It starts tonight! Anyone going?
Not tonight, going on Sunday
Great! Can't to hear what they've done with this beautiful show!
I was there tonight. I will say, this will never be one of my favorite Sondheim show. I saw this show one other time, at a small theatre in London (I believe it was the Union Theatre?) a few ears ago with an all male cast. I remember liking the score but not much else . I will say this is an absolutely gorgeously sung and performed production of the show. Both the cast and the orchestra sounded wonderful. I thought John Doyle's (simple) staging worked well for the story. No one in the cast plays an instrument, but Doyle use classic stages space well.Ann Harada was a standout and really nailed her song. The rest of the cast was excellent and I can't find a weak link in the bunch. Overall I still find the show a bit dramatically inert, but it is an intersting story and the score sounded gorgeous. I hope they do a cast recording.
Glad to hear this! Could you share who did the orchestrations?
Was Harada's song Chrysanthemum Tea or Welcome to Kanagawa or something else? Was anything cut at all? What was the running time? Thank you for your review and thoughts. I hope there's a cast recording too!
dave1606, could you weigh in on where you were sitting and how the show was staged? In your opinion, what would be the best place to sit and are there any areas to avoid? Thanks!
Over on the All That Chat board, ''Toros'' has posted an incredibly detailed, song by song, account of how John Doyle has reimagined ''Pacific Overtures'': The thread is called: ''PACIFIC OVERTURES: Gracefully reconceived. Spoilers galore.'' The biggest takeway is that Doyle has cut down the show to a 90-minute, one-act musical, and discarded ''Chrysanthemum Tea'' and ''The Lion Dance.''http://www.talkinbroadway.com/allthatchat_new/d.php?id=2371731
That's awful, chrysanthemum tea is a wonderful song
Well, it sounds like it's not so much Pacific Overtures as Pacific Interlude or Pacific Ditty.
newintown said: "Well, it sounds like it not so much Pacific Overtures as Pacific Interlude or Pacific Ditty."Well, considering the director, this was to be expected.
How small was the orchestra? how many pieces?
But had Doyle cut out entire songs out of his revisals of ''Company,'' ''Passion'' or ''Sweeney Todd''? Turning ''Pacific Overtures'' into a one-act musical seems like new territory, even for Doyle.
Oh, God. Do the whole show. Saw it 17 times back in 1976. Don't scale it back.
Wayman_Wong said: "But had Doyle cut out entire songs out of his revisals of ''Company,'' ''Passion'' or ''Sweeney Todd''? Turning ''Pacific Overtures'' into a one-act musical seems like new territory, even for Doyle."He did it to Road Show, The Visit, and Allegro. And he's greatly cut down works like Peer Gynt and even Dead Poets Society.If something does not 100% work, he cuts it down.
Ok but chrysanthemum tea is one of the best songs in the show. Pacific Overtures does NOT need rewrites!
I mean I'd argue that Road Show was still kind of a work in progress when John took it on. And isn't the consensus that The Visit was never really "finished" either? Maybe I am mis-remembering on that one. The only thing he removed from Company was Tick Tock, which is neither imperative nor in every production. Sweeney was intact too. I did not see Passion. I don't think I'd say cuts are to be "expected" with him, nor do I think deserves a reputation as the dude who slashes everything to pieces, but yeah, if something feels extraneous to the story he feels he's telling, it's out. His work is always about streamlining in one way or another; sometimes that's visual and sometimes it's textual. And until I see a choice that doesn't feel thoughtful and justified, I will continue to argue that he knows what he's doing. A song can be lovely but not necessary.Anyway, I fly Wednesday and see it this weekend. Very curious and excited.
Thanks, Kad, for your reply, but I was asking about those specific 3 Sondheim shows. I didn't even include ''Road Show'' because that piece has been through so many incarnations.To me, cutting ''Chrysanthemum Tea,'' one of the show's comic delights, would be like cutting ''You Could a Person Crazy'' from ''Company'' or ''A Little Priest'' from ''Sweeney Todd.''
I agree - I think this is unprecedented for a Doyle Sondheim revival (Road Show was a 'new' show, so it doesn't count).
It's quite common for Doyle to cut dance music, but never entire songs. He didn't really make any textual alterations to Sweeney, Passion, or Company, so I'm surprised to hear that he has made such drastic changes to this show. Pacific Overtures is not a deeply flawed musical and does not require rewrites. I'm excited for this production, but I'm also very skeptical. If I were Mr. Doyle, I would put Chrysanthemum Tea back in the show. It is definitely a fan favorite and will be missed.
Doyle also did radical cuts to the book of Color Purple. Pacific Overtures isn't licensed very much. This new scaled-down production would probably boost the number of future productions and licensing revenues. I'm sure Sondheim's accountant will be happy with the new version.As for orchestrations, Rob Berman is listed as musical supervisor so I assume he did the orchestrations?
Would anyone say that this production has a chance of transferring next season?
''Pacific Overtures'' ''isn't licensed much,'' but not because it's too long. It's because of the requirements of an Asian/Asian-American cast. ... And I don't think too many theaters want to fight for the outdated practice of Caucasians in ''yellow face'' in this day and age. Yet somehow, the Signature Theatre, directed by Eric Schaeffer, seems to have gotten away with an all-Caucasian cast of 10, back in 2005. It's baffling, and such a slap in the face for terrific Asian-American actors who have such a small pool of opportunities.
"Chrysanthemum Tea" is one of my favorite songs Sondheim ever wrote.
Not sure how big the band is, but Tunick did the (new) orchestrations.
I figured it's another Tunick reduction, but that's strange it's not credited in the playbill.
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