New song for Ellen in Miss Saigon - Translation

EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
I really appreciate you posting this Dave--I admit all the changes to Miss Saigon fascinate me. (I actually have never gotten them straight - didn't early editions of the London recording actually have some different music that was re-recorded later? I have only seen the show once--its closing week in 1999 in London and remember being surprised by some other changes to the cast album I had listened to growing up for nearly 10 minutes but can't remember them at all now or what edning they used by then--What's the aforementioned "Too Much for One Heart"?).

Anyway in this examplke--without having seen this new song in performance or English, I still have to side with those who find Now That I've Seen Her more appropriate. While I think the original "Her or Me" is ridiculously unsympathetic for Ellen--and while I have always loved the character and understood her, I think, I agree with those who say she's already a character many audiences might find hard to sympathize with and that song didn't help) I think Now That I've Seen Her is a good compromise.

Musically, I think it's more driving and better suited to that late in the show. But lyrically (and MS's lyrics have never been my favorite or particularly subtle I admit, though I prefer them to Kretzmer's awful Miz ones) I think it makes sense that Ellen WOULDN"T be as hopeful as this new song makes her seem. Some might complain that she repeats Now That I've Seen Her too much, but to me it makes sense that she has a sudden reaction like that when the reality of the situation suddenly hits. I hope the option will remain to use the song.
EponineAmneris
Broadway Legend
joined:5/25/06
I am so glad to see this show getting new life

I truly love this melody, but I hope at some point the original team translates it in English for future revivals/productions. Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention and for the translations

I always loved Ellen, so when my friends I "performed" it in my living room, no one fought because I *wanted* to be Ellen... and GiGi Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Kim



"TO LOVE ANOTHER PERSON IS TO SEE THE FACE OF GOD"- LES MISERABLES--- "THERE'S A SPECIAL KIND OF PEOPLE KNOWN AS SHOW PEOPLE... WE'RE BORN EVERY NIGHT AT HALF HOUR CALL!"--- CURTAINS
Updated On: 1/24/12 at 08:16 AM
theatrepaul
Broadway Legend
joined:1/29/10
EricMontreal, yes "Now That I've seen her" originally started out with some diffrent lyrics and was called "Her or Me". Claire Moore sings that version on the original London cast recording and it was in the show for (I think) around a year before it was changed for "Now That I've Seen Her" which was included along with other changes including an amended ending. Interesting that they've changed the song again. I'd love to see this new production - there have been rumours of a new London production in 2013.
eatlasagna
Broadway Legend
joined:10/6/04
Ellen says "now that I've seen her" four times in the song... how is that too much? it's not she's saying "the american dream" every two seconds!
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
It's just that "Now that I've seen her" is basically the whole message of the song. I've seen her. She's here. I heard her voice. I saw here eyes. I've seen her. It hurts.

The new song "maybe" has much more depth and different angles.
"When I saw her I understood everything completely" is just one sentence in the new song. I just love the part "And maybe, he was never really mine...." and "does he compare her love to me", all the doubts Ellen has. "Does he feel maybe.......that he belongs to the woman that truly cherishes/loves him
The woman that shares his laughter and tears through thick and thin".

By the way, the song was written in English but translated to Dutch for this production.

SporkGoddess
Broadway Legend
joined:7/27/05
The repetition in "Now That I've Seen Her" makes sense though because she's in shock. She's dwelling on this new event. She's not really in the place to go "oh, well, maybe he'll still choose me in the end!" yet. It's a process song, a "what is she thinking" song, not a story-driving song.
Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
jacco
Stand-by
joined:7/29/05
Even with the Broadway changes I always missed Miss Moore's fascinating rendition of lines I actually sing in my bathroom:

"I know what PAAAIIIN her life today must be..
But if it all comes down to HER and ME"....

Always gets me....
SO GOOD!
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
I agree that Claire sang that beautifully and I think she has one of the best voices in the world. Unfortunately no Ellen I ever saw live came close to that quality.

About the lyrics, "Her or me" actually was the 2nd set of lyrics for the song. In the video from the making of Miss Saigon there is footage of Claire rehearsing the song and there it's called "Who says it hurts".

It goes something like this;

"Who says it hurts
It's just like waking up
I don't hate this girl even so
Who says it hurts
.........(can someone help me out here)
Maybe I won't ever really know"


AND before that there were the wonderful Miss Saigon demo's with another song for Ellen, called "What if he doesn't come back home tonight". I wish someone could post that song here or on youtube.




Updated On: 1/24/12 at 06:04 PM
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
TheatrePaul do you know when the cast album was changed from Me or Her to Now That I've Seen her? Wiki and the usual sources don't mention this--I got the casette tape originally I suppose around 90/91 and it had been changed by then--were other things changed on the recording?

I have to say I agree with others who say Now That I've Seen Her represents the shock perfectly. I really don't buy that Ellen in three minutes would move on to a hopeful more level headed take on the situation.

I admit, more often than not I tend to think creators shouldn't change their shows, and I tend to think more often than not they either fix something that doesn't need to be fixed or are worst--though like I said I like Now That I've Seen Her far more than Her or Me (and with other shows I've liked some changes--like Sondheim adding Our Little World to ITW, though I think Sondheim shows are often big examples of shows changed for the worse). Yet I get that one thing people in theatre love is they can continuously "improve" their works (which is much harder to do with film or even novels--unless you're George Lucas...), and I grant that it's their prerogative.

(I often wonder if these works are still performed in 50-100 years when the rights are free, if there will be debates about which versions to use, the way there are for some classic plays, operas, ballets, etc...)
eatlasagna
Broadway Legend
joined:10/6/04
it's so interesting listening to Ellen's part change... listening to the first preview in London, Ellen had a lot more lines and her confrontation scene after Her or Me had a lot more to it... always interesting to hear... that and John's line is really dumb that it makes the audience laugh (basically he just sings, hey guys we have a problem" sounds so.. odd)! haha...
Pauly3
Understudy
joined:12/12/11
"What's the aforementioned "Too Much for One Heart"?"

"Too Much For One Heart" was never used in the production. It was what became "Please". The creative team did not think the original version moved the story along, so the original song was replaced with "Please".

The original version was a great song though:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHmsJLzNgDY&fmt=18
jsg03jd
Broadway Star
joined:11/24/04
I think "Her Or Me/Now That I've Seen Her" was just fine. It had that epic quality to it similar to Mother's song "Back to Before" in "Ragtime." I'm not sure how I feel about this new solo for Ellen.
theatrepaul
Broadway Legend
joined:1/29/10
EricMontreal - Im not sure exactly when it changed. I got the cast recording soon after the show opened, certainly within the first year of performance. I think various changes were incorporated into the show including the change to this song when the first cast change happened which was probably about a year into the run. Not sure whether Claire Moore ever sung it as Now That Ive Seen Her or if Ruthie Henshall who replaced her was first to sing it with those lyrics.
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
It was changed within the first year, before the London cast highlights CD came out, because Claire re-recorded the vocals over the instrumental track for that CD. That's why there are 2 versions sung by Claire Moore on CD. (London double CD and London Highlights CD).
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
So to make things a little clearer, there were 6 different versions/songs for Ellen.

1. What if he doesn't come back home tonight
2. Who says it hurts
3. Her or me
4. Now that I've seen her (still with the verses "there are days when your life clouds over, and the world gets so dark, etc)
5. Now that I've seen her (with other verses, like "It's all right when I just imagine, there's no face, she's not real, etc)
6. Maybe


I personally like the first "now that I've seen her" better than the second one.

But I like "Maybe" the best.

Updated On: 1/25/12 at 04:01 PM
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
OK, I'm now completely confused about the recording issue (Pauly I appreciate you linking me to Too Much For One Heart--thanks!).

So did Claire record the Now That I've Seen Her version for the highlights recording and soon after it was incorporated into the complete London 2 disc/casette recording?
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
I just read this on Twitter:

Stephanie J Block debuts "Maybe" a new song for Miss Saigon beautifully after rehearsing it for just a day. #amazing

This was at the Boublil and Schonberg concert in Dallas last night. Are there any clips available yet?
LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
Why SIGH?

I just ask if there's anyone who has clips of this performance. Do you have an answer?
BWNUT
Stand-by
joined:9/26/07
Saw the Dallas show. SJBLock made the sign of the cross before singing this song which made the audience laugh out loud . It worked cause she nailed it and stopped the show .
My impression is it's longer than its previous incarnations. I thought the words are more lyrical and poetic. They're less angry, more sentimental and, as others have pointed out , hopeful. The melody is not as memorable imo because it did not stay in my head as Her or Me and Now That did .
Related tidbits : Lea Salonga announced that a Miss Saigon world tour is happening in 2013. Brian Stokes Mitchell, if I heard it right , announced that Peter Lockyer will take over the role of Jean Valjean in the 25th anniversaryth tour .



Updated On: 3/24/12 at 07:56 PM
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
'New song for Ellen in Miss Saigon'

Why god why!
2014 Theatre: Billy Elliot***** Meet Me In St Louis*** American Psycho**** Tell Me On A Sunday**** Jeeves and Wooster: Perfect Nonsense* Stephen Ward**** Charlie and the Chocolate factory*** Dirty Dancing** Stephen Sondheim's Puttin It Together*** Candide*** The Lion King***** The Book of Mormon****** Les Miserable***** Stephen Ward**** The Weir**** Fortune's Fool*** Spamalot*** Superior Doughnuts**** Seven Brides For Seven Brothers**** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Finans Rainbow**** The Commitments** Boeing Boeing*** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) The A-Z of Mrs P** Billy Elliot***** Wicked** Good People***** Urinetown***** Spamalot*** The Full Monty**** Other Desert Cities*** Ghosts*** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels***** It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman*** Stephen Ward**** King Lear**** A Taste Of Honey** Blithe Spirit**** From Here To Eternity**** Spamalot*** Fiddler On The Roof** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Relative Values**** Fatal Attraction*** Matilda***** 39 Steps**** Another Country** Handbagged** Two Into One*** The Beautiful Game***** Let The Right One In**** Once**** Privacy***** Home** Best of Friends** Avenue Q*** Good People***** Betty Blue Eyes*** (Tour: Salisbury Playhouse) I Can't Sing* A View From The Bridge***** Water Babies **** (Tour: Leicester Curve) Miss Saigon***** In The Heights*** The Testament of Mary*** This May Hurt A Bit*** The Last 5 Years* (Greenwich Theatre) All My Sons*** Happy Days** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels**** Bakersfield Mist**** Ushers** The Pajama Game*** Evita*** (Tour: Orchard Theatre, Dartford)Fings Ain't What They Used To Be**** Billy Elliot***** Titus Andronicus**** 1984*** Clarence Darrow**** Miss Saigon***** A Small Family Business*** Things We Do For Love**** Hobson's Choice*** Rock of Ages*** (Tour: Churchill Theatre, Bromley) Zanna, Don't!*** The Silver Tassie** Bring Up The Bodies** Forbidden Broadway**** Carousel**** Hotel*** The Crucible**** Medea*** The Importance of Being Earnest*** The Pajama Game*** Skylight**** Pacific Overtures** The Invincibles*** Julius Ceasar***
latitudex1
Featured Actor
joined:7/9/08
http://youtu.be/yQ8tuBJ4bLE

Stephanie J. Block's rendition. I feel like "Now That I've Seen Her" is truer to the moment, but this song should get the audience to like Ellen. So, mission accomplished? Of course, that would hinge on whether or not the audience falls asleep in the middle of it.

And the song does sound better with a belt. Huh.
LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
Why SIGH?


Because people copy and paste tweets without pasting in the URL! It's not that hard!
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4
eatlasagna
Broadway Legend
joined:10/6/04
i like it but i miss the catchy melody of NOW THAT I'VE SEEN HER
HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
I don't think it's a bad song, but "Now That I've Seen Her" is a much stronger song in my opinion. I don't think "Maybe" gets all that exciting until the end.

Good luck trying to find someone sing this consistently eight times a week.
theminutepast
Broadway Star
joined:2/1/06
"Now That I've Seen Her" has always been one of my favorite songs from Miss Saigon. I agree with everyone else who says that the song captures Ellen's raw feelings and reaction to the hotel scene.

This new song, "Maybe," bothers me on so many levels. First, it doesn't have a melody that stays with you. That song was completely unmemorable except for the repetitive, screeching word "maybe." Second, the lyrics are too complex for the moment right after the hotel scene. Ellen should be upset that Chris didn't confide in her about Kim, but honestly, Ellen doesn't have that much reason to suspect Chris is getting ready to leave her. Ellen's song should be about Chris' betrayal in not telling her about Kim and about her immediate hurt upon meeting Kim. Finally, this song just doesn't fit with the rest of the musical. The sounds and melodies I associate with Miss Saigon are not reflected in "Maybe" at all.

Ultimately, Ellen is an unimportant character. It doesn't really matter what the audience thinks of her - if they sympathize with her or feel she's the other woman. Aren't we supposed to feel both, anyway? Aren't we supposed to feel conflicted about her and the way the story ends?

On top of that, I don't see any reason for changing Ellen's song when her story is completely wiped from our minds not fifteen minutes after her solo number when Kim kills herself. I don't see why Boublil and Schonberg have been obsessed with this song all these years. I also don't understand why they continue to tinker with their best musicals when it's apparent their new arrangements are terrible. (I still have not forgiven them for hollowing out some of the best tunes in Les Miserables.)




Updated On: 3/25/12 at 01:42 PM

2
Page:

BROADWAYWORLD TV