Monday, March 10, 2008

If You Like Abba, You'll Like Chess

Musical theatre is my obsession, and I am extremely particular about who plays a part and how it's performed. VERY particular. One singer who flies a little too high and insists on doing his/her own thang with a song, and the show is ruined. One wrong casting choice, and I'm out of there. I also feel that the performers should sing exactly and precisely the way the songwriters tell them to sing. Rodgers and Hammerstein, for example, were lovely gentlemen who treated all of their performers like royalty and expected pretty much exact obedience, singing-wise, from them, too. I don't like my shows or my music tampered with. I don't want the songs jazzed up and I don't want the words changed - political correctness be damned - and I don't want the plot tampered with, and I don't want to hear any improvisations with the melodies. Save that for your own cd, singers. Oh, and if you don't like the plot, go write your own show.

I don't usually even care for revivals or special performances, because it seems like these days, a famous singer will put his/her own personal stamp on a character instead of play the CHARACTER. I do make the occasional exception, though. Rare, but it does happen. VERY rare.

When Adam Pascal and Josh Groban come together for one of my very all-time favorites, Chess, all I can say is. . . be still, my heart.

This is just a rehearsal, so can you even imagine how awesome the actual presentation must have been? Is there anything cooler than a fantastic vocally-choreographed bit of counterpoint?

My knees. They're, they're weak. Must. Calm. Down.

Then again, why should I? Maybe I'll just crank up the original London cast of Chess and have myself a sing-along.

Don't bother with the Broadway Chess, by the way; it's rank. The lyrics and plot were changed so much, it's not worth your time. The only exception is the addition of the song "Someone Else's Story," but for all other things Chess, stick to the original cast.

Most of the time, the original cast album is your best bet, no matter what the show. I have yet to hear a Broadway version that can hold a candle to the original London cast version. And I'm a big Broadway fan, IF it's a Broadway show and not a Broadway version of a London show.

Why do so many shows have to undergo a transformation that is NEVER for the best, in order to play on Broadway? Is it the unions? Whatever the reason, and whoever is responsible, you SUCK.

("Don't say 'suck,' students.")

But if the shoe fits. . . .
Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 9:02 PM | |


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