what is the most overrated musical of all time

Wilmingtom
Broadway Star
joined:7/18/11
Wicked by a mile, followed by Rent.
CarlosAlberto
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/10
Outoftowner2 you musn't do that. This is BWW where the Sondheimites (read: the Sondheim obsessed) rule. You will probably be told to go fvck yourself and if you go too far they will kill you and sacrifice your remains at the altar of the great and powerful Sondheim. Just a warning.



Updated On: 1/5/13 at 12:11 PM
My Oh My
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/07
Yipes. The replies at the start to others' replies are like they're on the rag, or something. It's rather interesting, because all it took was for someone, anyone, to declare their fave "overrated" and then the hot flashes began. Ladies, ladies, mantengan la calma!

I'm perfectly OK with people who dislike Les Mis, as long as they explain why. I don't agree with Newintown because it affects me on a different, not-so-simplistic level, but I'd never call him simplistic for not experiencing what I do.

I adore Follies but must agree that too many cling onto what they think it says about them for liking it. Almost as if just liking it automatically bestows inheritance of grand intellect and sophistication. Obviously not all, but a nice chunk of that fandom need to realize it's a perfectly accessible show that is well written. Not some mystical work of dumbfounding brilliance that only a genius could love. *eyeroll*

I think all musicals get to have their good points overblown and their bad points over emphasized from time to time. That's quickly becoming overrated.
Recreation of original John Cameron orchestration to "On My Own" by yours truly. Click player below to hear.
CarlosAlberto
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/10
Ladies, ladies, mantengan la calma!

ESTO! ^
smallworld
Stand-by
joined:9/21/11
I think Wicked, Phantom of the Opera and The Lion King are all very overrated.
RENT_is_Wicked2
Understudy
joined:4/4/11
Cats and Seussical.
Nettik
Featured Actor
joined:6/4/10
Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Spring Awakening, and Billy Elliot.
ZoeTheGoat
Understudy
joined:5/9/12
I havent seen Cats, but I HAVE heard the "music." - Cats, Memphis (only 2 good songs)
Smoke bomb!
qolbinau
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/08
I find LES MIZ overrated. There doesn't seem to be much subtext. All the important songs (e.g. WHAT HAVE I DONE, I DREAMED A DREAM, ON MY OWN, BRING HIM HOME) consist of actors singing exactly what they mean and how they feel. CF. FOLLIES, which has also been recently mentioned in the thread. It's so much more interesting to me that a character could be singing about one thing but the song has more meaning beyond the words. For example, IN BUDDY'S EYES....the subtext being of course that she isn't happy with Buddy at all :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwFxf9lAzhA

Subtext is quite interesting when done well. E.g. Everything's Coming Up Roses - the subtext of the song is that Rose is almost delusional/relentless/crazy. Sweeney Todd also has a lot of subtext - e.g. Pretty Women is thrilling and tense because there is subtext that Sweeney is about to try and kill Judge Turpin, or Not While I'm Around is interesting when Mrs Lovett sings the last verse to Toby saying nothing will harm him, which we know is a lie because he suspects Sweeney.

Where are these moments in LES MIZ?

I enjoyed the movie a lot, I think the actors (perhaps excluding Russel Crowe) did a good job to convince us that they felt how the songs suggested they felt, but I think the musical would have been more interesting if there was more subtext. "Master of the House" does have subtext, which is part of why it is so funny, as does when the Bishop is covering for Valjean (which I do enjoy). But are there other/more important moments?

Also, I have an issue with the sung-throughness. But I suppose this comes up often. What is the point of singing if you could just say it with dialogue? To me, a good musical song will add something over and above something that can be said via dialogue. It makes the musical seem bloated to me.
My Oh My
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/07
Aren't you the same one who said hardcore Sondheim fans are of superior intellect? Now you're trying to prove that Les Mis caters to morons and people who aren't serious about musicals.

Of course some musicals have more subtext than others and nobody is arguing against Sondheim or lowering his works to levels they don't belong in. Yet, it's ridiculously easy to get fans of his shows all worked up.

There are plenty on these boards lately dismissing Les Mis as simplistic and nobody is losing their heads over it. I don't agree at all that it's a simplistic piece of junk, but I've said it before and I'll say it again...I do think Les Mis is generally overrated in how it's perceived as a work where absolutely NO obvious pop or rock elements should ever get near it; how ONLY classically trained singers, even Opera singers have the right to sing it; how it's some mystical emotional journey that one must get SERIOUS about, including the characters and actors portraying them. To a lot of people, it's very serious business and extremely high art. Yeah, sure, whatever.

In that sense, it is massively overrated. I don't take Les Mis quite as seriously and I consider myself one of the most passionate fans of the piece. But I also know and actually pay attention to the music and I think the original work has great merit that all these revisions have destroyed. Even so, I place the blame where it belongs and look to those responsible for tampering with it over the years because there's nothing inherently pretentious or preachy about it. The original work always maintained a balance that is gone nowadays.

And who said entertainment has to have loads of subtext in order for it to be entertaining and moving? For one, Les Mis does have subtext in its social commentary. It may not be as strategically implemented as Sondheim is known to do, but his commentary isn't as broad. That's a good thing, but not in a story like Les Mis, where there's so many characters and events, getting to know each character on that level would make it overbearing. Some people already find Sondheim fare overbearing. Period. I don't, but his fans can certainly be. Relax, I'm messing with you...kinda.

Not that I have a problem with that, really. I love overbearing fans of musical theatre and we need more of those! Those who overwhelm with musings, knowledge, and worthless details! XD
Recreation of original John Cameron orchestration to "On My Own" by yours truly. Click player below to hear.
CarlosAlberto
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/10
I abhore Sondheimites they are so full of crap...it friggin'oozes from their pores!


STFU! Sondheim never has and never will be the be-all or end-all.
Updated On: 1/5/13 at 08:14 PM
sally1112
Broadway Legend
joined:4/13/04
I absolutely agree with The Lion King- bore fest! Neat costumes only entertain me for a few minutes, if that.

I disagree with Wicked. I know that Wicked is the dog we kick around here all the time, but I really enjoy it, and I saw it it's first year, and it lived up to the hype for me. It has great songs,likable characters,often some beefcake- depending on who is playing Fieyro, an interesting plot that plays on a familiar story, beautiful costumes, and a freaking slanting stage!
qolbinau
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/08
I never said that "hardcore Sondheim fans are of superior intellect". However, once someone on this forum described Sondheim fans as "blowhards and pretentious twits who think they know everything", and I responded:

Where do we draw the line between people who are pretentious and people who actually are highly intelligent, educated people that do know better than the 'commoner'.

I am intentionally phrasing this in a trolling way, but if a Sondheim fan is well read and studies at the University of Oxford (and people like this do exist and have posted on this forum), are they pretentious or do they actually just know better?


I certainly am not generalising this to Sondheim fans in general.
------

Now, RE: "trying to prove that Les Mis caters to morons and people who aren't serious about musicals". That is your conclusion, not mine. My claims are that 1. Musicals are more interesting to me with subtext (provided examples) 2. Les Mis has little subtext 3. I believe music in musicals should add something over and above dialogue 4. I don't believe that Les Mis does that often therefore, (my conclusion): Les Mis is overrated. Only you have used the word "moron" and "people who aren't serious about musicals".

RE: "Does entertainment need to have subtext". I don't know, I mean clearly it doesn't. But it's more interesting to me if it does, at least in musicals.



Updated On: 1/5/13 at 08:28 PM
My Oh My
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/07
^ You mean a raked stage? I love those. I have an odd fascination with them but don't recall the Los Angeles production having a raked stage. Maybe I sat too close (4th row) and the Pantages stage is notoriously high, it gives those who claim you have to CRANK your neck to see anything some credibility.
Recreation of original John Cameron orchestration to "On My Own" by yours truly. Click player below to hear.
RENT_is_Wicked2
Understudy
joined:4/4/11
To add on, I want to include Billy Elliot. I only liked Electricity and that's it.

The Producers is also one... I found it very different.
My Oh My
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/07
Well maybe one gets tired of reading dismissive things being said about stuff they care about and so they become dismissive themselves. Hey, I'm not perfect. Guilty as charged.

I enjoy things with more subtext, too. But it has to move me. Some Sondheim musicals have failed to move me, others have moved me more than I expected. Case in point--Follies. I was ready to have a headache and regret spending the over $300 I spent on my final performance, front row ticket. Best thing I've seen in ages.

However, can't say the same for some of his other, less known musicals. The thing that I've never understood is he can sometimes be musically uninteresting. And that's odd because I find Sweeney, some songs from Into the Woods, Sunday, and the entirety of Follies to be musically thrilling. I could never warm up to Company and Pacific Overtures as I found them to be overbearing. Time and time again, I encounter some wild Sondheimist telling me off and saying I didn't get it because I'm an idiot, no matter how many times I've proven I've given his stuff more than a fair chance, actually love a lot of his works, and am not just a passing theatre enthusiast. It's a popular thing to say those who end up being alienated or find certain shows off-putting to be stupid or moronic. And with the wealth of brain power that many Sondheim fans claim to possess, you'd think they'd know better than cast blanket statements about people who don't worship everything he's ever done.

I'm a detail obsessed nut for a reason, and it has nothing to do with the plain details. It's the subtext I get out of them and I'm not irrationally obsessed to the point I see things that aren't there. If anything, I'm brutal when it comes to calling out people who grasp, as discovering for yourself a song's underlying meaning is what theatre is all about to me. Les Mis is no exception.

It isn't so much concerned with being clever, but still, it moves me and not just in a weepy, crybaby fashion. It challenges me intellectually and has enriched my perception of myself and society. It has fed this insane addiction since 1986. Either I'm absolutely crazy and see things that aren't there or Les Mis moves people in an emotionally intelligent way. I can't stand things that tell me how to feel, but I'm a hardcore fan of the thing that people swear is desperately trying to make them weep with soaring emotions.

I find the original stage production to be something of a miracle (figuratively) in that my interest and sense of wonder hasn't waned all these years. I used to look at people hopelessly obsessed with things I didn't care about as odd and somehow deficient in something or other, but how on earth could I place myself above them when I'm the one not understanding how they feel? I'm the one who doesn't "get it." It's in the perception one chooses to apply and far too often people think if they can't understand something, it's somehow other people's fault. And it's their fault because they're somehow lacking, yet, they provide no evidence that they possess what they claim others are lacking.

I can claim I write these dissertations because what I feel is real and it compels me.

Bullsh*t.

It plays a small role, but at the end of the day, I'm still a wordy mutha.
Recreation of original John Cameron orchestration to "On My Own" by yours truly. Click player below to hear.
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
My Oh My, not everyone feels compelled to analyze their feelings about theatre the way you clearly do. Some people do not connect with shows emotionally and don't like them and I don't think you get to say that you're fine with people not liking Les Miz as long as they explain why. Nobody owes you an explanation.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
twinbelters
Broadway Legend
joined:1/6/10
I'm more interested in knowing where all of you go to get your overs rated.
With Irma you gotta do something!
twinbelters
Broadway Legend
joined:1/6/10
And clearly the answer is Mamma Mia.
With Irma you gotta do something!
My Oh My
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/07
"My Oh My, not everyone feels compelled to analyze their feelings about theatre the way you clearly do. Some people do not connect with shows emotionally and don't like them and I don't think you get to say that you're fine with people not liking Les Miz as long as they explain why. Nobody owes you an explanation."

My oh my, you sure told me. Guess we're all a dismissive bunch today, eh?

Of course nobody owes me an explanation. I don't recall demanding one, but I will say you owe it to yourself to back up your claims. I think I do a fair job in at least attempting to, but even I've occasionally decided against doing so even when directly asked and for no other reason other than not feeling up to it. I'm not relentless about it.

When y'all talk, it peaks my interest and I'd love to know more. I don't require explanations, but it would be nice. OK, so you think I'm an entitled a-hole. Fine. I think you're on the rag, so it's all good.
Recreation of original John Cameron orchestration to "On My Own" by yours truly. Click player below to hear.
Kelly2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/5/07
"Fine. I think you're on the rag, so it's all good."

LOL. What a personal, sexist thing to say and remarkably stupid thing to say. Can't really take you seriously anymore, bye girl.
"Get mad, then get over it." - Colin Powell
My Oh My
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/07
I stopped taking you seriously the moment you took the last couple of sentences of my previous post and twisted them to suit you. But I'm just a sexist a-hole, says the one who uses "girl" as an insult. Later.
Recreation of original John Cameron orchestration to "On My Own" by yours truly. Click player below to hear.
Wynbish
Broadway Legend
joined:4/27/12
What about Jersey Boys?
Cupid Boy2
Chorus Member
joined:1/5/13
I'd say Once. With the exception of a few moments, I found it to be as exciting as watching paint dry. I never grew to care about Guy or Girl because IMO, they were underdeveloped as characters.
jdrye222
Featured Actor
joined:5/28/11
I can't pick just one.... but my list is:

BOOK OF MORMON
JERSEY BOYS
INTO THE WOODS
HAIRSPRAY
FOLLIES
LES MISERABLES
SPRING AWAKENING
GODSPELL
fingerlakessinger
Broadway Legend
joined:11/18/10
After reading this entire thread, it basically comes down to
"one man's overrated show is another's masterpiece."
"Life in theater is give and take...but you need to be ready to give more then you take..."