Saturday, May 30, 2015

May 30. Day 150. Show a bit of backbone

According to that authoritative source Monty Python's Spamalot, "Broadway is a very special place filled with very special people who can sing and dance, often at the same time". It's what I love about musical theatre, my most favourite of all the wonderful stage genres. Musical theatre is the full package. Singing voices that send chills down your spine, the orchestra, amazing costumes, jaw dropping sets. Musical theatre is the ultimate. It is a populist art form almost guaranteed to put bums on seats. And even as front row cheer leader for musical theatre, I know that a big name musical is a safe option that theatres will opt for rather than try something experimental. Audiences are as much to blame in this process as the producers, promoters and theatre company. But I've decided it's time we all showed a little backbone. I reached this conclusion during today's matinee of Dirty Dancing. Sure I was cheering along with the rest when the big finale number The Time of My Life lit the stage. And it wasn't even as though it was bad. It was just lacking imagination and a cheap imitation of what a musical should be. Those awesome sets? All replaced with virtual sets created by large video screens.
Music? Yes, there was a band but there was also a fair chunk of recorded music. And as for that singing and dancing "at the same time", it didn't happen. Almost all of the singing was done by two of the ensemble members. Yep, they were great singers but it felt like cheating. That's not how it's supposed to go. So I left the theatre feeling just a little cheated. And then in what was almost Monty Pythonesque just outside the theatre I saw a group of people wrestling with a giant spine trying to
 to get it on top of a car. If only I'd seen a bit more of that backbone inside the theatre.

No comments:

Post a Comment