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THE STING To Play on Broadway

Blackbird3
Understudy
joined:11/21/13
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 10:56am
Via Deadline:

The latest film tapped to tap its way to the Broadway stage is George Roy Hill’s 1973 Oscar winner The Sting.

Bob Martin, who won a Tony as co-writer of the nostalgia drenched The Drowsy Chaperone, will team with Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann, who won Tonys for the decidedly unconventional, entertainingly agitprop musical Urinetown.


`The Sting’ Will Sing On Broadway In Latest Film-To-Stage Adaptation
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FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 10:58am
Well, I like that team.
'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
BroadwayBen
Leading Actor
joined:6/5/03
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 11:07am
Hard story to musicalize. All plot and intrigue, no comedy or emotion. Should be interesting...
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DooWahDiddy
Featured Actor
joined:8/26/08
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 11:19am
All I keep thinking is how funny it would be to have "The Last Ship" and "The Sting" playing on Broadway at the same time.
WOSQ
Broadway Legend
joined:7/18/03
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 11:52am
Dear Sting Creative Team:
Ask yourselves the following questions.

"Can we tell the same story better?"

"What do these people have to sing about?"

Discuss.
"If my life weren't funny, it would just be true. And that would be unacceptable." --Carrie Fisher
ggersten
Broadway Legend
joined:5/11/06
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 12:22pm
Off the top of my head:

Opening number - After the first con - Luther and Robert Redford sing about how to do a con.
Next: Luther sings about the future where he is out of the con. He is killed. Robert Redford continues about the future in his "I Want" song.
Next: Paul Newman sings about the great cons in his past as he tells Redford that Redford doesn't have what it takes.
Next: Cop chasing Redford laments about what a great country this used to be.
Next: Robert Shaw sings about power - how he loves it.
Next: Redford goes to the cafe - he has a duet with the girl behind the counter about life, love and how they are at the bottom.
Next: Picking the crew
Act 1 Finale - extended - The Card Game
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 12:24pm
...But does that make the material any better? Just because it's in song and on stage?
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Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 12:35pm
I like that team a lot. It's an odd choice for something like this, which makes me hopeful.
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 12:38pm
Note to the adapters of this one: Remember these three words - Dirty. Rotten. Scoundrels. Also these three - Leap. Of. Faith.

Musicals about cons are legion, but unless you have comic royalty writing and starring (like The Producers), or unless the story is less about the con and more about the characters development (say The Music Man), you're on dangerous ground...
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Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 12:59pm
I love this idea and yes, I do think it could be musicalized. There are plenty of scenes and characters that could be quite brilliantly set to music (the carousel scene immediately springs to mind). My question is, how do you successfully depart from the iconic Joplin film score without sounding too much like the score from Ragtime?
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
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dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 01:06pm
They just need to get the rights to "The Entertainer". That's the song that really is burned in my brain from the film.

What is the timeline for this?
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 01:11pm
The Sting is set in 1936; Joplin died in 1917, and "The Entertainer" was a hit in 1902.

The only reason anyone would think that The Sting needs to be set to ragtime music in general or "The Entertainer" in particular is because they have no imagination and only want to see a live version of the movie, with a few songs added.

This is how we get mediocre theatre like Rocky, the Musical.
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lotiloti
Leading Actor
joined:1/23/06
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 01:23pm
Dear God, NO !
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dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 01:24pm
Oh I agree that Rocky is crap. But, the only thing I remember about "The Sting" was the use of "The Entertainer". (I don't love the film-but I was way too young when I saw it to really appreciate it.)

They could simply interpolate it.

And there is no timeline for when they hope this is going to get off the ground, is there?
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 01:30pm
I suppose my question is - why would they interpolate "The Entertainer?" It has nothing to do with either the period or the story. Is it just pandering to familiarity? Like adding "I'm A Believer" to Shrek or Vic Mizzy's TV tune to The Addams Family?

Kotis and Hollmann have more integrity than that, I think - I would imagine that they would prefer the score to be theirs, not shared (or upstaged by a facile and irrelevant interpolation).
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dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 01:46pm
Well because it might be the one distinctive part of the film-which, for better or worse, is going to be the typical audience member's frame of reference. (And it's used for a very specific purpose-I do remember that.) The film is highly regarded and I think the creatives used the song (and the rest of the score) very well. I hardly think it would diminish the other 99% of the music to use this.
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FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 01:52pm
I'm already putting my index finger next to my nose.
'First the Bastille than the butt plug.' -- M ______
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 01:54pm
So - it would be to just pander to familiarity?

Promises, Promises was very successful without using the (hugely famous at the time) Theme from "The Apartment." Hairspray did well without using any of the songs from the source film's successful soundtrack. The Wiz omitted "Over The Rainbow." Mame was a hit adaptation without any of Bronislau Kaper's beautiful film score.

It's an easy choice to try to duplicate the successful elements of the source; but the more admirable work is creating a new piece that doesn't merely recycle familiar bits and pieces, but goes beyond.
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madbrian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/1/06
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 01:58pm
I'm a HUGE fan of the movie, and in my countless viewings, I've never thought there was a musical hiding in there. However, if it were to be done, I think it would benefit from a completely new score, with no allusions to the movie soundtrack. The brilliance of this movie would be difficult to recapture on stage, and anything short of that brilliance would be a major disappointment.
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
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dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 01:59pm
Yes, I suppose it would be to pander, because whether you and I like it or not, it's a business. I do actually think the song works really well and there is artistic merit in including it.

I think "The Wiz" is an unfair comparison here-it's a re-imagining of "The Wizard of Oz" much in the same way as "Wicked" is. And look at the audiences of the past vs. now-the people who make up the majority of the paying audience WANT some familiarity. (And for heaven's sake, even I, who HATE the stupid film to musical transfers, think the song, which is only part of the 'overture' and then used in a few quick sequences to signal something occurring, think it's a MINOR quibble at best.)
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 02:09pm
I understand your point completely, and think it's very valid. Where we might disagree, though, is the philosophy on how necessary it is to spoon-feed the audience what we think it expects.

If Shrek had been a better show, it wouldn't need to include "I'm A Believer," ditto for The Addams Family and its TV theme song, or Rocky and "Eye of the Tiger."

I think it would be more interesting to see an adaptation that doesn't adhere in any way to the musical language of the film, but rather finds its own language - and that may be (I hope) what actually happens.
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SonofRobbieJ
Broadway Legend
joined:12/10/09
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 02:12pm
If the audience leaves feeling disappointed that they didn't hear The Entertainer, the creative staff has not done it's job. But this imaginative, smart, talented and risk-taking group of artists are going to do their jobs.
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dreaming
Broadway Legend
joined:4/24/09
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 02:28pm
The song is actually called "Theme Song from 'The Sting'" in a few sheet music editions I've seen. I would be shocked if it doesn't appear in there. (I think this is a stupid movie to make into a musical-I think it's got no character development and will become a big, long mess. But I'd like to be proven wrong.)

Updated On: 5/28/14 at 02:28 PM
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 02:42pm
If it is truly called "Theme Song from 'The Sting'" then that's dang bogus. As noted above, "The Entertainer" was written a good 70 years prior to The Sting, and was far from obscure.
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darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 02:57pm
"The Entertainer" is a public domain piece by Scott Joplin. "Theme from 'The Sting'" is an arrangement based on "The Entertainer," copyrighted to Marvin Hamlisch. I've seen both versions on paper.
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JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
THE STING To Play on Broadway
Posted: 5/28/14 at 03:00pm
Indeed- The Entertainer existed long before The Sting popularized it. If the sheet music says that it's probably just to reassure people this is the song they are looking for.

The main problem musicalizing The Sting (apart from the "Why?" question) is that the plot is meticulously timed out. Adding songs slows a story down. Is the Audience going to enjoy that ending more if Hooker has a three minute song before he pulls that trigger? Does that card game need music?
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.

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