Before you see a New Musical do you buy the Cast Recording?

WickedGinger
Stand-by
joined:3/12/14
Hey

I was just wondering if anyone else does this? If you are going to see a new musical (or a musical you have never seen before) do you buy and listen to the Cast Recording (if it's available) before you see it live?

I have just bought the If/Then Cast Recording and can't wait to listen to it, however my girlfriend was horrified that I would want to listen to it before we saw it live on 18th June.

What are everyone else's thoughts?

My view is for a musical I love being familiar with the music, even if some the songs dont make sense yet as I dont know the story. I just really like being familiar with the tracks and the whole score before I see it live.

For a straight play I definately dont want to know the story, I love watching it live and reacting as it unfolds.



Updated On: 6/2/14 at 08:20 AM
promisespromises2
Broadway Star
joined:5/23/13
Usually with new musicals I wait until after I see it.

With plays/musicals based off of a book/novel, I always read them before hand.

I don't even like listening to clips before I see a new musical!

dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Almost never. The experience is IN the theater watching and hearing it unfold together for the first time. I think listening to it first (under most circumstances) effects your opinion: good or bad. I, too, have a tendancy to stay away from clips ahead of time.

I only purchase music for those shows that really make an impact on me.
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.
Brian07663NJ
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
No - I do not listen (or purchase) the recording ahead of time. Too many times I purchased the CD and hated the music - so I stopped adding to the pile of CDs I will never listen to again.

Also if I revisit a show I do not listen to the cast recording because I don't want to be disappointed by the nuances of the performers I am familiar with on the CD who many no longer be in the production.
Up next: Apr 01 Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Apr 05 Charo at RamsHead OnStage; Apr 07 Lady Gaga at Roseland Ballroom; Apr 13 Amaluna next to Citi Field; Apr 18 Disney Junior at MSG Theatre; May 06 Aladdin; May 13 Artpop Ball Lady Gaga at MSG; Jun 07 Varekai in Bridgeport, CT Jul 12 1:30pm Side Show; Jul 12 8:30pm Fantasia w/National Symphony Orchestra; Aug 16 The Visit: Williamstown Festival
WickedGinger
Stand-by
joined:3/12/14
That's a really good point...

I remember the first time I sae Wicked in the West End after listening to the Broadway Cast Recording... I was so shocked they were singing in English Accents. But after 5 seconds I settled back and enjoyed the twist of these familiar songs being sung differently!

I always embrace the differences when I see the show live and the cast recording. I just love the familairity to get when you have listened to a piece of music more than once.

I dont want to know the story before I go, but I am happy being familiar witht he music.
Jeffrey Karasarides
Leading Actor
joined:11/27/11
I personally like to familiarize myself with the music before going to see the show, because it helps me remember the songs more while watching.

It can still be different when you actually go to see it all live...
Updated On: 6/2/14 at 09:11 AM
neonlightsxo
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/08
I always wait until after I see it. Why would you spoil it?
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
When I was growing up in Florida, I absolutely would listen to cast recordings before seeing a show. Because when was I going to see them? The options were to wait to see if the tour swung through Tampa or for a trip to NYC, which was often not financially feasible.

Listening to cast recordings, reading reviews, and watching B-roll were the ways I felt connected to a Broadway season. May/June was a great time of the year for me, since that's when many of the cast recordings come out.

Now that I live in NYC, I do usually find myself waiting to see the show first.

Updated On: 6/2/14 at 10:26 AM
LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
When I lived in California, I would only buy a cast recording if there was a chance I wouldn't be able to see the national tour of that show within the next couple of years. Now I go in as blind as possible.
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4
tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
It depends on the show, but generally I try to listen to it before hand as I don't always pick up all the lyrics when I see the show live.

It doesn't ruin anything for me personally.
....but the world goes 'round
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
I usually like to go in without listening to a cast recording.

On the other hand, if a musical or play is an adaptation of another work I like to be familiar with the book/movie/play beforehand. I've become fascinating with the art of adaptation (what I deem one of the trickiest things to get right), and how successful the creative team is in capturing the essence of the original, but still transforming it to fit a new medium.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
Wickedlover56
Understudy
joined:5/2/14
Same here. I live in Florida and my family is middle class, so NYC trips may never happen. The only way to experience a show is through cast recordings and tours, and the national tours that the closet theatre gets are usually bland, in an effort to appeal to non theatre people and get the whole community to come see a show. The closest regional theatre also does the same thing. I also like to listen to cast recordings beforehand, as I never know which show I will see next.
LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
On the other hand, if a musical or play is an adaptation of another work I like to be familiar with the book/movie/play beforehand. I've become fascinating with the art of adaptation (what I deem one of the trickiest things to get right), and how successful the creative team is in capturing the essence of the original, but still transforming it to fit a new medium.

That's interesting. I try to do the opposite -- I want to know that it stands up on its own without previous knowledge of the source material. But I get it!

A lot of people told me to see Rocky (the movie) before seeing the show, but I didn't, and still haven't.
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
I don't because to me that would be like going to see a movie with the projector bulb turned off.

I have rarely been able to get through a cast recording of a major classic musical if I haven't seen a version of the show. Once I've seen a production, even if it's ramshackle community theater, I'm happy to listen to the cast recordings. I need visual references.

I'm not a very good musical queen.



'Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.' -- RW Emerson
Updated On: 6/2/14 at 11:26 AM
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
For me, the best adaptations are just another step in the incarnation of a piece as it moves from art form to art form. If the adaptation is of high quality I find I appreciate it all the more if I know the source material. You can still like/love Nine if you haven't seen 8 1/2, but I think the musical is all the more amazing if you know the movie.

Of course this often works against a show, especially when adapters are lazy and just cut and paste songs into the old material.

Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
As far as cast recordings of old shows go, I will always listen to those recordings. I mean, if you wait around to see a production of Henry, Sweet Henry you may be waiting years (or if it's something like Nick & Nora perhaps never). The only option to be exposed to these scores is through the cast recording, and if you want to try understand the brilliance of Alice Playten or the charms of Don Ameche then the OBCR is all you've got.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
I always wait until after the show. Since moving to NYC, it is less of an issue, as I'm seeing the shows before they record them.

I do agree adaptations should be experienced in their primary form first, though. Knowledge never prevents you from seeing if a work stands on its own, but seeing a lesser adaptation will spoil all of the joy of discovering a superior book or movie.
formerly oasisjeff on here.
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
I can totally understand getting cast cds when seeing the show isn't a possibility. When I was young, that's what I saved all my babysitting money FOR.
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.
karen24
Leading Actor
joined:2/27/06
In general, no, I wait until after I've seen the show. Then I've had the whole experience and if I liked the show, I'll get the cast album so I can continue to enjoy the music. If I didn't care for it so much, I haven't wasted my money.

The first time I saw RENT, though, I wished I'd listened to the cast album first, because I couldn't understand about 90% of what they were singing. This was back when the first production was still running, but had been running for a while - I don't know if they were just getting lax about the sound system or what, but it wasn't just me - everyone I was with, except the two teens who had already memorized the score, had trouble understanding the lyrics (the spoken bits of dialogue were OK.) Despite that problem, I did love the show, so I bought the CDs afterwards and was better prepared the next time I went!
Maggie-the-schnoodle
Michael Kras
Chorus Member
joined:5/14/14
I buy the vast majority of cast recordings that come out, without having seen the show. Since I live in Canada, it's my only connection to musical theatre in New York. I have hundreds on my iPod... However, I stay extremely savvy to New York theatre and I purchase smartly. I rarely take a chance on buying recordings of jukebox musicals, for instance. And I always read reviews and look for specific mention of the show's score. Plus, I've almost always heard some of the music before buying.
quizking101
Broadway Legend
joined:12/25/09
As a student with a minimal disposable income, I at least like to get a taste of what I'm going to experience before I spend my money on it. While I don't buy the whole recording, I'll listen to a song on Spotify or watch a clip
LizzieCurry
Broadway Legend
joined:3/7/05
I do agree adaptations should be experienced in their primary form first, though. Knowledge never prevents you from seeing if a work stands on its own, but seeing a lesser adaptation will spoil all of the joy of discovering a superior book or movie.

OK, but how would I know one was lesser or superior if I only experienced one? I still haven't read Little Women, btw...

I feel like adaptations can be experienced just fine if one stays mindful of the Sesame Street-style disclaimer. You know, the one on books and toys that says the child need not watch the TV show to benefit from that book or toy.
"Don't patronize me, alright?" - BroadwayStar4
WickedGinger
Stand-by
joined:3/12/14
When I am in NYC I am only going to get the opportunity to see If/Then, Kinky Boots and possibly Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill... What cast recording would you recommend for the other shows this season?
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
"OK, but how would I know one was lesser or superior if I only experienced one?"

There are so few examples of the adaptation being superior to the original that it is always safe to watch the original first. Not to mention, there is a reason they are adapting that work in the first place. You rarely see a creative team find a train wreck of a movie and say, "You know what could fix this? The characters singing..."

The Bullets Over Broadway movie is superior to the musical. The Rocky movie is superior to the musical. The Ghost movie is superior to the original. And on and on...

At best, a great show can take what was good about the movie, capture it onstage, and transform it into something new. In those cases, they have not musicalized a movie, but made something that stands on its own. Like The Producers or Hairspray. But even in those cases, seeing the movie first wouldn't matter, since the show only uses them as a starting point.

And, when it comes to seeing movies of novels before reading them, in those cases, you actually lose the ability to read them fresh afterward. Even if the novel is superior, you're bringing a lot of movie detritus along for the ride. Anyone who read Fight Club after seeing the movie sees Edward Norton and Brad Pitt as they read (admittedly, not horrible images to bring along with you...), whereas no one did that before the movie, letting their imagination entirely construct the look and identities of the two characters.
formerly oasisjeff on here.
deltatee
Swing
joined:3/13/07
I usually listen to the cast recording before seeing the show because my hearing isn't always the greatest and I don't want to miss the lyrics. Sometimes the show disappoints compared to the recording, but sometimes the anticipation of listening to the recording makes the experience more exciting.
NeverSoShy
Chorus Member
joined:10/8/11
Most of the time I'll have already listened to a cast recording before I'm even aware that I'll be seeing the show (most often this is because things will be on Broadway years before they transfer to the West End, Urinetown being one of the most major examples of this.).

I do sometimes purposely listen to the cast recording once before seeing a show so that I can follow the story (and therefore appreciate the actors' performances more), but I'm not too over-familiar with it.

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