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[Musicals] The Good, The Bad, The Wicked (and Broadway In Hell)

cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm RegentBears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBCVaFqGJwg

I honestly can't recall if we had a thread about this before, so with the late Sondheim's passing, I thought it was a good opportunity to show him and the genre some love.


I worked on a production of Sweeney Todd in high school, so it's near and dear to me. (We used red spotlights in lieu of GUSHING GEYSERS OF BLOOD, but that's high school for you.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMWEqWTgG3k

The film is also excellent.

Anyway, you're probably familiar with Sondheim's work in some way, whether you realize it or not, the man was a heavyweight of the American musical:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyofWTw0bqY
(West Side Story)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T062wD825JQ
(Company)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH1gH33z1Y4
attend the tale


Fortunately the genre's having a bit of a resurgence lately, so here's some recent modern gems:

And some classics:

And of course, Springtime For H-... er...

https://youtu.be/Ri2TplWqY1o
(The Producers)

Friendly reminder that Mel Brooks is a national treasure.

https://youtu.be/LnF1OtP2Svk

(What a show.)

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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited April 2022
    (Newsies)

    Based somewhat loosely on the newsboy strike, is an ok movie. The Broadway version is better, and it's also on Disney+. It's one of the first musicals I remember really enjoying and stuck with me.

    https://youtu.be/tmFKdyw0QwM

    Shadowfire on
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    (Galavant) I adore this series. Alan Menken did a lot of the music and every episode had a different guest star including Rutger Hauer, Jon Stamos, Ricky Gervais, Kylie Minogue, and Weird Al.

    https://youtu.be/Qmje2_xFMXE

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    (Galavant) I adore this series. Alan Menken did a lot of the music and every episode had a different guest star including Rutger Hauer, Jon Stamos, Ricky Gervais, Kylie Minogue, and Weird Al.

    https://youtu.be/Qmje2_xFMXE

    I've never even heard of it... looks great.
    (And kind of Brooksian)

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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    It's fantastic. I think it's on Hulu in the US and Disney+ in other countries. I highly recommend it. They wrapped up everything in two seasons because they knew they wouldn't get a third, but left a few strings in case they somehow got the funding. It's just such a fun romp.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Wonder how the Wicked film will turn out, if it finally happens this time. It's an excellent musical, but the book wasn't half as good.

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    ChallChall Registered User regular
    Hey good timing. The wife and I just renewed our season tickets for Broadway Dallas and one of the shows I hadn't heard of, called Six.

    So I looked it up, and this is apparently a British musical about the *dead* wives of Henry VIII who form a Spice-Girls style girl band, and then each of them sings about how hard their life was and the one with the worst story gets to lead the band? It looks like someone said "Hamilton was a hit, let's do a pop musical about British history, but also take the plot from Cats"

    https://youtu.be/4HHjsuyXDHQ

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    LostNinjaLostNinja Registered User regular
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    (Newsies)

    Based somewhat loosely on the newsboy strike, is an ok movie. The Broadway version is better, and it's also on Disney+. It's one of the first musicals I remember really enjoying and stuck with me.

    https://youtu.be/tmFKdyw0QwM

    As a child I rented the Newsies VHS from my local library so many times, and rewatched it so many times, it became worn.

    On the musical theater front this past year I’ve managed to see both the traveling shows for Wicked (my gf’s favorite show - ended up liking it better than I thought I would despite the second half dragging a little too long) and Lion King, which I had always wanted to see and was amazing.

    We tried to get Hamilton but it sold out way too fast and Newsies is on my list for the next time it’s traveling show comes through.

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    ChallChall Registered User regular
    (Jesus Christ Superstar) saw this for the first time last night and boy did I hate it. I'm not sure if it was the touring company or just the show itself but it's a bad sign when your show is entirely sung-through and also most of the singing is completely unintelligible.

    I don't like Passion plays to begin with, so just doing a straightforward Passion Play but also with bad rock music really grated at me.

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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    I found this by association yesterday:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQpmnMy53gQ

    A high-octane production of Sweeney Todd with Emma Thompson playing Mrs. Lovett.

    You can watch the whole thing here thanks to PBS:

    http://ga.video.cdn.pbs.org/videos/lincoln-center/00a2c0b8-7da2-4c77-8d48-5ab140e9cd34/150765/hd-mezzanine-16x9/1e9d5075_lvlc3905_mezz16x9-16x9-mp4-2500k.mp4

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    Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User, Moderator mod
    (Sweeney Todd)

    My favorite revival of Sweeney Todd is the 2005 John Doyle revival starting Michael Cerveris and THE QUEEN PATTI LUPONE. In this particular revival, the orchestration is pared down because all of the actors are ALSO the pit orchestra, so anyone who isn't immediately singing or acting in a scene is playing an instrument. It's a pretty amazing thing to see, if only because the sheer amount of talent involved.

    https://youtu.be/RNzw6qPa3Lk

    (Company)
    John Doyle also did my favorite revival of Company (2006), in a similar way. Raul Esparza plays the lead Bobby, and all of the actors are also the pit orchestra. This one was probably even better, because the actor/instrumentalists are prominently featured when they are playing their instruments, include a dude who hauls around a fucking cello while playing it. Like, holy shit. PBS recorded this one in one of their "Great Performances" series, so it's out there on the internet to view, if you want.

    https://youtu.be/TJgMlwMGB3U

    Of course, the new revival of Company stars a woman playing a female version of Bobby, and it still works perfectly. I love the "Not Getting Married Today" being swapped from neurotic bride Amy to a gay man named Jamie.

    https://youtu.be/P4mS9zs1aNM

    And, of course, there was this charity performance 1997 (96?) by David, Shaun, and Patrick Cassidy of "You Could Drive a Person Crazy":
    https://youtu.be/aliho4BIvMk

    (Follies)
    I think the same charity performance in 1997 had this rendition "Losing My Mind" by Tim Curry, which is pretty amazing because he just draws you into his madness. It sounds like a person losing their mind as they are singing.
    https://youtu.be/jPopeuMUtS4

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    Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2022
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    (Newsies)

    Based somewhat loosely on the newsboy strike, is an ok movie. The Broadway version is better, and it's also on Disney+. It's one of the first musicals I remember really enjoying and stuck with me.

    https://youtu.be/tmFKdyw0QwM

    (Waitress)
    Jeremy Jordan (the headliner from the musical version of "Newsies" mentioned above) is an amazing singer, and here he sings probably the best version of "She Used To Be Mine" I've ever heard. This is from Waitress, the musical written by Sara Bareilles (all original music, unlike those shitty jukebox musicals out there). It's excellent both from a vocal standpoint and an unusually understated and emotive performance.
    https://youtu.be/chkOkcEFGM0

    (The Last Five Years)
    Jeremy Jordan is also fucking excellent in the movie version of "The Last Five Years" by Jason Robert Brown. He plays opposite fucking Anna Kendrick, and they both knock it out of the park.

    https://youtu.be/ZfjzNeSBrpU

    Hahnsoo1 on
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    Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2022
    This past year has been excellent for musicals on streaming services and movie theaters in general, if not excellent for actual Broadway (pandemic womp womp). Between "Tick Tick Boom!" (AMAZING), nu "West Side Story" (AMAZING), and Schmigadoon (SO FUNNY), there are so many fun new musical works. Also, if you like musicals, check out "Central Park" on Apple TV... it's basically "What if Bob's Burgers was a musical every episode?". The cast is also FAT STACKED with Broadway vets, with Leslie Odom Jr. as one of the lead roles and Josh Gad as the narrator.

    (Tick Tick Boom!)
    It's on Netflix. Run, don't walk, and watch it right away if you love musicals. At the very least, you can enjoy exactly how energized and awesome Andrew Garfield is in this.

    https://youtu.be/BAcG_tVWKM4

    Hahnsoo1 on
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    LeeksLeeks Registered User regular
    If you can see it live, Come from Away, is fantastic. They also filmed it Hamilton style for Apple TV if you can't catch it live.

    I love the music from Six. It's my current top show I want to see live, with Hades Town in a close second.

    Tick Tick Boom! was also fantastic. I haven't checked out West Side Story or Schmigadoon yet, but will have to do so soon.

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    SniperGuySniperGuy SniperGuyGaming Registered User regular
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptvlGFokVq8

    Apparently this got revived after a near cancellation or something and it looks so much fun every time I see clips of it

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH4vpa41kf0

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    Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2022
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptvlGFokVq8

    Apparently this got revived after a near cancellation or something and it looks so much fun every time I see clips of it

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH4vpa41kf0
    Gen Z theater kids are all over this one. All of my friends who are parents of a theater kid are seeing them use "Dead Mom" and "Home" as their audition songs. It's pretty cool.

    https://youtu.be/e2ggb1ojMa4

    https://youtu.be/YBrITkHGZVQ

    The other musical I've heard a lot of theater kids pulling songs from for auditions lately is "Be More Chill". "A Guy That I'd Kinda Be Into" for the gals and "Michael in the Bathroom" for the guys.

    https://youtu.be/cFUnXOLEj7k

    https://youtu.be/QVGqLbpCboU

    I really like "A Guy That I'd Kinda Be Into". It's such a fun bop.

    Hahnsoo1 on
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    ChallChall Registered User regular
    Leeks wrote: »
    If you can see it live, Come from Away, is fantastic. They also filmed it Hamilton style for Apple TV if you can't catch it live.

    I love the music from Six. It's my current top show I want to see live, with Hades Town in a close second.

    Tick Tick Boom! was also fantastic. I haven't checked out West Side Story or Schmigadoon yet, but will have to do so soon.

    Hades Town was great, and the traveling company switched the roles of Hermes and Hades from the cast recording, so Hermes is younger and Hades was older and it really changed up the energy so much I feel like the Broadway recording's Hermes is too slow. I really enjoyed it.

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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Speaking of Beetlejuice, someone posted the first opening number after covid a couple of nights ago, and people are apparently damn happy Broadway is running again.

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    redxredx I(x)=2(x)+1 whole numbersRegistered User regular
    How no Into the Woods?

    https://youtu.be/LFgMowOwek0

    They moistly come out at night, moistly.
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Roaming the streets, waving his mod gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    Since musical TV shows are okay, obligatory mention of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which is 60 episodes of unbridled musical perfection, and also a brilliant and insightful treatment of coping with mental health issues, and also Rachel Bloom is fucking adorable:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92538NJ0lbE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmbLB4OIuao

    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Had to go with the OG:
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    edited April 2022
    I enjoyed Tick Tick Boom on its own merits, but early on, I had a feeling it was about the creator of Rent(which I really, really don't like), but I appreciate all the effort that went into the writer's works, and especially this film. Garfield puts his heart and soul into it.

    cj iwakura on
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    Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User, Moderator mod
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    I enjoyed Tick Tick Boom on its own merits, but early on, I had a feeling it was about the creator of Rent(which I really, really don't like), but I appreciate all the effort that went into the writer's works, and especially this film. Garfield puts his heart and soul into it.
    Erm, I mean, they outright say that it's about Jonathan Larson at the intro, so...

    The Diner setpiece alone (which is homage to Sunday in the Park with George) makes it worth it (the Skylar Sisters, Andre De Shields who just won a Tony for Hadestown, frickin' Brian Stokes Mitchell, Joel Grey - Cabaret, Bebe Neuwirth, Chita AND Bernadette!), but also the writer's workshop scene had a LOT of recognizable faces if you follow Broadway at all (Steven Schwartz - Wicked, Godspell, Alex Lacamoire - Hamilton, In The Heights, Dear Evan Hansen, Jason Robert Brown - Parade, Bridges of Madison County, The Last Five Years, Marc Shaiman - Hairspray, the Rogers! Musical from Hawkeye, etc.). Bradley Whitford's impression of Sondheim is spot-on, too, right down to the tilted sitting pose and hand on face that he's done all of his life. :) The answering machine message at the end is actually Sondheim's voice, too.

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    Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User, Moderator mod
    Something that I've always liked about Sondheim was the way he mentored a lot of up and coming writers and directors. You see it in Tick Tick Boom, but pretty much every prominent writer, lyricist, and director on Broadway has some anecdote about the man and how he was always willing to give positive criticism and encouragement.

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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    I enjoyed Tick Tick Boom on its own merits, but early on, I had a feeling it was about the creator of Rent(which I really, really don't like), but I appreciate all the effort that went into the writer's works, and especially this film. Garfield puts his heart and soul into it.
    Erm, I mean, they outright say that it's about Jonathan Larson at the intro, so...

    I didn't recognize the name offhand, so that's on me. :P
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    Something that I've always liked about Sondheim was the way he mentored a lot of up and coming writers and directors. You see it in Tick Tick Boom, but pretty much every prominent writer, lyricist, and director on Broadway has some anecdote about the man and how he was always willing to give positive criticism and encouragement.

    Yeah, I'll reiterate the video from the OP as a prime example:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBCVaFqGJwg

    He's great at being constructively critical.

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    silence1186silence1186 Character shields down! As a wingmanRegistered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptvlGFokVq8

    Apparently this got revived after a near cancellation or something and it looks so much fun every time I see clips of it

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH4vpa41kf0
    Gen Z theater kids are all over this one. All of my friends who are parents of a theater kid are seeing them use "Dead Mom" and "Home" as their audition songs. It's pretty cool.

    https://youtu.be/e2ggb1ojMa4

    https://youtu.be/YBrITkHGZVQ

    The other musical I've heard a lot of theater kids pulling songs from for auditions lately is "Be More Chill". "A Guy That I'd Kinda Be Into" for the gals and "Michael in the Bathroom" for the guys.

    https://youtu.be/cFUnXOLEj7k

    https://youtu.be/QVGqLbpCboU

    I really like "A Guy That I'd Kinda Be Into". It's such a fun bop.

    I saw Be More Chill with my sister and BIL, and the audience was full of of out of town high school students on field trips. The show didn't resonate with me at all, but "Michael in the Bathroom" was absolutely fantastic and should survive as a standard long after the show is forgotten (it's off Broadway at this point, I believe).

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    SniperGuySniperGuy SniperGuyGaming Registered User regular
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    SniperGuy wrote: »

    Wonder if it'll ever come down here, I've never even heard of it before now.

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    Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User, Moderator mod
    https://youtu.be/f59eioQGL-c

    HBO is doing a documentary about Spring Awakening and apparently the 2006 cast is getting back together for a one-night show for the 15 year anniversary or something. I hope they film the whole show and have it available somewhere.

    The show had a successful and awesome Deaf West revival in 2015, which spawned a lot of Deaf musical content the following years:
    https://youtu.be/RsqbeH94jEU

    From Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist:

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    RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    redx wrote: »
    How no Into the Woods?

    https://youtu.be/LFgMowOwek0

    Into the Woods is funny and insightful and clever with its music, but the music isn't super hummable or memorable to me, with the exception of No One Is Alone

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    TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    edited April 2022
    I was in a community theater production of Into The Woods the summer after graduating college. I was cast as the steward but about a week before opening the guy playing the Narrator/Old Man got dropped for not showing up to rehearsals so I got surprise promotion.

    No More and Finale/Children Will Listen always gets me a little misty as well

    Tofystedeth on
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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    https://deadline.com/2022/04/wicked-universal-two-part-release-1235010059/

    Not sure if I'm excited or worried.
    Here’s something that hasn’t been done before with a musical: Universal will release their highly anticipated feature take of Broadway musical Wicked in two parts: On Dec. 25, 2024 and Dec. 25, 2025. It’s a bold swing for a musical, which of late have been risky on-screen. However, this one is based on a legacy crowd pleaser. Jon M. Chu is directing the untold story of the Witches of Oz. Pic is based on the bestselling novel by Gregory Maguire, and adapted for the screen by the stage production’s book writer Winne Holzman and by legendary Academy Award winning composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz.

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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    ....what the fuck are they doing to the narrative? Like, the pacing of the musical is... not that.

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    Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User, Moderator mod
    What a terrible idea. :/ That's like leaving a show at intermission and deciding "I'll watch the rest of it later".

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    Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User, Moderator mod
    It’s a bold swing for a musical, which of late have been risky on-screen.
    I feel like musicals haven't been that risky lately. The filmed version of Hamilton on Disney+ was a smashing success. La La Land, nuWest Side Story, and Tick Tick Boom have all done well. Dear Evan Hansen didn't do well, of course, but still.

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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Yeah, this feels like sending it to die. Wicked is very much something to do in one film. Unless they're adding stuff from the book, in which case, zzzzz.
    (I like the musical way more.)

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    Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User, Moderator mod
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    Yeah, this feels like sending it to die. Wicked is very much something to do in one film. Unless they're adding stuff from the book, in which case, zzzzz.
    (I like the musical way more.)
    As is, the musical is 2:30 in runtime (2:45 with a 15 minute intermission). That means you'd have to add 30 minutes of songs and setpieces to split it into two 90 minute movies. I have no doubt that there are 30 minutes of cut songs that were never used (the road to Broadway is paved with unused and discarded songs), but this feels more like either a stalling tactic (Oh shit... we won't film and edit enough before the release date... shit shit shit) or a cash grab (What if the Hobbit was a TRILOGY?!).

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    cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm Regent Bears The Name FreedomRegistered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    cj iwakura wrote: »
    Yeah, this feels like sending it to die. Wicked is very much something to do in one film. Unless they're adding stuff from the book, in which case, zzzzz.
    (I like the musical way more.)
    As is, the musical is 2:30 in runtime (2:45 with a 15 minute intermission). That means you'd have to add 30 minutes of songs and setpieces to split it into two 90 minute movies. I have no doubt that there are 30 minutes of cut songs that were never used (the road to Broadway is paved with unused and discarded songs), but this feels more like either a stalling tactic (Oh shit... we won't film and edit enough before the release date... shit shit shit) or a cash grab (What if the Hobbit was a TRILOGY?!).

    Supposedly this has been in the works for a decade, I bet the story of how many variations this has had could be a book all its own.

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    LostNinjaLostNinja Registered User regular
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    ....what the fuck are they doing to the narrative? Like, the pacing of the musical is... not that.

    Not to mention the second act IMO isn’t great and already feels too dragged out. It’s just kind of there to finish the story with the first half being the interesting part.

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    Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited May 2022
    The Spring Awakening documentary is up on HBO Max right now. It's great! Lots of footage from early previews, the 2006 run, and the recent one-time reading/revival.

    There's a show on Disney+ hosted by Kristen Bell called "Encore!" where they get a bunch of people to come back together and do the musicals that they did back when they were in high school, and this has a lot of THAT energy in the beginning. Just a lot of happy people who love seeing each other again and reliving in the glory of the past one more time. It's a warm and fuzzy feeling.

    Hahnsoo1 on
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    Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User, Moderator mod
    In TV-musical news, Schmigadoon is going to have a second season!

    https://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/schmigadoon-set-to-return-for-new-series_56697.html

    They are adding Titus Burgess and Patrick Page to the roster. I'm sure we'll see a bunch of cameos from Broadway royalty or SNL/30-Rock alums, too.

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