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Viva Forever

sarbear2
Understudy
joined:12/22/04
Viva Forever
Posted: 11/28/12 at 05:12am
As people start to see the show, what are you thinking?

I saw it last night and hated it. I have high tolerance for bad musicals (particularly Mamma Mia and Dirty Dancing) but I just had no patience for Viva Forever. Obviously the Spice Girls aren't Sondheim, but the book was the weakest part- predictable with poor characterisations and completely uncompelling. I think it couldn't decide if it wanted to be completely camp or serious and poignant, and as a result it was neither. And "Spice Up Your Life"? I was horrified.

From what I saw on Twitter, I might be the only one with this opinion, but I was so disappointed- the parts were just so much better than the whole.
God is dead. Shit lives.
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tommyslim
Broadway Star
joined:5/8/06
Viva Forever
Posted: 11/28/12 at 08:00am
I had a few friends who saw it last night and loved it. They said take it for what it is, it's not trying to be Sondheim, its a fun, sit back and enjoy kind of musical. I'm assuming a la mamma mia if its a craymer production.
"Lateness is a choice" - Sir Trevor Nunn
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bob8rich
Broadway Legend
joined:10/19/03
Viva Forever
Posted: 11/28/12 at 08:05am
I detested Mamma Mia (and I actually love Abba) - so I don't think I can even remotely face the thought of seeing this lol.
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Scissorsboi
Swing
joined:10/3/12
Viva Forever
Posted: 11/28/12 at 01:12pm
I initially came away from the show underwhelmed, but looking back on it today I think it's an enjoyable night out and that I was just expecting something more from it. It's very Mamma Mia with Spice Girls songs.

The book I thought was strong, but some of the songs just didn't fit the storyline. Too Much in particular stuck out as a horrendous moment, it's such a nice gentle song, and I just didn't think it came across as that, it came across as a filler "we better put this song in here" part.

Some sections really worked for me, the closing of Act 1 was well done, similar in a vain to Shrek's 3 person medley. Act 2 was certainly more energetic and 'Spice Girls',the first act was too flat and really needed something to lift it.

Some great characters though, Leon is a fantastically camp (Ab Fab style) wardrobe manager, and Viva and her mum were likeable, and you could buy into their (very similar to Mamma Mia!) relationship.

For a first night the show did feel very polished, and like the cast knew their roles well. I didn't care for the girls (aside from Viva who did a good job!) it may have been a volume issue, but I couldn't hear a lot of the vocals. On the other side of that Wannabe sounded bizarre, almost like the cast were singing over a click track of the Spice Girls' vocals (which it may have been).

I'll likely see it again when it's out of previews, but I do think it'll let down people who aren't just there to hear Spice Girls songs. On that note, the audience around me were TERRIBLE last night, a lot of drunk people and a very loud group up in the circle who felt the need to sing along to songs, despite them being re-arranged for the show, so whilst struggling to hear the cast at times I could hear a group of girls singing along totally out of time with the re-worked music using lyrics which had been omitted!

I think it'll run for as long as Ghost did, but isn't likely to have the run of Mamma or WWRY. The Piccadilly looks great now it's been refurbished, the foyer is back in it's original design and just flows so much nicer!
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ClapYo'Hands
Broadway Legend
joined:11/29/09
Viva Forever
Posted: 11/28/12 at 01:46pm
It's interesting. A common thing said about modern musicals is that "they aren't trying to be Sondheim." Right. Fair enough. But when will somebody start writing things that will contribute to the form once more? Or will this be the excuse of every show opening in the west end for the forseable future?
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TrulyOutrageousJem
Chorus Member
joined:7/10/12
Viva Forever
Posted: 11/28/12 at 02:06pm
Judging by what you all have seen of the show so far do you think it will run long enough to warrant a Broadway/NYC transfer? Living here in the States I am just dying to see this show but can not afford a trip abroad just yet. I am a Spice Girls fan but was a bit skeptical of the idea of a Spice Girls Musical at first. I'm very curious to see the show and see what they have done with it.

And Scissorsboi - I LOATHE when people sing along at the theater. Have you no manners? This is not the time. I paid to hear the show, not you.
Scissorsboi
Swing
joined:10/3/12
Viva Forever
Posted: 11/28/12 at 02:14pm
I'd imagine it'll at least attempt a Broadway run based on the Spice Girls name. I may have just over hyped it in my expectations and it'll turn out to be a sleeper loved by the hen-party audience. In fact with it's 15 minute long opportunity to dance at the end I imagine that's the EXACT audience they were shooting for! So yeah, it'd surprise me if they didn't give it a go!

As for the singing, I think what bugged me most was that it just wasn't in time with the music. There was also some dancing along to the routine for Stop, which was a little off putting as our whole row bounced!
AnythingGoes23
Broadway Star
joined:11/21/11
Viva Forever
Posted: 11/28/12 at 06:10pm
I am just back from the show. It was terrible. I can't even begin to write what needs to change from direction to script to cast to choreography, ive seen workshops with more direction.

However the main thing I came away with was actually the Spice Girls didn't have many great hits and their music certainly isn't timeless.

It's no Mamma Mia.

Once the spice fanatics go in, which by looks of the audience are teen gays with their girls shaking their hands in their air and laughing at any joke that includes sex remotely, I just don't see the audience rising to this show to gather hype and to want to come back which really make juke musicals like this so successful.

Maybe I'm being grumpy but I went in to go with it and came out mega disappointed.

Save money.... See The Bodyguard.

Updated On: 11/28/12 at 06:10 PM
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Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Viva Forever
Posted: 11/28/12 at 07:26pm
keep the great reviews coming!!!
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ClapYo'Hands
Broadway Legend
joined:11/29/09
Viva Forever
Posted: 11/28/12 at 09:33pm
Can this really be worse than The Bodyguard?

Save money - head along to the Menier!
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Princeton Returns
Broadway Legend
joined:12/2/10
Viva Forever
Posted: 11/29/12 at 12:43am
when the song list was released i was surprised how few of the songs i actually recognised
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jaqs
Broadway Star
joined:1/24/08
Viva Forever
Posted: 11/29/12 at 03:29am
Yes the spice girls were around for a very short really. Not a big catalogue to choose from and so some post spice girls solo stuff is included.

I'm very curious and so going next week. It's sold incredibly well for current times so I hope it's at least watchable.
iNick1224
Understudy
joined:12/8/07
Viva Forever
Posted: 11/29/12 at 11:11pm
Did the show ever reference the spice girls at all?
sparepart973
Featured Actor
joined:4/7/12
Viva Forever
Posted: 11/29/12 at 11:55pm
My co-wrorker saw it and she said it was horrible, and she is by no means a theatre nerd like us. Just an everyday audience member, who said it was a simple man's (well woman's) show. The humor is bland and not there, and the talent limited. She said the set was good. Apparently Jennifer Saunders and "the lady with the big blonde hair" (Joanna Lumley? Judy Craymer?) along with a handful of other people were sitting in the row in front of her at the dress circle taking notes throughout the show.

She saw Bodyguard a week before during this business trip and said that Bodyguard by far surpasses it overall and especially when it comes to the talent.
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Viva Forever
Posted: 12/3/12 at 10:12pm
While I love a lot of the Spice Girls hits (though I must admit, there are a good number of songs on there I can barely remember), I think jukebox musicals work better--at least musically--when the catalogue is by one songwriter/songwriting team. Spice Girls went through a number of writers--particularly later on in their career, so what joined their songs together was the pop group singing them. ABBA on the other hand had consistently strong songwriting from Benny/Bjorn, Jersey Boys had the same basic songwriting team, etc...

*I adoire Kylie Minogue but the long talks about a jukebox musical of her songs sorta leaves me feeling the same way--though I know one was done in Australia a few years back--if she's not singing them, there's less that really ties them together for me, uynless it's just about hearing some probably good singers sing a random set of songs I know).
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jaqs
Broadway Star
joined:1/24/08
Viva Forever
Posted: 12/4/12 at 05:53pm
It's quite funny. The songs are awfully arranged. The ensemble and the Judges are terrific. The 4 girls vocals horrific.

Parts of it are really bad, parts are good, I hope previews help iron out some of the poorer parts.

The audience was clearly frustrated with the songs at times, slowing so many of them down sucks the fun out of songs that were never meant to be more than froth. Although this did thwart some of the singing along.
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FrontRowDress
Featured Actor
joined:3/20/12
Viva Forever
Posted: 12/11/12 at 04:33am
The turkey arrives two weeks early. A cynical, artless money making exercise. I honestly had high hopes, but it is truly dreadful and unfortunately most of the blame lies with the tired, unfunny book.
Viva Forever
peggyb2
Chorus Member
joined:10/6/11
Viva Forever
Posted: 12/11/12 at 02:53pm
There's a video of the highlights on BroadwayWorld TV.It looks very very bad.
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songanddanceman2
Broadway Legend
joined:8/31/06
Viva Forever
Posted: 12/11/12 at 03:57pm
That video is terrible, like really terrible
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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Scripps2
Broadway Legend
joined:1/19/08
Viva Forever
Posted: 12/11/12 at 04:42pm
"While I love a lot of the Spice Girls hits..."

Eric!

Really!!
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Princeton Returns
Broadway Legend
joined:12/2/10
Viva Forever
Posted: 12/11/12 at 04:54pm
im shocked how bad that video is...its so bland and boring...doesnt represent what the spice girls stood for at all.
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rosscoe(au)
Broadway Legend
joined:8/20/05
Viva Forever
Posted: 12/12/12 at 12:22am
The turkey arrived with Ghost
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Viva Forever
Posted: 12/13/12 at 05:52am
I hate to disappoint you Scripps

And that video is DREADFUL, it makes Mama Mia look brilliant. What an ugly set--it doesn't even seem to have (unintentional or intentional) camp appeal--little energy. You'd think the producers would try to find better highlights, if they could...
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Rainbowhigh23
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/12
Viva Forever
Posted: 12/14/12 at 09:35pm
I just came back from Viva Forever and loved it. It's a loud, colorful, fun night at the theater and the Friday night crowd, most of who were drunk, made it even better. Many were laughing at how bad it was, but most didn't leave for the music made up for it. 2 Become 1 had some loud audience singing, and Spice Up Your Life has to be seen, just has to. The two or three songs after the curtain call were very nice.
Jimbob2
Understudy
joined:3/11/10
Viva Forever
Posted: 12/15/12 at 06:09am
That's a huge amount of money people are paying out to laugh along at how bad something is.... So many comments focus on how the 'post story' megamix=style ending finally gives people what they wanted. I felt the same about the useless 'Mama Mia!' - but surely there are 80s or Abba nights in nightclubs all over the country, where you could enjoy that experience all night, for less money, and YOU get to enjoy yourself rather than watch other people paid to sing and dance (intentionally) badly. Why pay through the nose to sit through 2 hours of dross, for the 'reward' of a 10-minute boogie at the end? From the video clip of Viva Forever, it looks like a low-budget composite revolve set similar to that of Mama Mia! With that show I sat in the theatre imagining pound signs above each seat, and thinking just how little of the audience's money was visible on the stage. Craymer really lucked out: find an audience who already want to go in drunk and you can get away with anything. Or perhaps she's just very very clever, and very very depressing.

Updated On: 12/15/12 at 06:09 AM
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lotiloti
Leading Actor
joined:1/23/06
Viva Forever
Posted: 12/15/12 at 07:15am
Not so much Viva Forever as Viva for a few weeks!

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