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is this show really bad? 
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Sun May 10, 2009 8:40 pm
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Post Re: is this show really bad?
satch wrote:
perhaps a general disdain towards anything ALW from sondheimists?

if sondheim was linked to this , would this be better received?


I don't think it's the worst ever. I just think it's very awful :wink:

Though being a non-malicious Sondheimist, I can only speak for myself when trying to explain why I think StEx is an awful musical. (Mind you - thinking it's an awful musical does not mean I don't find myself enjoying parts of it.)

It's also not true that Sondheimists dislike everything ALW. Personally I enjoy everything before Cats (including Song & Dance). I also think that parts of his later work are very good, or example much of AOL.

The reason I despise StEx so much is not that it's shallow. Many great shows are. It's more in what way StEx is shallow. As I see it, good shallow shows are good because they make a lot out of little. StEx makes little out of a lot.

Yeah, that's it, really.

Take for instance Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat - a shallow show if ever there were one. It's great. That's because TR and AlW took a relatively bare plotline and filled in the blanks with comparatively sophisticated, yet simple jokes, musically and texually. It makes one admire and enjoy how they got a lot out of little.

StEx is the opposite. There are some bawdy but fun jokes there. But they drown in the overall concept of the show, with it's unending string of pastiche music, tacky sets and costumes and gimmicks. There just is too much. The enjoyment of clever simplicity is lost.

When that is said, though, it's very very fun to belt aong with lots of the songs.

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Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:06 am
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That really doesn't make sense. It's very cheeky and clever. The costumes of the coaches especially are ver well designed and intricate. I hope you're not basing it off of the later versions.


Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:06 am
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Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
That really doesn't make sense. It's very cheeky and clever. The costumes of the coaches especially are ver well designed and intricate.


I don't think you understand what I'm talking about.

Think about Cole Porter: constructing a five minute song with tight limits out of bawdy puns on Shakespeare plays is making a lot out of a kernel of an idea. That's witty and entertaining.

"Well-designed costmes"? That doesn't have anything to do with the quality of musical theatre, and has nothing to do with being entertaining.

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Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:39 am
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I mentioned costumes becasue you did. The lyrics are very clever, cheeky, and the kind of inuenndo that is child friendly.

I still think you contradicted yourself. You said it's bad, but you enjoy it. Considering it is meant to be enjoyed, not thought provoking, how is it then bad if it achives everything it set out to do?


Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:24 pm
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StEx is bad for the reasons I mentioned.

There is a huge difference between something that is good and something one likes. Enjoying something one recognises as bad isn't selfcontradictory at all.

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Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:36 pm
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Nope, still doesn't make sense. How can you say that this entertainment is bad but entertaining. It is a contradiction. Like saying it wasn't funny, but I laughed.

In addition, would you mind stating why it is bad, rather than it just is? I bet it cannot be done without resorting to personal preference.


Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:55 am
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Post On the contrary
Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
In addition, would you mind stating why it is bad, rather than it just is? I bet it cannot be done without resorting to personal preference.

Oh yes, it can. You really don't want me to take up a challenge like that. Starlight Express is by no means a great musical and Hans recognises that. But for the reasons he's stated above, he can still find enjoyment in it. This is not a difficult concept to grasp: one part of it has to do with standards based in the dramaturgy of musical theatre, the other with personal enjoyment.

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Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:59 am
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What David said, basically, plus:

Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
Like saying it wasn't funny, but I laughed.


No. It's like saying it was funny, but the jokes weren't dramaturgically justified/consistent (for example).


Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
In addition, would you mind stating why it is bad, rather than it just is?


I already described how StEx instead of making a lot out of a little makes a little out of a lot.

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Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:11 pm
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I really love stex.
i can understand why people wouldnt, because its not the deepest or most thought provoking piece, but personally i think it is one of the most entertaining shows i've ever seen, I couldn't take my eyes off the stage for a second there was so much to look at and so much going on, which could be irritating for some people who think there is too much and find it distracting from the story, but i really found it fascinating.

The cast i saw was amazing and it really made you appreciate how much work is put in there because even things which seem simple from a viewing perspective like the girls skating joined together in lotta locomotion or relatively tame tricks like pearl skating on one leg in one of her songs, is incredibly difficult to do. I did a starlight section in a show a while back and it took so much practising to even be able to sing at all when doing a relatively simple routine, never mind be singing full belt and note perfect in a profession production. In that sense it is a very challenging show, and not one to be looked down upon by people who think it isnt of a high enough standard in terms of intellectual content to be classed as great.
plus, the costumes and make up are immense
Finally, It's a laugh, and should be treated as such.

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Sun Jul 12, 2009 1:18 pm
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Dvarg wrote:
What David said, basically, plus:

Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
Like saying it wasn't funny, but I laughed.


No. It's like saying it was funny, but the jokes weren't dramaturgically justified/consistent (for example).


Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
In addition, would you mind stating why it is bad, rather than it just is?


I already described how StEx instead of making a lot out of a little makes a little out of a lot.


No you haven't. You just said is, not how. Be specific. Don't just use that annoying word.


Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:44 pm
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Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
No you haven't. You just said is, not how. Be specific. Don't just use that annoying word.


Dvarg wrote:
As I see it, good shallow shows are good because they make a lot out of little. StEx makes little out of a lot.

Yeah, that's it, really.

Take for instance Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat - a shallow show if ever there were one. It's great. That's because TR and AlW took a relatively bare plotline and filled in the blanks with comparatively sophisticated, yet simple jokes, musically and texually. It makes one admire and enjoy how they got a lot out of little.

StEx is the opposite. There are some bawdy but fun jokes there. But they drown in the overall concept of the show, with it's unending string of pastiche music, tacky sets and costumes and gimmicks. There just is too much. The enjoyment of clever simplicity is lost.


How can one be more specific?

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Mon Jul 13, 2009 4:14 am
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