Worst bookwriter in musical history

Musical Master
Broadway Star
joined:4/28/13
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 05:46pm
Who do you think is the worst bookwriter who was involved in musicals? Curious to hear your thoughts.



Updated On: 3/14/14 at 05:46 PM
Mr. Nowack
Broadway Star
joined:2/2/14
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 06:02pm
Kyle Bishop
I was previously known as Mr. Nowak (Joined: 5/20/13).
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 06:05pm

nomore.org
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 06:10pm
I nominate Joseph Brooks for "In My Life" Whew, what a stinker that show was.
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.
SporkGoddess
Broadway Legend
joined:7/27/05
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 07:22pm
Maybe not the worst in history, but Heather Hach's book for Legally Blonde is pretty awful, IMO.
Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
bobs3
Broadway Legend
joined:4/8/12
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 07:30pm
Alan Jay Lerner's book for PAINT YOUR WAGON is pretty bad (great score, horrible book) but he redeemed himself with MY FAIR LADY and then fell off the wagon with CAMELOT.
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 07:34pm
Jack Murphy.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 08:01pm
I feel like it would be silly to nominate someone on the basis of a single bad book. It's gotta be a repeat offender.

What about David Henry Hwang? He's one of those "bookwriters for hire" who works on high profile projects, but his libretti are never quite up to snuff. I always felt like AIDA would be better as a sung-through megamusical than with Hwang's book. And his FLOWER DRUM SONG revisal was pretty iffy (and it DOES need a rewrite, just not his).
Simon Damon
Stand-by
joined:2/26/14
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 08:04pm
Spork if you think Legally Blonde's book was the worst then I will say you have been very lucky. Glory Days Wonderland I would even say The Women in White all had awful books.

Updated On: 3/15/14 at 08:04 PM
PianoMann
Leading Actor
joined:5/12/11
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 08:14pm
I agree with the mention of the book for Aida, though in fairness to David Henry Hwang it was co-written with Linda Woolverton and Robert Falls. Though I do love that show, I have to say the book is disastrous... it also feels like it was written with the fear that people would lose interest in between songs! The scenes are incredibly short and merely serve to dump the most pertinent exposition on the audience before the next song. There is hardly any depth to the scenes because there are barely any scenes! What a shame, it could have been a much better musical with even a slightly better book.
ABB2357
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/09
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 08:17pm
I realize this didn't come to Broadway, but if you had witnessed Rupert Holmes's book for THE FIRST WIVES CLUB it would have topped every list, hands down.
Hackasaurus_Rex
Understudy
joined:12/31/12
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 08:19pm
I love any thread that critiques writing with the question, "who is the most worst?" Clearly any of the names presented on this list write far better than you, so it might be wise to keep your mediocre negativity to yourself. it's boring, destructive (provided people actually care what you think, of course) and it makes you look like a complete idiot. I got an idea! While you work on your writing, try submitting something positive like… "Who's the bestest, most awesomest dream cast for Frozen?"

Updated On: 3/14/14 at 08:19 PM
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 08:47pm
I love any poster that critiques the critique of writing with the question, "who is the most worst?" Clearly any of the names presented on this list are not immune to criticism, so it might be wise to keep your disdain for this thread at a minimum and allow others to freely express themselves on an internet message board.
Hackasaurus_Rex
Understudy
joined:12/31/12
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 09:00pm
Never said people are immune to criticism. However, I do think one should be careful when criticizing others that you don't prove your opinions to be invalid by showing that you yourself do not have a grasp of the skill that you are critiquing. Here's an example... I suck at basketball so it would be stupid of me to send a video to an ESPN message board throwing up bricks while talking about how horrible Lebron James is. Do you see my point, Liza's Headband? You see, you are only half correct… Yes, people are entitled to their opinions. However, not everyone's opinions are worth listening to. That is how the real world outside of a message board works.
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 09:06pm
Or here's an example that contradicts your point.... It is very well possible that someone who can't sing a lick could still know when a singer is singing poorly or incorrectly (ex. if they're sharp or flat).
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 09:11pm
"I agree with the mention of the book for Aida, though in fairness to David Henry Hwang it was co-written with Linda Woolverton and Robert Falls."

From what I remember of Aida's production history it wasn't so much as co-written by the three as it was a case of David Henry Hwang and Robert Falls doing some substantial rewrites after the original production in Atlanta. I believe (and somebody can correct me if I'm wrong) that Linda Woolverton had little involvement after Robert Falls was brought on to completely overhaul (which is also when David Henry Hwang was brought on as I recall) the show for the Chicago and subsequent Broadway production, and then David Henry Hwang did further rewrites/edits prior to the show being released for licensing.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 09:11pm
I paid to see some of these shows. I have the right to comment on the product.
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.
Hackasaurus_Rex
Understudy
joined:12/31/12
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 09:17pm
They may believe that they know good singing vs. bad. That doesn't mean that they do. And so what? Who cares anyway? As we know it's all subjective. Bob Dylan is technically a crappy singer but his music has changed history. So who am I to say it's bad. Your example does not contradict my point because my point is not that people can or can't have opinions. My point is one that is as old as time and has something to do with glass houses. It is not wise while critiquing something to show within that critique how bad you yourself are at the thing you are critiquing. It weakens any argument you are making to the point of irrelevant.
Hackasaurus_Rex
Understudy
joined:12/31/12
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 09:23pm
Uggggh… No one is telling you that you don't have a right to comment on the product you purchased, Gothampc. I'm simply saying when you do so it would be wise not to expose how little you know about what you are talking about. It is hilarious that I would have to defend this point on the same message board that so venomously rips a professional writer like Brantley to shreds for his lack of theater knowledge and poor writing skills.
Musical Master
Broadway Star
joined:4/28/13
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 09:24pm
AEA AGMA SM, from some reports on those who have seen the original Atlanta production, they said that the book by Linda Woolverton was longer and the characters were developed than the final product, but critics said that the show was overlong and the characters were flat. So when 1999 rolled around, Hawng and Falls were hired and Woolverton decided to do something else in the meantime.

Does that help?

Updated On: 3/14/14 at 09:24 PM
Hackasaurus_Rex
Understudy
joined:12/31/12
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 09:29pm
"more longer".

Liza's Headband, can we not fight and just extend a hand to the Musical Master? Please!? I only want to help this poor child. I'm not here to throw eggs.

Updated On: 3/14/14 at 09:29 PM
Musical Master
Broadway Star
joined:4/28/13
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 09:31pm
^I'm Sorry if I was the cause of the fighting here... I was only curious.

Updated On: 3/14/14 at 09:31 PM
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 09:33pm
We're not "fighting." We're disagreeing.

It is MY opinion that one need not be a professional writer in order to critique (or criticize) another's writing. If we applied your standards to everything there would be very little conversation or debate in this world. It means that if I thought a house was poorly designed, the opinion would not be valid because I'm not an architect. It means that the opinion of my dinner tasting like crap is irrelevant because I am not a professionally trained chef.

See?
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 09:34pm
That does, Musical Master. I would thus not place too much blame on Woolverton's shoulders for the script of Aida that we know today, since it does seem as if she was no longer around for the rewrites made between Atlanta and Chicago.

I just remember so much of the focus on the Atlanta production being about the giant pyramid set and how often it failed to work (and of course how expensive it was). It seemed as if the writing and score were being largely ignored, at least in the talk that I was hearing at the time through various sources.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
Musical Master
Broadway Star
joined:4/28/13
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 09:38pm
^If I were to choose a writer who was a little bit bad, it would be Hawng himself because I will never get over the....well..... let's just say, a bad revision on Flower Drum Song.

I do wonder what was Woolverton's version of Aida, from some who have seen it, it was good. Woolverton isn't that bad of a writer for she did a pretty good job extending Beauty and the Beast's original narrative, but her book for Lestat was servicable at best.

Updated On: 3/14/14 at 09:38 PM
Hackasaurus_Rex
Understudy
joined:12/31/12
Worst bookwriter in musical history
Posted: 3/14/14 at 09:40pm
I'm the one that is sorry, Musical Master. Sincerely. Here's the thing. "More longer" and "Most worst" are bad writing. It's just longer and worst. I don't mean to make you feel bad. I simply think that when going out on a limb to critique other's work we should make sure that we don't present our ideas in a way that undermines the point we are making. That is all. I would never have busted you on your writing if your post was a positive one. The fact that it was based in negativity got my feathers ruffled. That said, I'm sure you are a very nice person.

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