Comscore

New Girl In Town....

ZiggyCringe
Leading Actor
joined:5/16/05
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/15/12 at 11:42pm
Has nobody seen this? It's a really, really terrific production of a completelty dumb-ass musical.

There is some terrific stuff going on on stage, to absolutely no effect, because as Gertie Stein said, there's No There There.

Anna Christie is fascinating source material. Here, the adaptation is horrifying, and Bob Merrill does his usual "supercalifragilisticsuperrhymingnonsense". And it fails.

AND YET... this production works. The cast is terrific. They made nonsense make sense. I really recommend it as a fun evening in the theatre.
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/16/12 at 12:35am
Did they reinstate Fosse's full, cut (though apparently he snuck much of it backinto the show) Whore House Ballet?

Even at the time, to adapt Anna Christie into a musical, by Bob Merrill and George Abbott no less, just seems so flat out... weird.
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aasjb4ever
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/09
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/16/12 at 12:38am
Full disclosure I thought this had to do with the Hairspray anniversary.
What a colossal piece of crap! It'll probably run for years.
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/16/12 at 05:29am
"There is some terrific stuff going on on stage, to absolutely no effect, because as Gertie Stein said, there's No There There. "

There's there there.

" Bob Merrill does his usual "supercalifragilisticsuperrhymingnonsense". And it fails. "

It does not fail. It's winsome, melodic, and atmospheric.

I attended an early preview. At that point, there was no whorehouse ballet. Dancing was minimal. There was a slight change in the order of songs. "There Ain't No Flies on Me" had been cut.
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macnyc
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/08
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/16/12 at 07:14am
Sad to say, I did not enjoy this at all, and my friend and I left after the first act. I found the play to be hokey, with unbelievable, one-dimensional characters, and the music didn't grab me either.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/17/12 at 08:53am
I saw New Girl in Town and agree with the OP that the Irish Rep and cast did a nice job, but it really is a lacking show. It was like a poor man's "Fanny," and should have made a more lush, romantic score in that vein than the random little ditties it did contain.

In general the book scenes were better than the musical numbers, and the actress playing Anna was particularly effective in them. After a while I realized I just wanted to see her in a production of Anna Christie. The book is often so intense and dramatic, and Merrill shied away from musicalizing the drama. He gave peppy, out of place songs to minor characters and then the show would revert back to the source material to move the plot along.

In the second act the scene with Anna, Matt and Chris reminded me of the scene in "Fanny" when Marius comes back to see Fanny and they're interrupted by Marius' father. It is rather brilliantly musicalized by "The Thought of You/Love Is a Very Light Thing/Other Hands, Other Hearts." Rome was good fit for his material, but Merrill wasn't spinning the gold he spun for "Carnival" a few years later.

The happy ending slapped onto the plot was stupid. If you want to write a musical comedy why the hell would you choose "Anna Christie" as your source material!? At times I thought this is what Roger De Bris would have done with "Anna Christie." "They're losing the war? It's too down beat!"
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/17/12 at 09:10am
" It was like a poor man's "Fanny," and should have made a more lush, romantic score in that vein than the random little ditties it did contain. "

Ludicrous. Did you listen to" It's Good to Be Alive," or example, or were you snoozing?

"He gave peppy, out of place songs to minor characters and then the show would revert back to the source material to move the plot along. "

Nonsense. Have you ever heard of something called atmosphere?

Rome was good fit for his material, but Merrill wasn't spinning the gold he spun for "Carnival" a few years later.

Thanks, professor. This from the person who finds Queen of the Mist and Once to be great scores!
whatever2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/25/06
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/17/12 at 09:16am
Look, Chi Chi, the Legends are starting to devour their own!
"You, sir, are a moron." (PlayItAgain)
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/17/12 at 09:19am
After Eight! Good Morning!

Bringing up "Queen of the Mist" did remind me that I was thinking LaChiusa could have done wonders with this source material. Someone should tell him we're still waiting for the perfect "Anna Christie" musical and he's just the man to do it.

There are a few nice ballads in "New Girl in Town," but most of the score is extraneous and almost none of the score moves along the plot.

The score makes attempts at creating atmosphere, albeit the wrong one. The world of "Anna Christie" is hardly a peppy, upbeat place. Even you must concede that, After Eight. The atmosphere of any adaptation should reflect that. Once does create excellent atmosphere- perhaps you should give it another listen.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
ZiggyCringe
Leading Actor
joined:5/16/05
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/19/12 at 04:57am


After Eight,

Let's agree to disagree. I'm just not a fan of Bob Merrill. He tends to use near-rhymes, and also makes up nonsensical words.



Updated On: 8/19/12 at 04:57 AM
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/19/12 at 07:37am
"The happy ending slapped onto the plot was stupid."

And I guess the happy ending of My Fair Lady was equally stupid.

These are adaptations, not recreations. Geesh!

Atmosphere means capturing and evoking the ambience, sound, and essence of a time and milieu. Not that you know beans anyway about the ambience and sound of the time and milieu of New Girl in Town.

But truly, how can one even have any kind of intelligent, informed discussion with someone who has already dismissed My Fair Lady here, and has maintalined that it too is inferior to that messterpiece Once.

And oh, yes, I did give Once a second listen, on the Tony Awards. After hearing the bawling hero wail about moonbeams, I was too busy laughing to hear it all the way through, though.

Ziggy,

"makes up nonsensical words"

So does Cole Porter.

Oh, brother, what next?!



Updated On: 8/19/12 at 07:37 AM
wonkit
Broadway Legend
joined:9/30/08
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/19/12 at 08:39am
I enjoyed this performance mainly because I am becoming a die-hard fan of Irish rep. Their MAN AND SUPERMAN production was spot on - well cast, well thought out and incredibly effective scenic designs.

I made the mistake of reading ANNA CHRISTIE first. My initial reaction was "This is going to be a musical?" It is a dark, difficult, complex play (although hardly O'Neill's best). So this production was (again) well cast, well thought out and scenic genius (the change of the bar to the barge was magic), but the music did not fit the atmosphere. In fact, it worked against the seriousness of the play. But I still enjoyed it for what it was - a serious try at something inherently flawed.
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Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/19/12 at 03:46pm
...So, After Eight, people can tack on happy endings to O'Neill adaptations but not darker endings to fairy tales? It's adaptation, not recreation. Geesh!


Your insipid Nostalgia Theatre Queen act is showing its moth damage.
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PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/19/12 at 03:51pm
Wait--what nonsensical words did Cole Porter ever make up?
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/19/12 at 06:55pm
"De trop" pronounced to rhyme with "the top", but I think that's a deliberate joke by the character, who would know the difference. Same thing with "G.O.P. or gop".

Oh, and then there's "de-lovely".

Not that I'm criticizing Porter, mind you. Unlike some of his contemporaries, he knew to use neologisms discretely.

Updated On: 8/19/12 at 06:55 PM
GavestonPS Profile Photo
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/19/12 at 06:56pm
Atmosphere means capturing and evoking the ambience, sound, and essence of a time and milieu. Not that you know beans anyway about the ambience and sound of the time and milieu of New Girl in Town.

Did After Eight just admit he was around during the turn of the 20th Century? I mean we've always suspected, but...
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/20/12 at 07:58am
"Your insipid Nostalgia Theatre Queen act is showing its moth damage."

Why, what's the matter little boy? Upset to learn that the world did not begin with your arrival on the planet? That composers like Kern, Gershwin, Porter, Rodgers, etc. wrote rings around those you revere?

Well, that's just too bad. Into the woods with you, where you can bawl about it to the owls and bats.

Bu I'm afraid even they will know you're batty.

WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/20/12 at 08:39am
wonkit is completely correct with his assessment: "the music did not fit the atmosphere. In fact, it worked against the seriousness of the play."

Yes, After Eight, it is an adaptation and not a recreation, but it should not be treated like an original work. Merrill didn't just choose to write a musical about what life was like in 1900s New York. He chose to to adapt a play set in that time, and any atmosphere in his adaptation should reflect the atmosphere in Anna Christie. I don't think anyone expects adaptations to be carbon copies of their source materials; what would be the point? I do expect an adaptation to remain faithful to the general story, atmosphere and ideology of the source material. If a composer doesn't want to do that, maybe he or she should just write something original.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/20/12 at 09:02am
"Yes, After Eight, it is an adaptation and not a recreation, but it should not be treated like an original work"

It is its OWN work, and to be assessed on its own terms.

(And as if you would know about the proper atmosphere of Anna Chistie, anyway. Like how many times have you seen it? Loved your lettered analysis of Fanny, though, expert as you are on Pagnol's original, as well.)

But thanks for the lectures, prof. I didn't enroll in your course, though. Your reputation preceded you.



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D2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/3/06
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/20/12 at 10:55am
Whizzer, why? Why do you bother? If you have to feed the troll, then feed it Pea Soup with Anise, not logic or well-considered and intelligent arguments.
Cheyenne Jackson tickled me. AFTER ordering SoMMS a drink but NOT tickling him, and hanging out with Girly in his dressing room (where he DIDN'T tickle her) but BEFORE we got married. To others. And then he tweeted Boobs. He also tweeted he's good friends with some chick on "The Voice" who just happens to be good friends with Tink's ex. And I'm still married. Oh, and this just in: "Pettiness, spite, malice ....Such ugly emotions... So sad." - After Eight, talking about MEEEEEEEE!!! I'm so honored! :-)
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/20/12 at 12:14pm
Ha I know it's futile trying to have a discussion with After Eight, but sometimes I can't help myself. I did laugh when you brought up the pea soup!
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/20/12 at 12:23pm
Never seen the show, but I've been a fan of the score for a long time. The only song I found to be a real oddity is On the Farm. Detailing her trials of sexual assault and incest through a peppy upbeat number always seem really bizarre to me. Does it work better on stage?
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel Profile Photo
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/20/12 at 12:37pm
I thought the actress in this production pulled off "On the Farm" well. She performed it like it was a Loveland number from "Follies," making the peppy tune ironic and staring into the audience with hollow eyes at points, remembering the horrors she had to go through. It was a haunting layer that doesn't seem there in Verdon's performance on the OBCR. (Obviously I never saw Verdon live so I don't know how she handled it onstage.)

The score in and of itself isn't what I object to. It's the meshing with the book and the failure to capture the spirit of the source material that I find lacking.

The show feels like a roller coaster (in a bad way) because the book scenes are so intense and serious and the musical numbers are so cheerful and merry. Merrill chose to musicalize a lot of the "crowd scenes" in the bar and the street. Matt and Anna have a couple ballads, but they are there to carry the book and everyone else gets to sing pretty, but rather extraneous, songs.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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AC126748
Broadway Legend
joined:7/15/06
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/20/12 at 01:42pm
The score has precisely two good songs. The rest are frankly unlistenable.

This production is a fine attempt at making something substantial out of very little. The actress playing Anna (Loesser something--relation to Frank?) is quite nice. But it's still a trying evening, and always will be.
"You travel alone because other people are only there to remind you how much that hook hurts that we all bit down on. Wait for that one day we can bite free and get back out there in space where we belong, sail back over water, over skies, into space, the hook finally out of our mouths and we wander back out there in space spawning to other planets never to return hurrah to earth and we'll look back and can't even see these lives here anymore. Only the taste of blood to remind us we ever existed. The earth is small. We're gone. We're dead. We're safe." -John Guare, Landscape of the Body
wonkit
Broadway Legend
joined:9/30/08
New Girl In Town....
Posted: 8/20/12 at 01:57pm
Thanks, whizzer. You explain clearly the issues that the production (and the underlying material) have. What a talented group of performers, though. A lot of energy and music from a tiny ensemble and four (five?) musicians. The young man playing Matt (I don't have my Playbill at hand) was gorgeous, I thought.

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