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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Is No One Interested in
Posted: 12/3/12 at 11:18am
Even as nice as that might be, iluv, I would have more respect for an original piece than a bastardized semi-collage of the original.

It seems that we see really good new work so rarely, compared with the number of revivals/revisions. As admirable as a good revival may be, it lacks the exciting integrity of a wholly new creation.

I'm curious whether people think this is because of directors'/producers' desire to adapt what they already know, or a perceived demand from audiences to see reruns of familiar work.

Updated On: 12/3/12 at 11:18 AM
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JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
Is No One Interested in
Posted: 12/3/12 at 11:20am
Millwork is an astonishing song- stunned to see it dismissed.

I saw the Chicago production- thought it was pretty good. Certainly made a big impression on the audience. I wasn't blown away by the new songs but Fathers and Sons had an awful lot of the audience in tears.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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iluvtheatertrash
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joined:11/9/04
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Posted: 12/3/12 at 11:46am
Millwork is hands down the best number in the show in its current form.

And Newintown, I would agree with you if this were a higher profile engagement. Certainly.

My question is, though, how many of the monologues were taken word-for-word from Turkel's book? Any? All?
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
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ZoeTheGoat
Understudy
joined:5/9/12
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Posted: 12/3/12 at 12:31pm
I'm really excited for this! I just bought a ticket for the opening. I really love this show and hope this production is as good as it sounds.
Smoke bomb!
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darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
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Posted: 12/3/12 at 01:31pm
To be honest, I had been led to assume that periodic rewriting and updating was part of the "plan" for the piece. A sort of "revue of review" looking at the economy, the work force, the people, and so on, similar to the way Terkel's book has been revised, expanded and had additional "books" added to it over the years.

Lest we forget, this isn't Working II... it's Working III or even Working IV, if you count the original, the revised film version, the 90s edition and then the 2012 version. Probably in 2030-something there will be another Working, probably with a few new pieces and a few less older ones.
whatever2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/25/06
Is No One Interested in
Posted: 12/3/12 at 01:41pm
iluvtheatertrash: i made the conscious decision not to assume the formerly-stoner-boy character was gay because nowhere that i recall did he express his orientation. i agree that the Stefan component of his (under-developed, schizoid) personality was what we think of as stereotypically gay, but i never assume anyone under 25 is one thing or the other -- i know too many guys in their early 20s who are every bit as wispy, but unequivocally straight.

to quote my own grandfather decades after the 60s and 70s turned his world on its ear: everything's just all different with these kids today!

but, like i said in my original post, your assumption is altogether reasonable -- and, if correct, the character is highly offensive.
"You, sir, are a moron." (PlayItAgain)
whatever2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/25/06
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Posted: 12/3/12 at 07:15pm
JoeKV: i just re-read this thread ... where are you seeing millwork "dismissed"??? all i'm reading is (much deserved) love.

newintown: in looking for the elusive dis Joe mentioned, i re-read your post about the show's time being "over". not sure this helps your point of view any, but at the beginning of the performance there is a brief projected narrative explaining studs terkel's original interviews ... it notes that terkel added to his corpus with additional interviews (i think maybe between 2004 and 2008?) and that the show's updates are based on terkel's updates. so it really does kind of work as more-than-a-revival if viewed from that perspective. just my $0.02.
"You, sir, are a moron." (PlayItAgain)
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LimelightMike
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joined:6/21/06
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Posted: 12/3/12 at 11:24pm
So, wait, this production HAS a Playbill? I only ask cause I collect them for my binder(s).
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AEA AGMA SM
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joined:8/13/09
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Posted: 12/4/12 at 03:48am
59E59 does not do their programs through Playbill, at least as of the last time I worked there. It is done in house. So there is a program, but it is not a Playbill, and as I recall it was a slightly odd size, not the same size as a Playbill.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
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newintown
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joined:3/3/10
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Posted: 12/4/12 at 09:25am
Thanks, whatever. I should have been more specific; the show Working as a whole (text, music, lyrics, design, staging) was very much of its time in a wonderful way. It was a flop, but it affected the theatre community significantly. Those songs and monologues were heard at auditions for a few decades, and regional/amateur groups took it to heart for some time as well.

Of course it can be updated, just like Company and other shows that are significantly of their time can be, but they'll never achieve the same impact they had originally.

I'm not saying "never do revivals" (although I clearly feel that audiences, directors,and producers prefer them to new work these days); but I think it's advisable to remember that you can almost never catch lightning in a bottle twice.
whatever2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/25/06
Is No One Interested in
Posted: 12/4/12 at 10:01am
totally fair points ... i just wanted to put it out there that the revisions in the source material have the potential to put this "revisal" in somewhat different category.
"You, sir, are a moron." (PlayItAgain)
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newintown
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joined:3/3/10
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Posted: 12/4/12 at 10:05am
Perhaps; I can't speak for the book, but if the song list posted here is accurate, then it would not be eligible for a Best Score Tony, were someone to try to produce it on Broadway. Not with only 2 new songs. Even with revised lyrics and orchestrations, most of the score is old.

That's sort of my point - if you want to do a new Working, why not do an entirely new Working? That would be a more impressive accomplishment.

Updated On: 12/4/12 at 10:05 AM
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JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
Is No One Interested in
Posted: 12/4/12 at 10:14am
"Apart from the opening and the closing number i feel like all the songs are boring and don't give us enough of each character to really feel anything about them."

That was the remark I was reacting to.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
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Posted: 12/4/12 at 10:21am
It is a strange comment, particularly considering how each of the songs is more or less written as an ideal cabaret-style, 1-act story. You may not aesthetically like "Nobody Tells Me How," "Housewife," "It's An Art," "Millwork," etc., but you can't say that they don't each tell full stories or create full characters.
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SonofRobbieJ
Broadway Legend
joined:12/10/09
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Posted: 12/4/12 at 10:33am
newintown, I think you've hit the nail on why an all-new WORKING isn't something anyone would really be into. Because 'Millwork,' Housewife,' 'It's an Art,' etc. are such wonderful songs that no one could imagine not being in something called WORKING.

I saw Lin-Manuel sing the Delivery song at an event at Zankel Hall a couple of years ago, and I thought it was terrific. Yes...very much in his wheelhouse, but it was extremely effective as a snapshot of this kid who dreams of more while delivering food. And it did make me think that a mixture of half new tunes by a bunch of different writers and the 'classics' from this score would be a really interesting evening.
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darquegk
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joined:2/5/09
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Posted: 12/4/12 at 10:35am
This new Working "is" technically billed as a new show, for now: WORKING 2012. MTI licenses this version and the 90s version, though the original 70s version is no longer available at all (though the only missing song is Neat to be a Newsboy, and a few monologues- the 90s version is actually a fuller, longer show than the 70s apparently).
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iluvtheatertrash
Broadway Legend
joined:11/9/04
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Posted: 12/4/12 at 01:34pm
The problem isn't Miranda's songs, but that they are the only new songs and therefore stand out and don't necessarily blend with the others.

I would have to say that some of the characters didn't feel fully rounded yet, but it WAS their fist preview. The Mill Worker, however, is an extraordinary performance and you know everything you need to about this character.

The program is indeed different - it's a lot like the Vineyard's programs, just much more colorful. And the song list I posted is exactly what I saw that evening. I'm one of those geeks who checks the song list throughout the performance.
"I know now that theatre saved my life." - Susan Stroman
After Eight
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joined:6/5/09
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Posted: 12/7/12 at 12:34am
A labored musical about labor.

The original production was well directed and designed, which helped-- in part --- draw attention away from the mawkish, trite, material. Now, in a scaled-down production, it's all too keenly felt.

The songs now feel dated and sappy. Fathers and Sons is a mush overdose. The new songs are undistinguished.

In the good old days of musicals, people didn't grouse all evening long. They sang songs about life being just a bowl of cherries and the best things in life being free.

And musicals were better for it.

And audiences luckier, for sure.








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