So does Neil just drop the accent when he sings?

Bettyboy72
Broadway Legend
joined:3/31/06
Listening to the Hedwig Revival Cast Recording? It's like a NPH cover album-no accent, no affect, no pathos, no subtlety. I haven't seen the show yet (going last weekend) so Im not knocking his performance, but the recording is disappointing. I don't love the new arrangements either.
"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
It really doesn't do the show or him any justice. He is very sleepy and very Neil on the CR. He is incredible live.
nomore.org
darreyl102
Broadway Legend
joined:8/23/08
I don't really think the accent drop is that big a deal- a lot of singers who have accents or even speech impediments when they talk- Lose them when they sing.
Darreyl with an L!
darreyl102
Broadway Legend
joined:8/23/08
The thing with the recording is it showcases NPH'S voice- which is probably the weakest element he has. Just listening, you don't get to see the real feel or the acting that goes with it.
Darreyl with an L!
Jane2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/13/04
" a lot of singers who have accents or even speech impediments when they talk- Lose them when they sing."

Oh hon, you may have misunderstood. I think Bettyboy is asking is whether NPH drops the German accent that Hedwig is supposed to have, and not that NPH has an accent or speech impediment.

correct me if I'm wrong, Bettyboy

<-----craves juicy pizza
Updated On: 7/8/14 at 04:52 PM
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
Has anybody listened to the compact disc cast recording? I bought it yesterday and have listened to half of it and it is nowhere near as thin and watery as the compressed versions I heard presented on the streaming site or iTunes. Some parts work better than others, but I am psyched to have a new recording of these songs I love. Plus the love theme.
Can anyone tell me how the line has been?
Bettyboy72
Broadway Legend
joined:3/31/06
I have the actual CD. It sounds like a demo to me. I hate to compare, but I never saw the original production and that recording pulled me into the story and JCM held the accent and facets of it when he sang. He stayed in character.

This is a very thin singing voice that sounds like some dude singing. If the goal was to preserve a Tony-winning performance, I'd say it failed. It just makes me want to listen to the original recording.
"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
I think Darryl is saying is that MANY people with accents often don't sing with an easily discernable accent, so it doesn't bother him that NPH doesn't have one when he sings as Hedwig.
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.
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
The Beatles sang as if they were from the Southern US when they wanted to break in the American market.

"Mah baby don't care..."
Can anyone tell me how the line has been?
icecreambenjamin
Stand-by
joined:6/7/14
The new recording is worth it just for Lena Hall.
NPH does a good job and keeps a little bit of an accent while singing but he doesn't have a rock voice. He ssounds like a broadway singer trying to sing rock.
darreyl102
Broadway Legend
joined:8/23/08
@ dramamama611 - exactly.
Like i said, often times people who have noticeable accents when talking, sometimes are a lot less noticeable when they sing.
Darreyl with an L!
StephanCasey
Stand-by
joined:6/22/14
Yeah. Even if I think about the New York accent in Newsies. The only thing that sort of keeps it going is the pronunciation of words and speech here and there. Even in the recordings. You have to go into sing mode at some point
vpd1981
Swing
joined:4/17/14
Or maybe he's just not so great?

Sorry, just my opinion ... I'm not a fan.
Bettyboy72
Broadway Legend
joined:3/31/06
I've heard plenty of actors go into "sing mode" and not drop character, inflections and nuance. Those are usually exceptional actors (Lansbury, Ebersole, LuPone, Stokes-Mitchell, JCM, Murphy). Am I the only one who is deeply disappointed by this recording? It's a sleep walk in my opinion. Where the hell is Hedwig? I just saw the show in Toronto and the actor in the part has a dialect when he sings.
"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
A lot of people here have discussed disappointment with the new recording.
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.
icecreambenjamin
Stand-by
joined:6/7/14
They needed to do a live recording. NPH sounds completely out of character.
MarkBearSF
Understudy
joined:1/25/11
Neil has mentioned that he worked to sing in the idiom of the show. That is, he worked to unlearn vibrato and other musical comedy phrasings and to sing more simply on the note like a rock singer. Also, I understand, there was an attempt when recording the CR to duplicate a raw garage-like R&R sound.

So the qualities which you may find raw and flat (especially in comparison to many musical OCRs) - may be exactly what they intended.

Updated On: 7/8/14 at 08:44 PM
GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
I like the CD, but haven't seen the show. In my experience, however, Europeans tend to sing pop and rock with American accents because they grew up (like Hedwig) listening to American singers.
SpaceOpera
Swing
joined:8/19/12
Saw the show first. Later listened to the cast recording and was very disappointed. The show has an immense amount of energy that is simply not there in the CR. Does he drop his accent in the show? Sort of? But you notice it less when in the Belasco than you do at home with your ipod. In short: The 2014 CR is a massive disappointment, but the associated show is phenomenal.
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
"They needed to do a live recording."

That would have been next to impossible since Neil is running all over the stage for a lot of it.
nomore.org
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
It's really funny to me reading a bunch of musical theater nerds complaining that the Hedwig recording is not enough like a rock concert and that it sounds as if the lead is being sung by a musical theater nerd and not a rock star. I mean, one of your own is PLAYING a rock star!!! You do realize that a very common complaint in the history of rock music is that studio recordings don't capture the energy most touring bands put into their live shows, right? No? Of course you don't, you dear sweet babies.



Can anyone tell me how the line has been?
Updated On: 7/8/14 at 11:00 PM
Scarywarhol
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/04
Please, it's an EXTREMELY legitimate complaint about this recording. I think Hedwig is maybe the only rock musical in history that doesn't feel like it's pitifully trying to play dress-up. It's what I point to as an example of good gateway musical theatre for people who are generally into rock. So it is disheartening to hear this rather slapdash album with a distinctly neutered feel. I still enjoyed the album, especially Lena Hall, but it does little to capture the wonderful production or Neil's performance.
Jane2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/13/04
^ yes
<-----craves juicy pizza
Broadway Bob*
Broadway Star
joined:9/21/05
A lot of these complaints are exactly why I think this show would have been better served with A) a live recording and B) a filming. Trying to record this music, on a day off from such a TAXING show, without the character enveloping him... It's why I think ALL studio recordings of the show fall flat.
2014 Show Schedule: 3/08 @ 8:00 pm ~ THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Columbus, OH); 4/11 @ 8:00 pm ~ BULLETS OVER BROADWAY (Broadway), 4/12 @ 2:00 pm ~ ROCKY (Broadway), 4/12 @ 8:00 pm ~ THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY (Broadway), 4/13 @ 2:00 pm ~ CASA VALENTINA (Broadway), 4/13 @ 7:00 pm ~ SEX TIPS FOR STRAIGHT WOMEN FROM A GAY MAN (Off-Broadway); 4/14 @ 8:00 pm ~ HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (Broadway); 6/06 @ 8:00 pm ~ PIPPIN (Broadway); 6/07 @ 2:00 pm ~ A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER (Broadway); 6/07 @ 8:00 pm ~ IF/THEN (Broadway); 6/08 @ 3:00 pm ~ HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH; 6/08 @ 7:30 pm ~ HEATHERS THE MUSICAL (Off-Broadway)...(MORE to come, I hope)
Scarywarhol
Broadway Legend
joined:10/1/04
A filming would have been exactly right for this show. It would have been a tremendous HBO special!
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
I see how this has come to be the line on this, I really DO. However, it is on Broadway now, peoples, with all the requirements that go with it.

Think back. Remember how at the Jane Street, it was the scruffy rock musical that "sounded" like rock, unlike that uptown poseur RENT? I mean, they underscored that with Yitzhak's t-shirt. They talked about it in interviews. "RENT doesn't sound like rock, we ROCK." And they did, owing to the volume and the scruffy lack of diction that you can do in an off-Broadway show. And they MADE FUN OF the precise diction of the early days of RENT. "That's so Broadway, that's not reckless and risky like we get to be." I'm paraphrasing, but that was the gist of what got said a lot.

Then came the movie. And BOY OH BOY did they clean up the diction in Hedwig! Because, in a movie theater, you need to be able to communicate your ideas clearly. You can't get by on the energy you can create by turning up the music in an intimate off-Broadway theater space. The movie featured the exact kind of clarity they made fun of RENT for striving for.

And now comes Broadway. You want the volume of the live show? Go see the show. You want a souvenir of one aspect of it? Buy the album. You want the risky danger of a club show? Sorry toots, this is Broadway. There's a lotta money riding on this star turn. Do not put it on this production's shoulders to get "rock" people interested in theater. It's on Broadway. People prejudiced against Broadway are already turned off by that.

You've got the Hedwig you've got. You either live with it or you don't. Because your wish fulfillment for what it should be is never going to come and it's not relevant. And I'll tell you what'll happen if JCM ever steps into this production (which he accidentally slipped into his Q interview on the CBC when he talked about how intimidated by Neil's performance he is, how NPH likes to make things harder on himself and JCM likes to make things easier on himself): He will be like the triumphant and just a touch-too-grand return of Charles Busch when he went back into Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. All Grand Dame and an even bigger star turn that Neil is doing as Hedwig. Mark my words.


Can anyone tell me how the line has been?
Updated On: 7/8/14 at 11:22 PM

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