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re: 80s Musicals?

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folkyboy
Broadway Legend
joined:1/31/06
80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 01:27pm
What musical would you classify as a "definitive 80s" musical (i.e. where Broadway current was during the 1980s)?
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BrodyFosse123
Broadway Legend
joined:2/27/06
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 01:28pm
Hands down: CARRIE. From the music, costumes, to the choreography is pure 80's.



So what does that make you, Brody? A zero-trick pony? - Wanna Be A Foster .........................The only power brody wields is in his own mind, joe. But it's amusing to watch him pretend nonetheless. - tazber
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Yero my Hero
Broadway Legend
joined:3/27/05
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 01:35pm
Does it have to actually be from the 80s? Because I would call THE WEDDING SINGER as the definitive 80s musical, based on how they summed up so much of the decade (pop culture, corporate greed, decadence).
Nothing matters but knowing nothing matters. ~ Wicked
Everything in life is only for now. ~ Avenue Q
There is no future, there is no past. I live this moment as my last. ~ Rent

"He's a tramp, but I love him."
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folkyboy
Broadway Legend
joined:1/31/06
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 01:36pm
so are you saying that the face of 80s musicals was unsuccessful? there were a large volume that have proven to be very successful from that era. i'm just curious if you could elaborate, please. i have seen Carrie and while i can see where you're coming from regarding the APPEARANCE of the 1980s in the actresses "toga" costumes, i'm just curious if the STAMP on Broadway from that time is a flop?

not trying to needle you. i just like talking about this stuff
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 01:55pm
I think the "stamp" of 80s musicals was the mega-musical: Cats, Les Miz, Phantom, etc. But a mega-musical needs a grander scale than the 1980s to work with. If you are looking for a definitive 1980s show, I would say Starlight Express.

Probably off-Broadway was more conducive to stamping the time period on shows and most of the ones I think of are non-musicals. March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland; Nunsense, Other People's Money, Frankie & Johnny, Steel Magnolias.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
Updated On: 2/25/08 at 01:55 PM
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ErinDillyFan
Broadway Star
joined:7/14/06
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 02:00pm
The face of 80s broadway was London transplants.

If you want just one. It has to be be Cats. It was huge and spanned 8 years of the 80s. The other big shows from the 80s didn't start until the end of the decade.
Updated On: 2/25/08 at 02:00 PM
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folkyboy
Broadway Legend
joined:1/31/06
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 02:13pm
i actually had Starlight Express in my head when i posted this thread. i think "Carrie" is a great example as well.
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Walcer
Understudy
joined:12/19/06
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 02:17pm
Chess... Anybody??
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cello_dude
Leading Actor
joined:5/22/06
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 03:26pm
Song and Dance.
george95
Broadway Legend
joined:1/1/08
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 04:05pm
the 80's were a time of excess--shoulder pads and parachute pants. And on Broadway, excess meant the mega-musical.
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Enjolras77
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 04:07pm
I actually have to agree about Cats.

The musical is very 1980's with the design of the costumes, hair, etc. - even the music. The cats look like they could be straight out of an '80's glam rock music video.

The show also had some mainstream popularity with the song "Memory". I also remember seeing the characters in several info-mercials and public safety TV ads.

What separates Cats from some of the other shows mentioned, like Carrie for instance, is that it was a huge hit - but just like other '80's trends that were cool then, Cats gets its fair share of ridicule now.

If Cats opened today for the first time would it still be successful? OR was it the perfect musical for the 1980's?

Chess would be another show I would consider, but it never garned universal success at the time (especially in the US). Cats was pretty much a smash hit everywhere.

"You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don't know about you, but I'd like to make today worth remembering." --Harold Hill from The Music Man
Updated On: 2/25/08 at 04:07 PM
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BigFatBlonde
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/07
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 04:25pm
Smile

The 80's Broadway was as much about seasoned craftsmen writing flop after flop as it was about the small handful of mega hit imports.

Cats and Phantom might best showcase 80's Broadway.

But Smile, Doll's Life, Merrily, give a more overall accurate picture of the state of Broadway at the time.

Why Smile in particular?

Because it said so much about the time. It has a great score. You could see how it COULD work, but had to settle for it not.

And Ahsman died of Aids. The disease that ravaged Broadway talent at the time.


What great ones do the less will prattle of
Updated On: 2/25/08 at 04:25 PM
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folkyboy
Broadway Legend
joined:1/31/06
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 05:43pm
i actually had thought of Smile as well. that was my other suggestion aside from Starlight Express.
MungoGypsy8232
Broadway Legend
joined:4/8/07
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 07:50pm
...and then there's "Back to the 80's"...
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EganFan2
Broadway Star
joined:9/8/04
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 08:05pm
Don't know why, but I've always considered "Les Mis" the ultimate '80s musical. "Phantom", too, but for some reason not as much.
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jv92
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/05
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 08:55pm
Dreamgirls.
Slightly bloated and soapy, Eurotrashy costumes, powerballads, expensive conceptual sets, lots of flashy lighting and people getting (and stealing) money and living indulgently! What more could you want from an 80s musical?

The best musical of the 80s (not the definative 80s musical) to threadjack and or add more to the discussion is Sunday in the Park with George (with Nine not too far behind). Anyone want to violently disagree or wholeheartedly agree?
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slimandslam
Broadway Star
joined:9/26/05
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 10:06pm
Gothampc:

In what sense are March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland nonmusicals?
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tazber
Broadway Legend
joined:5/10/05
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 10:10pm
Les Miz.

Without a doubt it was the decade of the popera.
....but the world goes 'round
Ed_Mottershead
Broadway Legend
joined:10/20/05
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/25/08 at 10:26pm
Dreamgirls, Sundy in the Park with George and Into the Woods come to mind. If you're going to include Carrie, you might as well include Legs Diamond as well.
BroadwayEd
folkyboy Profile Photo
folkyboy
Broadway Legend
joined:1/31/06
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/26/08 at 01:36pm
i think Into the Woods transcends an "era" whereas Les Miserables most certainly does not.

Dreamgirls is definitely another contender but the MUSIC itself was not 80s at all.

i would like to know how Falsettos is a "nonmusical" as well.
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/26/08 at 02:01pm
"Gothampc: In what sense are March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland nonmusicals?"

I never said they were nonmusicals. Please look again at what I wrote. I said most of the shows I think have an 80s stamp were non musicals. Then there is a period indicating an end to that sentence. Then I list some of the shows that I think had an 80s stamp. Had those two sentences been together, I would have used a colon instead of a period.
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
Updated On: 2/26/08 at 02:01 PM
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Scripps2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/19/08
re: 80s Musicals?
Posted: 2/26/08 at 04:58pm
BigFatBlonde hits the nail on the head.

The 1980s Broadway musical was about quality shows that often went unappreciated.

The mega-musicals were West-End imports that were often a triumph of style over substance.

But both these trends started in the late 1970s. Didn't On The Twentieth Century and Sweeney Todd demonstrate how big production values can heighten the audiences' experience of well-written musicals? And there are a great many musicals by Broadway craftsmen that failed in the late 1970s even though recordings would suggest that they were of far higher quality than much that followed on either side of the Atlantic.

INTO THE WOODS

 
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