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re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?

Justin D Profile Photo
Justin D
Broadway Legend
joined:4/11/05
are "sung through" musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 12:32pm
There doesnt seem to be many around these days (although i cant speak for most of the newer shows) but with the flops of Pirate Queen and Woman in White, and practically every other musical out there having almost as much dialogue as singing. Is the sung through musical like Les Mis, Saigon, Sunset and phantom a thing of the past?

not that that was the reason for either of those 2 shows flopping, but it just does not seem that anyone is putting out these kind of shows anymore.
Do the producers think that the public have gone off on them?

just a thought
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
Fenchurch
Broadway Legend
joined:11/16/06
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 12:58pm
As far as I can remember, Passing Strange is almost completely sung through, isn't it? Between poetry and singing, I mean.

Man, what a great show.
"Fenchurch is correct, as usual." -Keen on Kean
"Fenchurch is correct, as usual." - muscle23ftl
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myManCape
Broadway Legend
joined:2/26/05
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 01:08pm

Look at and consider the composers of the shows you mentioned:
Les Mis & Miss Saigon are Schönberg and Boublil
Sunset Blvd & Phantom are Webber

Pirate Queen? Schönberg & Boublil
Woman in White? Webber

Being able to create and write a musical that is completely sung through is very difficult and places a huge burden on the composer and lyricist. I don’t think the problem today is with the producers, rather I believe its with the modern composers who are unable or unwilling to take on the task of writing a completely sung through musical. And the only composers who are even trying to write new shows are the ones who have had success with it in the past.
"Have they come yet?"
Justin D Profile Photo
Justin D
Broadway Legend
joined:4/11/05
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 01:10pm
I just miss the days when a cast album was a double CD, lol.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
Born To Reign Profile Photo
Born To Reign
Broadway Star
joined:6/7/07
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 01:17pm
I second that, justin.

May I mention Rent?
It's just a message board. Let's not take it too seriously.
LostLeander
Broadway Star
joined:3/18/05
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 01:25pm
Caroline, or Change was nearly completely sung through.

And brilliant, at that.
Personally, I think I have too much bloom.
tobiasragg Profile Photo
tobiasragg
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/06
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 01:27pm
and look at that...

Caroline, or Change = Double CD!
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Fenchurch
Broadway Legend
joined:11/16/06
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 01:42pm
"Being able to create and write a musical that is completely sung through is very difficult and places a huge burden on the composer and lyricist."

I beg to differ, a lot of composers that I've spoken to say that it's more difficult to stop the music without making it corny, or begin the music in a dramatic point in the story that has been brought to that point through dialogue.

I think it depends on the composer, but it shouldn't be hard for SONGWRITERS, which are distinct from composers.
"Fenchurch is correct, as usual." -Keen on Kean
"Fenchurch is correct, as usual." - muscle23ftl
allofmylife Profile Photo
allofmylife
Broadway Legend
joined:3/8/05
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 01:59pm
aw, we can only pray they are.

It was a gimmick that became the norm.

And it usually sucked.
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Shakespearean
Leading Actor
joined:12/23/06
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 02:19pm
Does anyone else remember when this was called opera?
vmlinnie Profile Photo
vmlinnie
Broadway Legend
joined:6/19/06
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 02:23pm
Sung through musicals were pretty much more accessible versions of Opera (they were, afterall, called 'Rock Operas').

But I do miss Double CD albums. My Les Mis Full Symphonic runs over onto a third CD!
The rain we knew is a thing of the past -
deep-delving, dark, deliberate you would say
browsing on spire and bogland; but today
our sky-blue slates are steaming in the sun,
our yachts tinkling and dancing in the bay
like racehorses. We contemplate at last
shining windows, a future forbidden to no one.


Derek Mahon

"Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets."

Arthur Miller
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 02:31pm
I usually prefer sung-through musicals. Falsettos, Ragtime (mostly sung), A New Brain, Martin Guerre, Phantom , Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy, Starlight Express, Sweeney Todd (mostly sung), Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Dreamgirls, Whistle Down the Wind...they all turn me on.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
LostLeander
Broadway Star
joined:3/18/05
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 02:33pm
How in God's name is writing a sung-through musical a gimmick?
Personally, I think I have too much bloom.
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 02:38pm
It isn't a "gimmick". Never was. It is just a different style of writing. Like any other style, some of the shows are hits and some are flops.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
artscallion Profile Photo
artscallion
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/07
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 02:41pm
Yes, Aspects of Love killed them.
Art has a double face, of expression and illusion.
vmlinnie Profile Photo
vmlinnie
Broadway Legend
joined:6/19/06
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 02:42pm
Ew, Matt! Just kidding.

I do love sung-through musicals, but looking at the ones you've listed, although I do like most of them, Martin Guerre and Starlight Express (both of which I own and listen to) were a little on the rubbish side, but they had decent scores.

I love Boublil & Schoenberg, but when I think of their Moments of madness, I often think of the opening of Martin Guerre.

"We've been here seven years, Arnaud, what have we done?
Through the pain and the blood, through the rain and the sun,
And where will this finish, and why did it start,
if there's no one to love you, to hold in your heart?"

Now you must admit, that's just hilariously bad!
The rain we knew is a thing of the past -
deep-delving, dark, deliberate you would say
browsing on spire and bogland; but today
our sky-blue slates are steaming in the sun,
our yachts tinkling and dancing in the bay
like racehorses. We contemplate at last
shining windows, a future forbidden to no one.


Derek Mahon

"Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets."

Arthur Miller
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 02:42pm
OHHHH...I almost forgot Aspects of Love! One of my favorites. Gorgeous show.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
Born To Reign Profile Photo
Born To Reign
Broadway Star
joined:6/7/07
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 04:27pm
I think Sunset might be one of my favorite sung-throughs, and I think ALlW's best.
It's just a message board. Let's not take it too seriously.
ThankstoPhantom Profile Photo
ThankstoPhantom
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/05
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 05:03pm
Sung through musicals are actually my musicals of preference. They can flow so beautifully, and be very moving as a result. I think they are spectacular and extremely emotional. I don't know where people get the idea that it was a gimmick. It was a style of writing used often in the late 70s/80s.

In that case, Sweeney Todd used this "gimmick", seeing as how it's almost completely sung through.
How to properly use its/it's: Its is the possessive. It's is the contraction for it is...
Updated On: 6/14/07 at 05:03 PM
mortgageguy79 Profile Photo
mortgageguy79
Featured Actor
joined:3/30/06
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 05:35pm
"OHHHH...I almost forgot Aspects of Love! One of my favorites. Gorgeous show."

Me too! LOVE IT! Did you happen to see the touring production at the Lyric Opera YEARS ago?
Jack: For your information, most people who meet me do not know that I am gay. Will: Jack, blind and deaf people know you're gay. Dead people know you're gay. Jack: Grace, when you first met me, did you know I was gay? Grace: My dog knew.
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 05:56pm
mortgageguy79 - I saw the touring production in Houston years ago. Around 1994, I think? It was a beautiful production. Funny bit of trivia...I had an extra ticket, so I took this nice kid who was performing in his first show with me (Hollywood/Ukraine - I played the Groucho Marx role in the second act). We both loved the show and years later he ended up moving to NYC and performing in his first Broadway show - Fosse. His name is Parker Esse and you can see him on the Fosse DVD along with fellow Houstonian, Mark Arvin, who is very sadly missed.

vmlinnie - Aren't those lyrics from the 1997 version? When I speak of Martin Guerre, I only refer to the original 1995 production. I hated the changes they later made to the show. I actually loved Starlight Express back in the day when it premiered. It was a thoroughly entertaining and innovative spectacle when it opened with breathtaking staging and an infectious score. Then years of wear and tear, neglect, mismanagement, and unnecessary inferior rewrites, it deteriorated into a stale Vegas act.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
winston89 Profile Photo
winston89
Broadway Legend
joined:6/18/06
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 06:06pm
I never realized that dreamgirls was a sung through musical.

Am I the only one that calles Les Miserables and other sung through musicals operas because that is what they really are. Les Miserables in particular. it followws all the elements of an opera. Each character has their own theme music ect ect.
"If you try to shag my husband while I am still alive, I will shove the art of motorcycle maintenance up your rancid little Cu**. That's a good dear" Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll
Mister Matt Profile Photo
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 06:14pm
winston89 - Do not ever let opera fanatics hear you say that. EVER. They will chew you up, spit you out, and grind your remains into the sidewalk with their shoe to leave for dogs to urinate on.

Seriously, you should start running now.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
Fenchurch
Broadway Legend
joined:11/16/06
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 06:28pm
Winston, there are many many reasons that Les Miz and Phantom are not operas, I would go as far as to calle them operettas, maybe Les miz a Rock opera, but there are other shows that I would call operas, Aspects of Love and Passion, I would call Chamber operas, and they are getting performed by Opera companies
"Fenchurch is correct, as usual." -Keen on Kean
"Fenchurch is correct, as usual." - muscle23ftl
Justin D Profile Photo
Justin D
Broadway Legend
joined:4/11/05
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 06:29pm
I never liked the term "Rock Opera" since i guess i have a different feeling of what rock music is, although i can see it being applied to Superstar.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
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ray-andallthatjazz86
Broadway Legend
joined:8/2/05
re: are 'sung through' musicals dead?
Posted: 6/14/07 at 06:49pm
Only the bad ones are dead (save for PHANTOM OF THE OPERA).
Luckily shows like CAROLINE OR CHANGE and RAGTIME have been having a solid life after Broadway.
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"

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