John Doyle Is At It Again

RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/22/14 at 06:23pm
According to a casting notice, John Doyle is planning to put his signature stamp on "Allegro" this fall at the Classic Stage Company. Musicians again?!
morosco
Broadway Legend
joined:7/10/04
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/22/14 at 06:46pm
Nope. "A Cappella Allegro" is the approach for this one.
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/22/14 at 08:59pm
Not according the casting notice. It says they are looking for actor/musicians and it lists all the instruments. So....
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/22/14 at 09:09pm
Since the chorus in ALLEGRO is meant to be a chorus in the ancient Greek sense, this makes a certain sense. The Greek chorus played its own instruments. In the 4th and 5th centuries BCE, the "orchestra" was a place, not a group of instruments. (For the few who care, the "orchestra" was where the chorus performed, not where the audience sat.)
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/22/14 at 09:19pm
Interesting to know! It seems like quite a big cast (even with the cuts they've made) for that small space.
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/22/14 at 09:31pm
Makes the recent Astoria production sound all the more appealing. So...I assume no dancing (for a show based around dance.) Of course I didn't expect a huge dance chorus on that stage, but if they had hired a dancer/choreographer who has strong regional or off-Broadway work it could be interesting.
HorseTears
Broadway Legend
joined:3/25/05
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/22/14 at 10:25pm
Ugh. God, I wish John Doyle would just... win the PowerBall and retire.
Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/22/14 at 10:26pm
Lord Jesus save us from this man.
Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 12:41am
It's interesting. I suspect he was hired to do this project. I can't imagine he came to them with the idea. But maybe he did. It just seems, at this point, like c'mon. Two Broadway productions. It's done.
AndersonTours
Understudy
joined:12/19/10
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 01:11am
STOP IT, JOHN. LET IT GO.
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 04:13am
On CD, his Passion is gorgeous. ...and they didn't play their own instruments...

Can we just drop this concept for 25 years? I recently re-read the libretto of Allegro and its main problem is it's bland--but it also has a lot of great Hammerstein thoughts and dare I say it, wisdom. There's a lot of relevance to issues in the US that could be played up, if they need to be played up--but this is a show where I see no reason why even the Greek Chorus (who needs to be singing or commenting--not bloody trumpetting) need instruments. The show is already perhaps too high concept. Past productions have tried to simplify it, by taking away much of these concepts and playing it more "straight" but then I think you are kinda just left with an overly simplistic story.

And I feel like I am my grandpa for saying that. Or maybe AfterEight. Except he was probably complaining about Allegro even back in '47.

Updated On: 5/24/14 at 04:13 AM
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 10:14am
I say, God bless him and keep him! Let him keep doing his thing- I don't see how the state of theatre is hurt or cheapened for the occasional conceptual project. And I know for a fact at least a few people who LOVE "Doyle Stagings" and will go to see any production that uses them. My usual orchestrator had no real interest in seeing Once, having not like the movie that much, but when I told her that it was done in the "Doyle Staging" style, all of a sudden she was enthusiastic about seeing it.
Brick
Broadway Legend
joined:11/21/06
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 11:13am
Oh, calm down. Don't see it then. There is, after-all, a great chance the production could be wonderful.
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 11:18am
Errr... how many actor/musician stagings has Doyle done, in total? I can think of three off-hand. Two being very well-received and acclaimed.

RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 11:32am
At least 3 in the states, right?

I'm assuming he's got some masterful idea / reasoning for doing it since like you pointed out he did Passion without that concept, etc. So maybe it'll be gorgeous? I usually do love his orchestrations.
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 11:38am


I can think of three off-hand.

Enough already!


yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
evic
Broadway Star
joined:3/5/04
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 11:50am
Maybe if he had given the girl playing Irma at Encores an accordion, she would have been better.
Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 01:05pm
Let him do his work on Titanic

This way everyone can play an instrument as it goes down not just the band.
Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 01:10pm
I loved Company and Sweeney Todd, so I'm on board. Bring it on!
formerly oasisjeff on here.
Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 03:04pm
In addition to Passion, John Doyle's production of Road Show was done without actors playing instruments. I think Doyle's productions without that gimmick far outnumber those WITH.

Coincidentally, 2 months ago I saw a Chicago Shakespeare Theater production of Road Show (not directed by Doyle) that DID in fact have the ensemble playing instruments-- it worked surprisingly swell, and produced some pretty moving effects throughout the show (particularly a lone violin playing counterpoint to the leads' vocals). I enjoyed it far more than the Public's production. Go figure.

And lastly, we all know why these shows keep getting staged this way-- they save the producers a bundle.
Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 03:12pm
Frankly it seems bizarre to me that Sondheim's most obviously appropriate show for the Doyle treatment has never been staged this way to my knowledge-- none other than A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC! I know Sondheim and Prince had some concept of actors playing their own instruments in an early script that fell by the wayside, except for those remnants given to Fredericka and Henrik. I'd love to see a production featuring the lieder singers accompanying themselves on concertinas, or Hendrik's cello playing the counterpoint to "Send in the Clowns". It seems made for the material.
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 03:31pm
"And lastly, we all know why these shows keep getting staged this way-- they save the producers a bundle."

But is that the plan or a side effect? I mean, Doyle originally did it in regional theaters without the money, where it was the only way to do a musical on that budget. But if he is doing specifically for Broadway, it is now a choice, since he can pop an orchestra in if he rathered.
formerly oasisjeff on here.
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 03:36pm
Since I was curious, I looked up an interview from 2008 with him:

"It's not a gimmick or a concept - it's an alternative approach," Doyle explains. "And of course it wouldn't work for everything. I'm certainly not going to have Peter Grimes with a cello between his legs. I'm also shortly going to direct a new Harvey Fierstein musical that is naturalistic about a family living in the Bronx in 1953. It would be plain stupid to have the family playing tubas in that context. But there are shows - and I think that Merrily is one of them - when using actor-musicians allows you to tell stories in a different way. With a tiny space such as the Watermill, you can't stage cocktail parties and courtrooms, but you can have a man sitting, playing a piano, looking back over his life and conjuring the people from his past. It's a much stronger image. I'm a great believer, as a director, that necessity can be liberating. Sometimes being limited to working with just three colours on the palate rather than all of them can be a good thing creatively."


Guardian interview with John Doyle
formerly oasisjeff on here.
trentsketch
Broadway Legend
joined:6/25/09
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 03:38pm
He should take this approach with shows that couldn't get any worse. Actors playing their own instruments in Carrie or Starmites? What's the harm? Actors playing their own instruments in Applause? Why?
Brick
Broadway Legend
joined:11/21/06
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 04:39pm
I think the quote from that Guardian interview shows the man is not only intelligent, but highly sensitive to how this approach is used, and it's effect on the material.

Stylistically, I see no reason why this has to stop at 3 productions in NY, forever. If everyone was doing it, I think it'd be disastrous. And if it was the only way he could direct, it'd be extremely limiting. But his production of PASSION alone proves that isn't true.

Those who didn't like COMPANY or SWEENEY, why even speak to it? Go see something else.

For those who do, then it's a question of why take this approach with this piece. And with this piece, it certainly hasn't ever been anything close to mastered or solved. So, what not?
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
John Doyle Is At It Again
Posted: 5/23/14 at 06:10pm
I started this thread as a discussion. Personally, I enjoy it. I thought Sweeney was great.

And judging by the posting, the instruments that are being sought are more along the strings/banjo/etc side. So it could make for some beautiful music.

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