What did people think of Victor/Victoria (1995)?

Jay94
Stand-by
joined:4/10/11
I think the only good thing to come out of this show is that it has arguably the best filmed version of a stage production ever. Other than that the book is full of lame sitcom humour and while the score is nice in parts, the lyrics by Leslie Bricusse are so lazy and underdeveloped. Just listen to King's Dilemma or If I Were a Man for some examples.

What did you think of the show? I imagine there was a lot of buzz when it came out.




Updated On: 6/29/13 at 12:14 PM
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
The fact that Julie Andrews was returning to Broadway in a musical after more than 30 years away was a huge event. I think people were a bit disappointed in V/V, but at the same time, people also wanted to see a musical theater legend.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
frontrowcentre2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/05
The stage production is a mess! Once again - just as happened with SUNSET BLVD - a wonderful film has been trashed by inept handling, poor writing and complete lack of understanding of how to use songs to develop plot and character. (King's Dilemma being once key exception.) Andrews is competing against her screen performance filmed 15 years earlier and no longer had the voice.

Strange that some of the funniest dialogue in the film is cut from the stage script. And really, what is there to gain from taking successful film and merely re-creating it on stage? Nothing as far as I can see, unless the stage version creates some unique theatrical concepts to eclipse memories of the original film. (The current Toronto production of WIZARD OF OZ is dreadful because it tries to slavishly copy the movie.)

As for the hyperbolic claim that is is "the best filmed version of a stage production ever" I direct you to the TV versions of SWEENEY TODD, INTO THE WOODS and SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE. Even the TV version of MEMPHIS is at least as good as VICTOR/VICTORIA.

Cast albums are NOT "soundtracks."
Live theatre does not use a "soundtrack." If it did, it wouldn't be live theatre!

I host a weekly one-hour radio program featuring cast album selections as well as songs by cabaret, jazz and theatre artists. The program, FRONT ROW CENTRE is heard Sundays 9 to 10 am and also Saturdays from 8 to 9 am (eastern times) on www.proudfm.com

Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
"As for the hyperbolic claim that is is "the best filmed version of a stage production ever"

I don't know how old the original poster is, but I feel sorry for the young kids today who didn't get to see the productions that were filmed for "Live From Lincoln Center" but not made available for commercial purchase.

The 80s House of Blue Leaves was wonderful. Also in 89 or 90, there was a production of A Little Night Music that was nice. In the 90s, the beautifully designed Twelfth Night is another example.

Darn it, I have to get all my video tapes digitalized. I think I have all of those shows somewhere.

If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
Updated On: 6/29/13 at 03:40 PM
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
I have the DVD of the stage production of V/V. I've never been able to get through it. I think the longest I've lasted is 45 minutes. Then I watched Le Jazz Hot and realized that this just wasn't any good at all.

If by "best filmed," you're talking about the quality, at least it was filmed in HD. That makes it "better" (in quality only, not content) than other videos of shows.

But everything else about it was unwatchable. And I agree that seeing Julie compete with the memory of her own Oscar-nominated film performance from 15 years earlier was ... unfortunate.

I do think, because of the weak year, had she accepted the Tony nomination, she would have won.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
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jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
Paris makes me horny,
It's not like Californ-y...

And I will leave it at that.

Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
That song is one of the most excruciating ever.
JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
1) This show was egregiously overlooked by the Tonys.

2) While the show had some awful rough spots, the "Louis Says" production number (Did they cut it for Broadway) was 6 of the most delightful minutes I've ever spent in a theater. (It was in place of the "Shady Dame From Seville" number in the film)
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.
ABB2357
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/09
Been to Munich
Where every guy's a eunuch
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
"Louis Says" was cut during the run. It was in the show when it first opened (I think it may have been cut when Liza covered for Julie's vacation, but maybe even before then).

I think if she had accepted the nomination and won it would have been more of an award for being Julie Andrews than for her actual performance, which, as best12 and others have said, was a pale shadow to what she did on film. Donna Murphy, as I recall, was getting raves for The King and I and the possibility of Daphne winning for Rent doesn't seem like it would have been entirely unlikely. I think Crista Moore winning for Big would have been the only real surprise that year. And, as I recall, even though she said she declined the nomination she was still eligible, as I remember them still reading her name and showing a photo during the telecast when announcing the nominees.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
I didn't even realize the stage version was filmed.

I saw one promotional broadcast of the title number. When I got to:

"Victor/Victoria,
What a victor you are!"

I was done. (I grew up doting on Julie Andrews and loved the original film, but oy!)
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
For those who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you like.



On Blu-ray and DVD
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
Updated On: 6/29/13 at 07:03 PM
theatredk
Chorus Member
joined:10/26/06
I saw it in December of 1996 and Louis Says was out buy then and replace with a reprise of Crazy world. I saw it three weeks later with Liza and I think they added if I Were a Man
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
The show was so bad I wondered how it ever made it to Broadway.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
ComingUpRoses2
Leading Actor
joined:3/14/11
The show was a total hot mess. Rachel York stole the show and chewed the scenery as Norma. Probably the only bright spot. Anyone who can make a song like "Paris Makes Me Horny" tolerable deserves some credit in my book.
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
"Living in the Shadows" is a guilty pleasure:

One thing I can tell you,
Life should be your lover...
Help you to discover
Your reason for being!

LOL/Oy

Gorlois
Stand-by
joined:5/18/13
I was born in '95, so obviously even if I had seen it, I'd have no recollection of it. However, Julie Andrews is my favorite performer, so I am familiar with the show and I own it on DVD and BD (two different performances, by the way).

Firstly, it holds no candle to the movie which is a highlight in the careers of everyone involved. But it has its pleasures-- I love "Louis Says" (what can I say?), the Victor/Norma tango was a great idea, and the DVD preserves the only example of an on-stage performance by this particular musical theatre icon. And in my case, the movie introduced me to the very talented Rachel York.

Yeah, the lyrics are bad. Sure, much of the cast remains in the shadow of the movie's originals. Not to mention, the musical seems to think the story was just as cutting edge as it was in 1982. And Blake Edwards was REALLY more of a movie director. But you take what you can get, and I rather V/V than nothing.

Btw, the OP is not the first person I've heard to call the taped performance one of the best professionally filmed performances ever. No one claims the content is, but the way they did it. I haven't seen enough filmed performances to make a statement.
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
The "Cat and Mouse" sequence is wonderful, though.
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
Brave Sir Robin2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/07
I agree about "Live From The Lincoln Center." I'd love a DVD of "Light In The Piazza." I wish more shows were taped, and that they would be on DVD. Heck, I'd love a DVD of "Legally Blonde."

Updated On: 6/29/13 at 11:27 PM
JMPlayer6
Featured Actor
joined:2/7/10
I saw it. It was not very good, and deserved its lack of Tonys. But I absolutely loved seeing Julie Andrews. I have the DVD too. To this day, I have not watched it though.
Shows seen in 2014 (NYC unless otherwise noted): 1/12 Working (Lyric Stage, Boston); 1/18 The Underpants (Hartford Stage); 1/25 The Bridges of Madison County (had seen at Williamstown Theatre Festival); 1/25 Beautiful; 1/26 Machinal; 2/1 Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Ocean State Theatre); 2/2 The Lyons (2nd Story Theatre); 2/8 Outside Mullingar; 2/8 Bronx Bombers; 2/9 Little Me (Encores!); 2/16 Seven Keys to Baldpate (2nd Story Theatre); 2/23 Witness Uganda (ART, Cambridge MA); 3/8 The Happiest Song Plays Last; 3/8 Rocky; 3/9 The Other Josh Cohen (Paper Mill Playhouse); 3/15 4000 Miles (Long Wharf Theatre) ; 3/23 The Whale (Speakeasy, Boston); 3/29 Mothers and Sons; 3/29 Buyer & Cellar; 3/30 Of Mice and Men; 4/5 Becoming Cuba (Huntington Theatre, Boston); 4/6 45 Seconds from Broadway (Mansfield Music & Arts Society); 4/12 Bullets Over Broadway; 4/12 A Raisin in the Sun; 4/13 Les Miserables (saw original Broadway run plus recent national tour); 4/19 We Will Rock You (PPAC); 4/23 Veronica Meadows (Trinity Square Rep); 4/26 Aladdin; 4/26 Hedwig and the Angry Inch; 4/27 If/Then; 5/3 Book of Mormon (PPAC, Providence RI; seen twice on Broadway previously); 5/4 42nd Street (Ocean State Theatre; had seen original Broadway production); 5/10 Violet; 5/10 Cabaret; 5/11 The Cripple of Inishmaan; 5/18 Light in the Piazzo (Wilbraham Players); 5/24 Casa Valentina; 5/24 Heathers: The Musical; 5/25 The Realistic Joneses; 6/7 Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill; 6/7 Act One; 6/8 Grease (Paper Mill Playhouse); 6/22 Fingers & Toes (Ivoryton Playhouse); 6/28 Holler If Ya Hear Me; 7/3 Working on a Special Day (Barrington Stage); 7/4 Kiss Me Kate (Barrington Stage); 7/4 The Mystery of Irma Vep (Berkshie Theatre); 7/5 June Moon (Williamstown Theatre Festival); 7/6 Madagascar (Chester Theatre Company); 7/13 Me & My Girl (Reagle Music Theatre; had seen national tour); 7/19 Guys and Dolls (Ocean State Theatre); 7/20 Monty Python Live (Mostly) (local movie theater); 7/27 Hay Fever (2nd Story Theatre); 8/3 Finding Neverland (A.R.T.); 8/8 Dancing Lessons (Barrington Stage Company); 8/9 Design for Living (Berkshire Theatre); 8/9 The Visit (Williamstown Theatre Festival); 8/10 The Golem of Havana (Barrington Stage Company); 8/17 Singin' in the Rain (Reagle Music Theatre; previously seen at Ogunquit Playhouse); 8/23 Newsies (4th time overall); 8/23 Sex with Strangers; 8/24 Run For Your Wife (Granite Theatre; previously seen in London); 8/30 And Then There Were None (2nd Story Theatre); 9/6 It's Only a Play; 9/6 The Money Shot; 9/7 The Opponent; 9/11 Broadway Bound (Your Theatre; had seen on Broadway in 1989); 9/14 Ether Dome (Hartford Stage); 9/20 The Sorcerer (Theater at Monmouth); 9/21 The Witches of Eastwick (Ogunquit Playhouse ... Forthcoming: 9/28 Comedy Is Hard! (Ivoryton Playhouse); 10/4 Far From Heaven (Speakeasy Theatre, Boston); 10/4 Sweeney Todd (Lyric Stage, Boston; saw original Broadway run); 10/11 The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time; 10/11 On the Town; 10/12 Can-Can (Paper Mill Playhouse); 10/18 Holiday Inn (Goodspeed); 10/19 My Fair Lady (Ocean State Theatre; seeing yet again); 10/25 You Can't Take It With You; 10/25 The Last Ship; 10/26 This Is Our Youth; 11/1 Love Letters; 11/2 Dial 'M' for Murder (Ocean State Theatre); 11/8 The Circus in Winter (Goodspeed); 11/15 The Elephant Man; 11/15 The River; 11/16 The Country House; 11/22 The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (Lyric Stage, Boston); 12/6 Disgraced; 12/6 Honeymoon in Vegas (had seen at Paper Mill Playhouse); 12/7 A Delicate Balance; 12/13 Picasso at the Lap in Agile (Long Wharf Theatre); 12/14 Barefoot in the Park (Trinity Square); 12/20 The Real Thing; 12/20 The Illusionists; 12/21 Side Show
Jay94
Stand-by
joined:4/10/11
What a fabulous pursuit,
Hands in pockets, running things;
I must say, it appeals.
In my hundred dollar suit,
Toying with my golden fob-watch
As I make my deals.
Lucky man who is not made to feel
Like an also-ran.
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
Note to Leslie Bricusse: "suit" and "suit" don't rhyme.

BroadwayBrat
Stand-by
joined:11/29/04
I saw it from the front row center and was so excited to be seeing Julie Andrews up close and singing, I didn't really care about the score....which, as others have said, was nothing special.

The show did introduce me to Rachel York! I was entertained by the song "Paris Makes Me Horney" and all the physical comedy going on during the song.

"Living in the Shadows" is a decent song.
jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
It could have been a perfectly good show if they had gotten Jerry Herman or K&E to write the score. I like the movie.
chewy5000
Broadway Legend
joined:12/1/09
To be fair, it makes sense to keep the composers form the movie, unfortunately Henry Mancini's death interfered. Strangely enough, Frank Wildhorn's songs are probably the better ones in the show.
IMHO I see Queenie as being more of a brunette...
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
I wouldn't say I liked it much, but I don't think it was the fiasco some are calling it here.

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