14 November, 2008


A bubbly friend and I (let's call her Mrs. Wilson) went to see a show tonight. Thank goodness for the one drink we had beforehand - although it wasn't nearly enough to make this show anywhere close to tolerable.

On the way out, Mrs. W and I were discussing what the title of this blog should be: "Climbing Up The Stairs (So We Can Get The Hell Outta This Theatre)"... or maybe "When Good Playwrights Make Bad Musicals"... or "I Thought The Fringe Festival Was Over Already"...

Oh - the list could go on and on, people.

But what I was really feeling for those two hours - through all the bad writing and the many genres of music and the lack of subtext - was how embarrassed I was for the actors. No - no, wait. Maybe embarrassed isn't quite the right word. It was more that I felt sorry for them. The reviews were pretty awful; the audience was laughing at them, not with them; and the applause was not even up to golf-clap standing. And they knew it. All six actors knew it. You could see it in their eyes when they thanked the audience (for making it through, perhaps?) and quickly bowed before scurrying off the stage.

The one thing I will say for this production was that I also felt a sense of pride swell in me for those actors. They were really giving their all out there. Even though their show was a not a hit, and a they played to a 1/3 less of a house after intermission, they still sang their hearts out.

And the other thing that boggles my mind is that I'm not sure I understand HOW this show failed. The man who wrote the book and lyrics also wrote this - and this - this, too. And the man who wrote the music wrote this all-time favorite of mine - and this. And the subject matter deals with the bound-to-be-funny fodder of relationships gone awry.

However, it seems that good ideas and usually reliable talent do not a good musical make. Godspeed to the company - who have to make it through another month!

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