Dream Westend/Broadway Shows

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.

Postby Oli Foster » 04/15/11 05:37 PM

Hi, I don't know about you but I've always been abit of a fan of the old west end. It started out as a birthday treat when I was a young lad, being taken to see Cats and other equally camp productions - building up to an all time crescendo with Phantom Of The Opera for my 18th! All good clean fun! So, I'm guessing magicians like shows like this - for their production values among other things.

First of all, if you're too macho and studly for musicals, don a stetson and a plastic moustache and go and see Phantom! - seriously you'll love it. Absolutely the best show in every possible way - great story (romance, horror, mystery - what more could you want!), music (Lloyd Weber at his OTT best), beautiful production design and costumes (maria bjornson, who sadly seems to have died before doing other things)), nice magic (courtesy of Paul Daniels - oddly enough) and probably the best possible use of a beautiful old theatre (Her Majesty's). I've seen this twice now and probably enjoyed it even more the second time (partly due to better seats!)

And good news if you're in Britain, as I read recently that Cameron Macintosh plans to tour it next year! Apparently they're redesigning the production - partly through necessity on touring (wondering how they'd cram all those massive candlesticks under the provincial stages) and also to revamp it abit, as with the recent Les Miserables. All I can say is I hope they don't change it for the worse, as I can't imagine how you could better the original.

Has anyone seen Love Never Dies? I'm a little bit worried it's going to be a dire rehash full of english people attempting stage american accents...

I was watching the Joel Schumacher film and trying to decide why it doesn't work, despite being very faithful to the show. I think that is actually the reason - that it tries too hard to turn the show into a film rather than something that's good as a film in it's own right. It's too literal and men in masks start to look silly outside of a theatre. The Phantom himself is too quickly established to be flesh and blood and just seems to be an obsessive freak rather than the kind of enigma Christine might actually find attractive. Something abit more minimal and ethereal and dreamlike would have been better, like those Hammer Edgar Alan Poe films. They should have got somebody like that Del Torro chap to direct, Europeans seem to do weird well..

Anyway, what shows have you enjoyed? and what shows would you like to see made?

Lots of films seem to be being made into shows at the moment, I think because producers are reassured they'll get that film-watching audience, rather than taking a flyer on something more random. There are a couple of shows that may in fact be terrible but I'd nonetheless love to see made:

Metropolis - I always bang on about this film but just imagine a rock opera - taking a leaf out of queen's book but going in big, full guns blazing with massive art deco set pieces and a huge 'rock choir' of proles. Production wise, lots of scope for scenic effects with gauze and projection and stuff and I think I would mix the twenties electric shock make up and costume design with a kind of goth steampunk look that would work nicely with all of the urban machine type imagery - like a Tim Burton style effort (who, I think incidentally should direct any planned remake) Some kind of pepper's ghosty type effect for the transformation of the molloch machine! Woohoo! This is something I'd love to see!

Doctor Who - the advert for the new series starting next week made me think, crikey that would be a show and a half and is flexible enough to work. Make it a musical that travels through the history of the doctor with thirteen different actors and one companion. Somebody flamboyant to sing willy wonka style songs with the characters gradually growing older and changing, ending with a dark twist. Perhaps the doctor turns out to be a Freudian construct or something equally pretentious. Somebody like Paul Kieve on the effects to produce floating daleks, materialising tardises, fun for all the family!

What else could we do?...

:)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/15/11 07:03 PM

I've seen amazing shows on both Broadway and in the West End. I always got the biggest thrill from seeing actors that I knew well from films in the flesh. Starting with Jimmy Stewart and Helen Hayes in a revival of Harvey, I saw Henry Fonda, George C. Scott, Richard Burton, Albert Finney, Peter O'Toole, Jason Robards, Collen Dewhurst, Peter Falk, and countless others. All were amazingly powerful on stage and far better than in any film.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/15/11 07:36 PM

Harvey was originally a play and the movie reflected that. As were "How to Succeed in Business..." and "Visit to a Small Planet" even withe the huge accommodation to a different actor in the lead.

What's the appeal of taking movies into musicals or plays? There were robots in R. U. R and bugs in The Insect Comedy and monsters in War With the Newts before we even had such movies. ;)

Or maybe we're ready for a musical remake of Kubrick's 2001 with Peewee Herman as HAL?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/15/11 07:44 PM

Jonathan, you have a real talent for making bizarre statements.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 04/15/11 08:46 PM

Let's see, we have Spiderman, Batman, DrWho on the stage at the moment. An opera sung in Klingon made the news. Not sure if the Lord of the Rings musical is still running. How many productions of The Wizard of Oz?

Going for a 2001 musical is not that far off of what's happening at the moment. I wanted to make my dismay at the shift away from the human condition to stage trickery with cardboard characters clear and hoped citing Paul Reubens character rather than the actor by name... or maybe should have cited the Simpsons take on Planet of the Apes?

Any news if Daniel Radcliff is making the Finch character work in "...Trying"?

IMHO bizarre would have been suggesting that the 2001 remake was the Disney movie "Flight of the Navigator" and that could work as a musical. Cue Justin Bieber and drop the curtain on that one - please. :D
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 04/15/11 10:27 PM

Radcliff has gotten excellent reviews.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 05/20/11 08:48 AM

In case folks are curious - the cast was on David Letterman last night and they did the "Brotherhood of Man" number. There's probably a clip posted on the internet via CBS.
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