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Mamma Mia is not a musical!
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Author:  windscreen [ Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:27 am ]
Post subject:  Mamma Mia is not a musical!

I have just been reading a post on Back to the 80's A lazy, childish piece of theatre that's been slated in every corner. Having seen Mamma Mia, I don't see why it shouldnt also be incuded in the lazy writing, poor script, poor performers catagory along with the aforementioned and others like WeWill Rock You etc, etc.

Too much theatre is sold on reputation and is ruining the art of creation.

Author:  Luc [ Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mamma Mia is not a musical!

A musical is any piece that uses music to advance the plot. Mamma Mia! definitely fits in that category, even though it's not original music. You don't know what you're talking about.

Just PM jesuiscommejesuis and tell him that. Or read the last few pages of "If you think The Little Mermaid is crap."

Author:  windscreen [ Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mamma Mia is not a musical!

musikal_geek wrote:
A musical is any piece that uses music to advance the plot. Mamma Mia! definitely fits in that category, even though it's not original music. You don't know what you're talking about.

Just PM jesuiscommejesuis and tell him that. Or read the last few pages of "If you think The Little Mermaid is crap."


So lets forget all about narrative interwoven through song and music shall we? What you are saying without realising is that any idiot who puts old pop songs into a story should be acredited as being a writer of musical theatre.

Youre obviously easily pleased and a supporter of song cycles, that are destroying the very art of good musical theatre.

Author:  Luc [ Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mamma Mia is not a musical!

windscreen wrote:
musikal_geek wrote:
A musical is any piece that uses music to advance the plot. Mamma Mia! definitely fits in that category, even though it's not original music. You don't know what you're talking about.

Just PM jesuiscommejesuis and tell him that. Or read the last few pages of "If you think The Little Mermaid is crap."


So lets forget all about narrative interwoven through song and music shall we?


Ok. But now it's not a musical.

But since the music helps advance the plot, it's a musical.

Author:  windscreen [ Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:26 pm ]
Post subject: 

What upset me the most about this farce of a show is that two songs in particuler: Slipping through my fingers and The winner takes it all, two emotive and meloncholic personal masterpieces, not to mention pure theatre in themselves...are cheapened by attaching them to this garbage story by means of incredibly tenuous links.

I'm sad...not angry!

Author:  Luc [ Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well just because the script isn't good, doesn't mean it isn't a musical.

Author:  windscreen [ Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:29 am ]
Post subject: 

I liked the rules as they were...Story and music to be written together, with thought and passion. If you break the rules you also take the magic away...surely even the least educated of theatre goer wouldnt want the West End full of song cycles?

Author:  Luc [ Thu Feb 07, 2008 9:29 am ]
Post subject: 

It's never been a rule... it's just been done a lot recently.

Author:  Set_Buildin_Dad [ Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:27 am ]
Post subject: 

Lots of good musicals have used songs from other mediums. Crazy for You comes to mind immedately. Every one of its songs were Gershwin standard bearers long before the show was conceived. Even the plot was adapted from an old Mickey Rooney / Judy Garland movie called girl Crazy.

Author:  Pounce [ Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

I think Mamma Mia! fits the description of a musical. It has all the elements of most standard musicals you can name. If a person didn't know that the songs preceded the show, one would not be able to tell the difference.

But I do in some ways agree with the spirit of the original post. I'm not too happy seeing 'new' musicals being created out of old pop songs. It's just a way for a show to start out with a fan base already familiar with the hit songs.

But to be fair, it's sort of a reversal of the old method whereby a familiar book's or film's storyline is taken to make a show's plot and new songs are added to help fillout the 'old' story and thus convert it into a musical.

Author:  jcstar [ Thu Jul 24, 2008 9:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mamma Mia is not a musical!

windscreen wrote:
So lets forget all about narrative interwoven through song and music shall we? What you are saying without realising is that any idiot who puts old pop songs into a story should be acredited as being a writer of musical theatre.

Youre obviously easily pleased and a supporter of song cycles, that are destroying the very art of good musical theatre.


How so? TOMMY is a song cycle as is QUADROPHENIA. JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, EVITA nad JOSEPH are song cycles.

What about LION KING?

Tons of musicals are based on song cycles. There is no rule as to how to write a musical.

I was just using these as examples.

Andy.

Author:  JIJane [ Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:38 am ]
Post subject: 

Windscreen and Pounce have a point, Mamma Mia (and most other musical with that kind of set up) are not "proper" musicals. Why? Because the songs were written and completed before the story/plot and most importantly - not in relation to the plot. Some musicals are based on an existing piece of work (Secret Garden for example) but then the songs are written AFTERWARDS and in line with the story and what the time period, the character requires, etc. Inventing a pretty much random plot just so you can use some well-known and popular songs and cash in on their merit - is not my idea of a musical, no. It's a quick way of (hopefully) making some cash and promoting/cashing in on a well0known recording artist/band, not producing anything of artistic merit or being original in any way, shape of form.

I am generally really not a fan of compilation musicals BUT Mamma Mia is probably the most well done of them all and I loved the film (not being a fan of the stage show).

Why don't I agree with this new method of creating a musical adding the plot last so to speak? Because I believe that the plot is the ultimate backbone of a musical and if that is not put first and considered most important (even before the songs) - the show won't work. As I said, Mamma Mia is the exception here but shows like We will rock you etc wouldn't work without the songs of Queen and is basically a rock concert anyway - not a musical. A GREAT musical would work even if you replace the odd song with something else, as they have a strong backbone in the plot. Example - Guys and Dolls. If you cut out Luck be a lady and If I were a bell it would be a shame but the show would still work.

Evita, JCS, Lion King, Joseph, etc were written in a totally different way to Mamma Mia and are traditional musicals in the sense that the plot and songs were written at the same time, not the plot adapted so that the songs can fit in accordingly.

"There is no rule as to how to write a musical."

Not as such but in the past apart from so called compilation musicals all musicals were written in a similar way, namely what I have described above.

Song cycles or revues are not musicals as such - they are a compilation of songs like William Finn's Elegies, etc. JCS, Evita, Lion King and Joseph as NOT song cycles. They are tradition musicals in many ways even though they were written after 1969 (which is when the definition of classic musicals ends) where the songs were created to advance the storyline.

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