Contact - Simply Irresistible

ggersten
Broadway Legend
joined:5/11/06
Contact - Simply Irresistible
Posted: 4/26/14 at 06:01am
Perusing that site, I found excerpts of the Live at Lincoln Center production of Contact. And I remembered how much I enjoyed The Girl in the Yellow Dress.
But, then I looked at the Tony Award presentation of Simply Irresistible - and it seems vastly different: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWkpUiTc1aI I know that the Tony presentations are altered for time and venue, but these seem very different. The bit at around 2:40 of the Tony presentation doesn't appear in the Live at Lincoln Center. On Edit: it does show up in this number: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9pFkBwMy98. So, the Tony presentation was really re-choreographed!

I didn't see the show in NYC - so any information on the apparent changes would be appreciated. Regardless, I love both versions!


Live at Lincoln Center Version
Updated On: 4/26/14 at 06:01 AM
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Contact - Simply Irresistible
Posted: 4/26/14 at 08:20am
Restating (or completely re-choreographing) a number for the Tony award telecast is actually somewhat common. The most immediate other example that comes to mind is the number that was done on the Tony telecast for MOVIN OUT. Completely different than what was done on stage.

In this situation with Contact, it had to be restaged largely because there were two main entrances for the dancers at the front of the stage at the Vivian Beaumont. The dancers filtered in and out of the number, and they had to rethink that for the proscenium stage at Radio City.

Contact gets a bit of a bad rap still because people think it was unfairly awarded the best musical Tony, when there was no live music no singing and little dialogue. It was, in truth, a scandal that helped give rise to the special event Tony Award, that frankly should be brought back into play. But the experience of Contact was absolutely magic. It was a terrific evening , whatever it was...

Updated On: 4/26/14 at 08:20 AM
ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
Contact - Simply Irresistible
Posted: 4/26/14 at 08:22am
It's a pretty simple answer really. They re-choreographed the number for the Tonys b/c while it was a great dance number, the actual ending of it (shown in your third link) would have been awkward and anti-climatic. The wallflower finally gets up the courage to dance, dashes up to the girl in the yellow dress - and the song ends with him awkwardly dancing alone while the girl looks quizzically at him and the others laugh. A good joke but without the scene that follows, a terrible awards presentation.

For the Tonys, they interpolated parts of the "Topsy" choreography from a later number in the show, but still used the music from "Simply Irresistible". This way they they could show the wallflower dancing with the girl in the yellow dress. Shy bullied boy gets the girl. It's a better story given the time constraints.


eta because I crossposted with MB. While it is true that there were two main entrances/exits for the dancers at the front of the stage (known as voms), I don't think that any of the dancers left the stage for "Simply Irresistible" (or for that matter, "Topsy", until the very end).

I could be wrong, but I am pretty sure the changes were made for story-telling purposes. I completely agree with everything else MB wrote.

Updated On: 4/26/14 at 08:22 AM
Michael Bennett
Broadway Legend
joined:3/16/05
Contact - Simply Irresistible
Posted: 4/26/14 at 08:48am
Absolutely ghost, and I meant to infer that the first and foremost reason numbers are restaged is to show off the storytelling of the piece to its best advantage- I was more addressing the changes to the choreography during the body of the number for Radio City.
ghostlight2
Broadway Legend
joined:12/5/04
Contact - Simply Irresistible
Posted: 4/26/14 at 08:53am
Gotcha.

To add to what you've said, I think it's actually the exception rather than the rule that some kind of change isn't made for numbers in award shows (or other television appearances), either for time and/or physical restraints or for story-telling purposes.

Updated On: 4/26/14 at 08:53 AM
JRybka
Broadway Legend
joined:11/6/06
Contact - Simply Irresistible
Posted: 4/26/14 at 10:13am
It was truly a lovely show but in no way a musical.
"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."
mamaleh
Broadway Star
joined:5/11/04
Contact - Simply Irresistible
Posted: 4/26/14 at 12:02pm
Karen Ziemba, Boyd Gaines, Danny Mastrogiorgio and Susan Stroman's buoyant choreography featuring Deborah Yates. What's not to like?
blaxx
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/05
Contact - Simply Irresistible
Posted: 4/26/14 at 12:56pm
It was truly a lovely show but in no way a musical.

Right, if only for the fact it had non-stop music playing throughout the whole thing.

I love how the Tonys gave the middle finger to the purists. If the Best Musical award required the show to have specific elements and structure to be considered for it, they would just announce them. But they don't, so it's fair game.

Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
ggersten
Broadway Legend
joined:5/11/06
Contact - Simply Irresistible
Posted: 4/26/14 at 07:54pm
Thanks to all who responded! I had not considered the "story telling" aspect. The original number wasn't too long for the Tony slot which led to my curiosity. It just seems like such a perfect number from Live at Lincoln Center - but the Tony one also seems so perfect as well. This seemed like such a dramatic restaging of the number for the Tonys - it must have been quite a lot of extra work for all involved.