What did the cast of Rags do in an effort to stop the rapid closing on Broadway in 1986?

Littleshopofcarrie
Featured Actor
joined:12/9/12
I saw this on audience rewards and had no clue but really wanted to find out... Anyone know?
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
What do you mean, what did they do?
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
Reginald Tresilian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/12/08
I seem to recall that the cast went together to the TKTS booth (maybe with flyers?) to try to persuade folks to buy tickets.
AnthVoice2010
Broadway Star
joined:8/13/10
The cast marched into Times Square (led by Goddess, Theresa Stratas)(along with a large number of theatre attendees) and had some sort of rally...I believe in protest of the power of bad reviews yet the loving audience reaction the show was getting...

They wanted people to give them a chance...

It was unheard of for the time.



"There's no damn business like show business - you have to smile to keep from throwing up." - Billie Holiday
Updated On: 7/1/13 at 04:38 PM
Wilmingtom
Broadway Star
joined:7/18/11
I seem to remember that they hit Times Square en masse with fliers but that's not so unusual. Or did they lock Stratas in the theater?
Reginald Tresilian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/12/08
Yes, it was more of a rally; not just handing out fliers. And yes, I'm pretty sure Teresa Stratas was the leader.

The show was deeply flawed, but Stratas was glorious. Actually, it was a great cast all around. But Stratas . . .
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Were the reviews that bad? I went to Wikipedia (I know) and they mentioned lukewarm reviews.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Reginald Tresilian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/12/08
I don't think they were by any means savage; disappointed, if anything, given the names associated with the show. But they weren't reviews that were going to sell ticktes.
Ed_Mottershead
Broadway Legend
joined:10/20/05
I recall that Liz Smith made some comment to the effect that it was one of the worst, biggest disasters ever to hit Broadway. I don't think the rest were that savage, but bad enough to abort the show's run prematurely. One of the real crying shames, IMO. The producers should have let it run at least a week more, to see if public interest could be mustered. And it ended up with some Tony nominations because whatever came after it was so God-awful that season.
BroadwayEd
Littleshopofcarrie
Featured Actor
joined:12/9/12
How the heck did it get nominated for best musical??????????????????
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
As already stated -- it was a lousy season.

How did Leap of Faith get a nom?
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
For me it ties Mack and Mabel for the best score to a flop show.

The music is glorious.
....but the world goes 'round
DAME
Broadway Legend
joined:4/15/04
Not sure if this or legs diamond was the last thing I saw at the Hellinger.
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
But the book is very lousy. Bad enough to undo any goodwill earned by the score.
Huss417
Broadway Star
joined:5/15/03
I was fortunate enough to have seen it. It had some flaws(book issues) but it was/is a great score and had a great cast. It did deserve a somewhat longer run than it had. But back then shows closed when reviews weren't great with not a lot of advance as opposed to today where they just keep throwing more and more money into it.
"I hope your Fanny is bigger than my Peter." Mary Martin to Ezio Pinza opening night of Fanny.
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
Funny--I don't remember them doing this. I just remember feeling sad.

I remember feeling that what Teresa Stratas was doing was magical, and that Judy Kuhn's voice was thrilling.

But I also remember feeling sad when Larry Kert's song-and-dance number didn't work out. And the book felt imitative. And the set design was all wrong...what the hell was that giant Statue of Liberty head doing there?

It was part of those terrible few seasons during which it felt like the entire American Musical Theater world had forgotten how to write musicals.

And so many people were dying. AIDS was picking off the best and the brightest of an entire theatrical generation. A few years after Rags closed, Larry Kert was dead, and so was my beautiful and talented friend Mark Fotopoulos, who was in the chorus. He had been one of the Jets in the Debbie Allen West Side Story, and one of the Aggies in the movie of Best Little Whorehouse. Rags was his last Broadway show.

It was all very sad.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
On a different web site, I run an academic comparative compendium of the complete works associated with notable theatrical figures, such as Stephen Schwartz for one. My research has turned up four extant versions of "Rags:" the original Broadway, a chamber-musical revision with less than ten players shortly after, and then two more rewrites and revisions.

Has anyone here seen any of the revised ones? Did they fix the problems with the book and the show, or is RAGS simply not musical material?
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
My alma mater did a revised version last spring. The show just wasn't good, no fault of the talented students.

It's overlong, with too many characters that cause the show to lose focus, sometimes tangential, and very melodramatic.
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
I suspected as much- if your alma mater is Marymount, then I know one of the guys who was in the cast! He played a lead in the first original musical I wrote and staged.
AnthVoice2010
Broadway Star
joined:8/13/10
Theresa Stratas - one of a kind...who leaves the world of opera for a year to help Mother Theresa with the lepers...only Stratas...

This was an artist the likes of which we have never encountered before or since....

If you think opera has nothing to do with acting...watch Stratas break your heart in fifty million pieces...


Great Stratas interview...
"There's no damn business like show business - you have to smile to keep from throwing up." - Billie Holiday
temms
Broadway Star
joined:7/21/04
I saw it at Papermill in a quite-good production about 10-12 years ago, but I came away not really liking the piece. I left feeling like it was a noble effort, but I never connected with any of the characters or felt particularly caught up in what was going on. Admirable, but it didn't move me, despite the quality of the score.

My main thought was that "Ragtime" had pretty much superseded it as the go-to musical about the turn-of-the-century New York immigrant experience.
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Yes, my alma mater is Marymount!

And Ragtime accomplishes in a handful of production numbers what Rags does in its entire runtime.
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
"If you think opera has nothing to do with acting...watch Stratas break your heart in fifty million pieces..."

IF a film version of Follies ever gets made, and IF "One More Kiss" doesn't get cut I would hope that she could be lured out of retirement to play that part and sing that song.

I wish that she had recorded the score to Rags. I assume there was some contractual issue that kept her from doing the studio recording and necessitating bringing in Julia Migenes, or was it deeper than that?
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
bryan2
Broadway Star
joined:12/19/06
Having seen Rags during previews in Boston I had the pleasure of seeing CHristine Andreas when she went on for Teresa Stratas and she was amazing ...but a friend said you have to go back and see Stratus (I also so Joanna Glusak filling in for Judy Kuhn and as much as I love judy .I like Joanna Glusak (not sure if that is spelling) much better)
SO I went back a week later and saw Stratas.and I have never seen anyone like her on a stage about 5 feet tall and when she sang Children of the WInd I thought the roof would blow off..she was AMAZING....the show had problems but was in good shape when it left Boston..but then they changed a lot /cut a lot and basically couldn't get what was good back...sad because the score is great..
rosscoe(au)
Broadway Legend
joined:8/20/05
The performance on the Tony adwards that year of the title song was simply stunning and thrilling.
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
Ed_Mottershead
Broadway Legend
joined:10/20/05
I have a pirate recording of a live performance of Rags with Teresa Stratas -- it's in pretty good sound and Stratas is mind-blowing. I didn't see the original, but there was an Off-Broadway version at the Jewish Rep about 10 years or so ago. It was well done, but the book flaws never seem to have been fixed. A real shame -- the score is terrific.

BroadwayEd
Updated On: 7/3/13 at 10:44 AM

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