Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?

chernjam
Broadway Star
joined:11/7/05
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/6/14 at 12:57am
Just been listening to Aspects of Love the last couple of days and realized that this April will be it's 25th Anniversary. I was curious has anyone heard any mention of a new production or something to mark that? Perhaps a full concert/staging or something. I realize it's not as popular as Phantom - but I've often felt it's one of ALW's most underrated musicals and scores - would love to have a new full-recording of it. And if it were to be restaged, well that would be enough of a reason to make my first visit to the UK.
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/6/14 at 11:20am
I certainly agree with you with this being Andrew Lloyd Webber most underrated scores I love it , the score doesn't have any real stand out songs in it except for 'Love Changes Everything' and 'Anything But Lonely', but the score uses recital elements beautifully and masterly, a truly gorgeous score.

A revival was don 2-3 years ago at the Menier Chocolate factory with a stellar cast of Katherine Kingsley, Rosalie Craig and Michael Arden and this production reunited a lot of the original creatives Trevor Nunn, Don Black and Charles Hart, even though this shoe got a plethora of 4 star review, it couldn't attract a West End run, so that is why I cannot see this being re-staged anytime soon.
2014 Theatre: Billy Elliot***** Meet Me In St Louis*** American Psycho**** Tell Me On A Sunday**** Jeeves and Wooster: Perfect Nonsense* Stephen Ward**** Charlie and the Chocolate factory*** Dirty Dancing** Stephen Sondheim's Puttin It Together*** Candide*** The Lion King***** The Book of Mormon****** Les Miserable***** Stephen Ward**** The Weir**** Fortune's Fool*** Spamalot*** Superior Doughnuts**** Seven Brides For Seven Brothers**** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Finans Rainbow**** The Commitments** Boeing Boeing*** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) The A-Z of Mrs P** Billy Elliot***** Wicked** Good People***** Urinetown***** Spamalot*** The Full Monty**** Other Desert Cities*** Ghosts*** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels***** It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman*** Stephen Ward**** King Lear**** A Taste Of Honey** Blithe Spirit**** From Here To Eternity**** Spamalot*** Fiddler On The Roof** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Relative Values**** Fatal Attraction*** Matilda*****
The Scorpion
Featured Actor
joined:1/3/07
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/6/14 at 04:19pm
I wasn't fond of the Menier revival. It did rekindle my fondness for the material, but I actually thought the original was a far better production (and that wasn't flawless by any means).
chernjam
Broadway Star
joined:11/7/05
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/6/14 at 05:26pm
Well part of my fondness for Aspects is that it was the first musical I ever saw. I saw the original production on Broadway and was blown away by the performances, the set and the music. Never thought I was going to enjoy theatre (my parents forced me to go as a way of "expanding my horizons" while in high school) I remember at the intermission being stunned that over an hour had passed by - and loving the music.

A few years later, having worn out the cassette tapes of Aspects of Love and then seeing a couple other shows, I saw the US tour of Aspects which was originated in Canada and under the direction of Robin Phillips. I was amazed at how different it was - there were lyric changes ("Love changes everything; each beginning, each good bye") as well as a very minimalist staging of it. Perhaps because I was so familiar with the score and the story by then, I found it even more effective and have been frustrated not really having an opportunity to see the show mounted again.
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/6/14 at 06:47pm
Sounds like you have good caring parents then

Aspects of Love was my first musical and second West End show after Sooty (but we can all agree to forget about that one), I think I was 15 and loved everything and in awe about everything to do with the show to the score, sets, acting and lighting. The show was in previews at the Prince of Wales Theatre and this was just after Roger Moore pulled out of playing George, citing that he couldn't act, so the show had to be carried by a unknown at the time Michael Ball.

This show truly opened my eyes to theatre and like you I purchased the double cassette (as CD's hadn't been invented then), which got me through many paperounds at the time.

However the trip to Broadway for Aspects wasn't a happy one and the ever eager xenophobic Frank Rich was sharpening his knives, which he did more keenly when it came to Anglo shows, especially if they came from the Andrew Lloyd Webber stable, the man tried single handily to destroy British theatre on Broadway and mainly failed despite his best attempts (Evita was groundbreaking as it became the first show to become critic proof).

A good interview was done with Don Black and broadcast on BBC4, here it is linked below on iplayer, but unsure if it is available in America, hilarious part at the very end with Michael Ball singing Love Changes Everything, but the finale part done by ???????????? who is severely vocally challenged.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03mppht/Diamonds_are_Forever_The_Don_Black_Songbook/
2014 Theatre: Billy Elliot***** Meet Me In St Louis*** American Psycho**** Tell Me On A Sunday**** Jeeves and Wooster: Perfect Nonsense* Stephen Ward**** Charlie and the Chocolate factory*** Dirty Dancing** Stephen Sondheim's Puttin It Together*** Candide*** The Lion King***** The Book of Mormon****** Les Miserable***** Stephen Ward**** The Weir**** Fortune's Fool*** Spamalot*** Superior Doughnuts**** Seven Brides For Seven Brothers**** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Finans Rainbow**** The Commitments** Boeing Boeing*** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) The A-Z of Mrs P** Billy Elliot***** Wicked** Good People***** Urinetown***** Spamalot*** The Full Monty**** Other Desert Cities*** Ghosts*** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels***** It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman*** Stephen Ward**** King Lear**** A Taste Of Honey** Blithe Spirit**** From Here To Eternity**** Spamalot*** Fiddler On The Roof** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Relative Values**** Fatal Attraction*** Matilda*****
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/7/14 at 04:44am
I *love* Aspects unabashedly. Yes, I know the criticisms (it's a soap opera, etc, etc) and I don't care.

I do think the original production--at least judging from the Complete book's photos, looked stunning with a typically gorgeous Maria Bjornson design, although I think ALW and the others felt the show had to be BIG because that's what audiences excepted from his musicals and maybe the beautiful production overwhelmed the show. Still, it was a minor hit in London (and a bit of a fiasco in Broadway) and I wish more video from that production existed.

I was lucky enough to see the Robin Phillips production when it opened in Edmonton at the Citadel Theatre (ALW was in attendance.) It was a big deal--I was only 12 or so, and very excited to get to see a premier of the new revision. I admit, I can't for the life of me remember what changes, and how many were made. Phillips tends to overuse white in his shows (he designs them too) but it worked for Aspects, and I saw the production several more times during its run. (I believe Sarah Brightman joined the cast when the production toured--as Chern may have mentioned, but she wasn't in the premier which was mainly Canadian names.)

I remember reading somewhere that ALW, or maybe it was Nunn felt its intimate feel would make it a great choice for a television adaptation--I wish something would come from that.

Oddly, my least favorite song in the show is Love Changes Everything--maybe simply because it's become overplayed as the main excerpt from the show. Mermaid Song, Chanson d'Enfance, Anything But Lonely, so much of the rest are up with my favorite ALW melodies. I also feel his use of re-using so many musical themes for the sung dialogue, which seems repetitive to me in other shows of his, really works for me here.

Whatever happened to Ann Crumb is absolutely killer on the cast album? I only recently upgraded my copy of the cast album to the current release--it's nice that they added in a few short bits that weren't on the original.

And Phantom--that's a great story, but I have to be anal and point out CDs certainly had been invented by the time Aspects was first playing and recorded. :P
StageDoorEnt
Swing
joined:9/11/07
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/7/14 at 12:03pm
Must agree, it's my favourite ALW musical personally. It feels so poetic, honest and quite a relaxing listen. Have always said it French musicals are the best. Martin Guerre, Les mis, Phantom, Aspects, Beauty & The Beast etc! The last UK tour was very good in 07 & 08 which had David Essex returning to the show as Uncle George.

'I Want to be the, (the first man you remember) is a lovely song.
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/7/14 at 12:36pm
I saw that tour as well and thought Shona Lindsay was a revelation and excellent as Rose Vibet, however David Essex was only a serviceable George and for me Matt Rawle completely over-hammed this beautiful piece of work as Alex and ruined it.

OK LOL CD's might of just been coming out, but I don't think there was a CD walkman or they were prohibitively expensive as a 12 a week paperboy, my next big investment was the Phantom of the Opera highlights CD mind you.

I read on Wiki:

'The new Definitive script will be staged at The Playhouse, Whitley Bay during February to March 2014. Produced by Tynemouth Operatic Society, this will be the first non professional staging in the UK with this new script and full orchestra. It is also the first staging in the world of the Definitive version worked on by Lord Lloyd Webber who has pulled together all the aspects of productions and tours over the years and created the show as he wishes to see it staged.'
2014 Theatre: Billy Elliot***** Meet Me In St Louis*** American Psycho**** Tell Me On A Sunday**** Jeeves and Wooster: Perfect Nonsense* Stephen Ward**** Charlie and the Chocolate factory*** Dirty Dancing** Stephen Sondheim's Puttin It Together*** Candide*** The Lion King***** The Book of Mormon****** Les Miserable***** Stephen Ward**** The Weir**** Fortune's Fool*** Spamalot*** Superior Doughnuts**** Seven Brides For Seven Brothers**** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Finans Rainbow**** The Commitments** Boeing Boeing*** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) The A-Z of Mrs P** Billy Elliot***** Wicked** Good People***** Urinetown***** Spamalot*** The Full Monty**** Other Desert Cities*** Ghosts*** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels***** It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman*** Stephen Ward**** King Lear**** A Taste Of Honey** Blithe Spirit**** From Here To Eternity**** Spamalot*** Fiddler On The Roof** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Relative Values**** Fatal Attraction*** Matilda*****
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/7/14 at 09:56pm
I always get worried about terms like "new definitive script." LOL That said, as I mentioned when I saw the first official revision, I can't even remember the changes, so...

As to CDs, you got me curious. According to Wiki the first pop music album to come out simultaneously on CD was as far back as ABBA The Visitors (1981.) But: "The first artist to sell a million copies on CD was Dire Straits, with its 1985 album Brothers in Arms.[19] The first major artist to have his entire catalogue converted to CD was David Bowie, whose 15 studio albums were made available by RCA Records in February 1985, along with four Greatest Hits albums.[20] In 1988, 400 million CDs were manufactured by 50 pressing plants around the world.[21]"

We got our first family player around '88 or '89 and it was a big deal, but most of my friends had them before then. But discmen back then were awful--they didn't have that skip protection thing so you couldn't move around with them and they were expensive.

Phantom's cast album came out with the LP and cassette release but is kinda infamous--back then there was a feature on high end machines that you could have tracks and then you'd have... chapters I think they were called within the track. Anyway that was phased out quickly, but Phantom was programmed so that each disc was one track, and then the songs chaptered--so for most of the world until a new edition came out (quite some time later) was stuck being unable to get from song to song without fast forwarding.

(Yes, random off topic info :P ) And of course CDs could hold less music--they gained about 8 minutes by the mid or late 90s (which is I assume why when Aspects was finally remastered ten or so years back, they managed to put in a few extra minutes that had been edited out from the previous release--just sung dialogue I think.)
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/8/14 at 04:07pm
That explains a pet hate of mine when cd's wouldn't be complete and have bits of a show missing, didn't realise that they were so limited for space and modern remastering technique would allow for more better compression, so therefore more of a given show could be added, a good example of this is the original cast recording of Les Miserables, where the superior live 10th anniversary live cast recording had more of the show on the double CD.

I hate it if any part of a show is missing,as more often than not, the recital parts are my favourite parts.
2014 Theatre: Billy Elliot***** Meet Me In St Louis*** American Psycho**** Tell Me On A Sunday**** Jeeves and Wooster: Perfect Nonsense* Stephen Ward**** Charlie and the Chocolate factory*** Dirty Dancing** Stephen Sondheim's Puttin It Together*** Candide*** The Lion King***** The Book of Mormon****** Les Miserable***** Stephen Ward**** The Weir**** Fortune's Fool*** Spamalot*** Superior Doughnuts**** Seven Brides For Seven Brothers**** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Finans Rainbow**** The Commitments** Boeing Boeing*** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) The A-Z of Mrs P** Billy Elliot***** Wicked** Good People***** Urinetown***** Spamalot*** The Full Monty**** Other Desert Cities*** Ghosts*** Dirty Rotten Scoundrels***** It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Superman*** Stephen Ward**** King Lear**** A Taste Of Honey** Blithe Spirit**** From Here To Eternity**** Spamalot*** Fiddler On The Roof** (Orchard Theatre, Dartford) Relative Values**** Fatal Attraction*** Matilda*****
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/8/14 at 06:33pm
^This! I still don't understand why more shows don't just fit what they can on the CD and release whatever extra music wouldn't fit on itunes. A few shows have done that, recently Betty Blue Eyes and the Matilda OBC.

It's one thing if it's a studio recording and the cost of studio time prevents them from recording every piece of music in the show, but It's even more infuriating to me when a show is recorded live so you know damn well that they recorded all of the music as it was performed and then they release the CD with several minutes of music missing like Cameron Mackintosh did with his live cast albums of Les Miserables 25, Marry Poppins and Oliver. Les Miserables has a few irritating internal cuts, Marry Poppins is missing the actual Entr'ace and the entire act two opening song and Oliver omits the very beginning of "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two" which is arguably one of the more famous songs in the show and a bit perplexing that it got chopped up for the recording.
That's right! Underscore mother-fu@#ers!
chernjam
Broadway Star
joined:11/7/05
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/8/14 at 10:33pm
Eric!

So good to see you on here - never forgot the package of Aspects materials from Canada you sent me - maybe 10-15 years ago???? Where does the time go?

I'm not sure Sarah ever toured with Aspects in the US. It was Linda Balgord and Ron Bohmer who I think originated in Canada and then toured... but I could be wrong (Linda and Ron also went on to tour together in the 1st US Tour of Sunset Blvd)

As for the remastered Aspects CD - yeah it was interesting - they added the full Parlezvous Francais - but never added Ann Crumb singing Anything but Lonely with the high note finish that was added later (and which she did record - I know because I have it somewhere - I think for a "single release" or as a Promo CD when the show opened in NY) I know these things are probably little things that only die hards care about. But for me, I remember ALW talking in an interview about how "Tell Me on a Sunday" (the song) when first released ended simply and there was little audience reaction. When he revised it to include "DON'T RUN OFF IN THE POURING RAIN. DON'T CALL ME AS THEY CALL YOUR PLANE - TAKE THE HURT OUT OF ALL THE PAIN" - that it "blew the roof off the theatre" - well that's my impression of the difference with Anything But Lonely - makes a huge difference
kdogg36
Leading Actor
joined:9/13/07
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/10/14 at 08:41pm
Aspects of Love was also my first Broadway musical, and the score is still one of my favorites. I used to run a website dedicated to the show, but I haven't had it up for many years.

James, do you remember hanging out on the Really Useful web forum and then on Tire Tracks? I remember chatting about Aspects of Love with you from way back when...

Some of the biggest changes over the years: "She'd Be Far Better Off With You" went from being a duet to a quartet; "There is More to Love" went from being a solo for Giulietta to a duet with Rose; and a new scene was added with Rose and Marcel at the train station after she leaves Alex at the villa in the first act.

Sarah Brightman replaced Ann Crumb in the Broadway production, and I think she may indeed have also appeared in the tour, though I'm not certain of that.

After seeing the Broadway production in 1989, I wasn't able to see the show again until the recent production at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. It was beautifully done, and the score was ravishing as ever. The book was also as ridiculous as ever, but I've learned to live with that!

Just to beat the CD issue to death, I bought the London cast recording on CD as soon as it came out and had the show memorized by the time I saw it at the Broadhurst. :) I still have those CDs and listen to them regularly if not often. Perhaps I should move up to the new version!
chernjam
Broadway Star
joined:11/7/05
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/10/14 at 10:15pm
Kdogg -
oh wow - the "old days" when the internet was new... Tiretracks was our ALW hangout and yes I remember your Aspects site! (How is it that with all the advances and expansion to the internet theres really no ALW site to hang out on anymore? Remember when RUG had the forum too?)

Anyway - I was curious - when you saw Aspects at Walnut Street did they keep all those changes?

One change that I remembered from the tour as well - they had an instrumental prologue of Hand Me the wine and the dice at the start - where only later you realize Alex and Giulietta are at George's funeral
SweetLips
Leading Actor
joined:1/23/13
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/11/14 at 05:50am
I was visiting London and saw the original production--my lasting impression?--I was such an emotional wreck,literally sobbing,that I was almost the last to leave the theatre.I occasionally revisit the CD but would love to see a grand concert version one day before old age changes everything.
kdogg36
Leading Actor
joined:9/13/07
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/12/14 at 06:46pm
Yes, I remember those days quite well!

All three of those changes I mentioned were part of the Philadelphia production.
Parsley
Featured Actor
joined:1/7/06
Aspects of Love 25th Anniversary?
Posted: 1/15/14 at 04:11am
I loved most of the changes that took place in the original London production. "There is more to love" as a duet was a much better song than the solo version which itself was a fine song.

I have a great cd of the Japanese cast recording, with more of the instrumental changes that made it i to the various productions. And I have a much cherished soundboard live recording of the final night at the Prince of Wales - plus the music played over then bows and the outro music etc... Even more cherished as I was there that night, so a nice memory.

"There is more to love" as a duet was a much better song momet

 

Message Board

BWW BLOGS