biggest fan because IMO he tends to come up with one maybe half-decent tune per show and then uses, re-uses and re-re-uses it over and over again; it dawned on me just how generic his music is when I heard an arrangement which consisted of "Unexpected Song", "Tell Me On A Sunday" and one other of his big female solos (I can't remember which) sung all together. Now, it may just have been a clever arrangement, but the ease with which they fitted together made me think that he really hasn't come up with anything truly original for quite a while.[/u]


Honestly, his repetitiveness has never bothered me that much. It really just builds familiarity.

Salome wrote:
Sondheim uses repitition for dramatic theames properly as does JRB and Kander and Ebb.
.


Properly? That seems rater stuck up.

There's no handbook or set of rules for composing. Isn't music suppose to be a form of expression? He has a certain style of composing, and that's what he likes. And you know what? People like it, too. I don't see anything wrong with that.


Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:40 am
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Post Re: Re:
Cptn. Wazoo wrote:
kiwitechgirl wrote:
Salome wrote:
Webber's problem is..he isnt talented enough to write music for characters. his melodies are generic..they can fit in Phantom or Sunset Blvd , or Cats..he doesnt have that extra gift to write strong character themes.


I'd definitely agree with that. I've never been his biggest fan because IMO he tends to come up with one maybe half-decent tune per show and then uses, re-uses and re-re-uses it over and over again; it dawned on me just how generic his music is when I heard an arrangement which consisted of "Unexpected Song", "Tell Me On A Sunday" and one other of his big female solos (I can't remember which) sung all together. Now, it may just have been a clever arrangement, but the ease with which they fitted together made me think that he really hasn't come up with anything truly original for quite a while.[/u]


Honestly, his repetitiveness has never bothered me that much. It really just builds familiarity.

Salome wrote:
Sondheim uses repitition for dramatic theames properly as does JRB and Kander and Ebb.
.


Properly? That seems rater stuck up.

There's no handbook or set of rules for composing. Isn't music suppose to be a form of expression? He has a certain style of composing, and that's what he likes. And you know what? People like it, too. I don't see anything wrong with that.


Well, there are rules for composing. There are also rules for dramaturgy and the form of a story. The problem with Andrew Lloyd Webber has never been his music. He is a brilliant composer, no doubt, but he is not great with dramaturgy, and too many of his collaborators who may have been brilliant playwrights do not comprehend composition and musical themes and motifs well enough to use them in a sensible way, thus some results are great work of Musical Theatre, like Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar. Other results are of a lesser quality, like Sunset Boulevard (one of my own personal favorites of his) and Phantom of the Opera.

The thing is whether a Musical is well written or not, and of a theatrical quality or not, does not mean that there is anything wrong with liking it. So many people may love ALW's musicals and his music. It doesn't make it good.

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Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:37 pm
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Post Re: Re:
Cptn. Wazoo wrote:
There's no handbook or set of rules for composing.


Huh?

Cptn. Wazoo wrote:
Honestly, his repetitiveness has never bothered me that much. It really just builds familiarity.


Wether it bothers you or not is not relevant. The point is that repetition must make sense dramaturgically and psychologically to be justified. Just like every other technique in theatre.

It's as usual difficult and unnecessary to argue with you, High-Baritonne :)

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Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:52 am
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Post Re: Re:
Hans wrote:
Cptn. Wazoo wrote:
There's no handbook or set of rules for composing.


Huh?



What I mean is that who cares if something's a little different? There's no law saying that every show has to be written in a certain format or way. To me, music is completely subjective. It's is what you want it to be.

To get back on topic, I guess I just don't see the point in criticizing something for what it is. Who cares if Cats (for example) doesn't have a plot, it's just a dance show. Why is that so offensive to people? If you don't like it, okay. But is it fair to call it bad? At least Lloyd Webber comes up with interesting concepts. Because, at the end of the day, entertainment is entertainment. If you're really passionate about musical theatre, great. But most people who aren't just want to be entertained. So as long as they're entertained, the show did its job. Why is that such a difficult concept for people?

jcstar wrote:
There's really nothing to analyse.


This.

jcstar wrote:

Why not pound something into the public's head? If the public keeps returning, why worry about it? It's money. Money = success and vice versa.

And this.


Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:38 pm
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Post Re: Re:
Cptn. Wazoo wrote:
If you're really passionate about musical theatre, great. But most people who aren't just want to be entertained. So as long as they're entertained, the show did its job. Why is that such a difficult concept for people?


If we who actually do care about the genre have opinions on it, why is that so difficult concept for those who don't give a damn anyway?

Cptn. Wazoo wrote:
jcstar wrote:
There's really nothing to analyse.


This.



Analysing is part of being entertained.

Cptn. Wazoo wrote:
jcstar wrote:
Money = success and vice versa.

And this.


No.

Money = economic success

economic success =/= artistic success.

Economic success is nice. Artistic success is interesting, and emotionally and intellectually rewarding.

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Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:02 am
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Post Re: Re:
Hans wrote:
Cptn. Wazoo wrote:
If you're really passionate about musical theatre, great. But most people who aren't just want to be entertained. So as long as they're entertained, the show did its job. Why is that such a difficult concept for people?


If we who actually do care about the genre have opinions on it, why is that so difficult concept for those who don't give a damn anyway?


It's no skin off my nose, I just don't think there's that much to discuss. Yes, his music is rather simplistic. Is that wrong? Not really. That's just how he composes. So what? Yes, his shows are big-budget spectacles. So....what?

But, hey, whatever. Proceed.


Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:16 pm
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Post Re: Why do ppl dislike ALW, call him a hack, etc, etc, etc
I wouldn't call his music simple by any means. It is often very complex, not that complexity is a measure of how good something is.

"Yes, his shows are big-budget spectacles."

Not always. Have you ever seen By Jeeves? Not to mention that a lot of the "spectacle" ones are often not as big as they appear, which just goes to credit the designers.


Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:19 am
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Post Re: Re:
Cptn. Wazoo wrote:
Yes, his music is rather simplistic. Is that wrong? Not really. That's just how he composes. So what? Yes, his shows are big-budget spectacles. So....what?


I don't know, since those are not the core of criticism of ALW shows. The criticism is by and large that regardless of how super his music often is, the shows tend to be badly constructed as theatre (and he often colaborates with lyricists and book writers who are doing a bad job).

Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
[...] not that complexity is a measure of how good something is.


I agree.

Cptn. Wazoo wrote:
I just don't think there's that much to discuss.


Exactly. Good theatre generates interesting discussions.

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Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:12 am
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