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Setting of the musical 
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Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2004 11:35 pm
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Post Setting of the musical
Do you know if the show has any clues to tell us that this show is set on an American railway line? I'm afraid I don't know it that well to find out more. I remember reading it somewhere but can't find the source.


Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:37 pm
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Off-Broadway Lead
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Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:00 am
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It's a child's toy train set. The Broadway production had station signs on the set, I think, or maybe it was the tour, but the idea is that they're all toys.

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Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:59 pm
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Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2004 11:35 pm
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True. But I've never felt happy with everyone adopting an American accent throughout the whole show. I know there's a Milton Keynes train but why can't the principals (except Poppa and Greaseball) - and don't forget Dinah, Rusty and Pearl - adopt natural English accents? Or does the setting of the musical require American accents?


Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:44 pm
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Broadway Legend
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There is an issue across much wider British music scene that people automatically sing with an American accent. They'll speak with whatever their natural accent is, but when singing the vowel sounds come out somewhat american. I've caught myself doing it. Perhaps it's the constant exposure to American accented music with little local to counter it. Perhaps it's an easy, lazy way of enuncuating?

As far as Starlight is concerned - the original cast, Rusty, Poppa and Electra were all played by Americans so used their natural accents. By the "new" recording Dinah had been firmly established as an American character, and Pearl was played by an American. Greaseball really does need to have an American accent regardless, and Rusty? Who knows. Does John Partridge's Electra have an American accent? Personally I dislike the "new" recording enough that I barely listen to it.

In live UK performances Rusty normally has some level of American accent, un-needed. Pearl normally sounds English. Dinah forces a southern US accent to comic effect, Greaseball needs to sound American. Electra I'd say usually does not... then the other characters can use regional accents as part of their character development, Flat-top in particular using it to comic effect.

All US productions of the show have, as is common in their culture, made particular emphasis on the American connection. Here's my favourite, nonsensical photo - who IS the American contender, afterall?

Image

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Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:14 pm
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Off-Broadway Lead
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:46 am
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Post Re:
Belle wrote:
There is an issue across much wider British music scene that people automatically sing with an American accent. They'll speak with whatever their natural accent is, but when singing the vowel sounds come out somewhat american. I've caught myself doing it. Perhaps it's the constant exposure to American accented music with little local to counter it. Perhaps it's an easy, lazy way of enuncuating?

As far as Starlight is concerned - the original cast, Rusty, Poppa and Electra were all played by Americans so used their natural accents. By the "new" recording Dinah had been firmly established as an American character, and Pearl was played by an American. Greaseball really does need to have an American accent regardless, and Rusty? Who knows. Does John Partridge's Electra have an American accent? Personally I dislike the "new" recording enough that I barely listen to it.

In live UK performances Rusty normally has some level of American accent, un-needed. Pearl normally sounds English. Dinah forces a southern US accent to comic effect, Greaseball needs to sound American. Electra I'd say usually does not... then the other characters can use regional accents as part of their character development, Flat-top in particular using it to comic effect.

All US productions of the show have, as is common in their culture, made particular emphasis on the American connection. Here's my favourite, nonsensical photo - who IS the American contender, afterall?

Image

It makes sense for Dinah to be american. If she plays it to English it makes U.N.C.O.U.P.L.E.D seem out of place.


Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:11 am
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Off-Broadway Lead
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:46 am
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Post Re:
Mazz wrote:
It's a child's toy train set. The Broadway production had station signs on the set, I think, or maybe it was the tour, but the idea is that they're all toys.
Although this is definitely true of later productions, it is not obviously stated in the original version.


Thu Oct 10, 2013 8:15 am
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