Applause Revival Due

EdEval
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Applause Revival Due#1
Posted: 1/10/19 at 9:50am

I would like to see them revive Applause but up dated to the present time and not the 70's.   Perhaps this time have a black Margot Channing.  Someone like Alfie Woodward, Loretta Devine or Whoopi Goldberg?  Show what the theatre world is like now in the 2010s.  I bet it would be great, again.

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henrikegerman
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Applause Revival Due#2
Posted: 1/10/19 at 10:07am

The show is not very good.  I doubt it could succeed. 

For any revival to have half a chance it would demand a big star ideally suited to it (in both glamour and theatricality).  Not for nothing did Bette Davis tell Lauren Bacall backstage that "only you could do this"Applause Revival Due.  It would also need to maintain its original, then contemporary setting.  Hard to imagine anyone buying into that score if the show were set later then 1970 ish.  Updating it would only make both the score and the creeky libretto more dated and dreary.  Example:  Duane:  I have a date; Margo: Bring  him along! is, thankfully, no longer a laugh line. 

 

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MrsSallyAdams
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Applause Revival Due#3
Posted: 1/10/19 at 10:35am

I've seen this show in concert. There's a structural problem. Margo's story in the film crests early, shifting the focus to Karen, Addison and Eve. The musical stays focused on Margo in act two, but gives her nothing to do. She argues endlessly with Bill but never gets a goal or a proper confrontation with Eve. Act two's songs are weak as well, giving us nothing to look forward to but Eve's "One Halloween."

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GavestonPS
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Applause Revival Due#4
Posted: 1/10/19 at 8:49pm

APPLAUSE worked in 1970 because Lauren Bacall was playing herself, at least in terms of chronology. Her "Who's That Girl?" brought down the house because she was mocking her own career. (So were the ladies who followed her on Broadway.) henrikegerman and Mrs. Adams are correct in terms of the flaws of the book and the score.

As for changing Margo's race, Reprise LA did it with Sheryl Lee Ralph over 15 years ago, so that idea isn't really new. Ralph was fine and her race was not an issue to anyone I knew. But she was not a movie star from Hollywood's glamor days, which made the show feel pointless despite her more than adequate singing and acting.

I can't imagine anyone these days believing a woman needs to give up her career to have a successful marriage. APPLAUSE is just a dinosaur in every way.

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Susanswerphone
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Applause Revival Due#5
Posted: 1/10/19 at 10:47pm
It is a dinosaur. But a fun one!
Maybe for Encores? With a cast of dinosaurs. I'd pay to see Lee Roy Reams shimmy atop a jukebox again!
Jarethan
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Applause Revival Due#6
Posted: 1/10/19 at 11:17pm

The score isn't good enough for Encores.  It was arguably the worst part of the show.

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SomethingPeculiar
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Applause Revival Due#7
Posted: 1/10/19 at 11:28pm

Susanswerphone said: "Maybe for Encores? With a cast of dinosaurs."

Encores did it in 2008 starring Christine Ebersole, who was sick with the flu but went on anyways. By all accounts, the show had not aged well (and Ebersole was miscast).

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/09/theater/reviews/09applause.html

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raddersons
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Applause Revival Due#8
Posted: 1/11/19 at 12:16am

SomethingPeculiar said: "Susanswerphone said: "Maybe for Encores? With a cast of dinosaurs."

Encores did it in 2008 starringChristine Ebersole, who was sick with the flu but went on anyways. By all accounts, the showhad not aged well (and Ebersole was miscast).

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/09/theater/reviews/09applause.html
"

Maybe she should have gotten her flu shot... OH WAIT

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Applause Revival Due#9
Posted: 1/11/19 at 6:06am

For at least a month in 1971, Lauren Bacall was singing "Welcome to the Theater" at the Palace while Yvonne De Carlo was singing "I'm Still Here" at the Winter Garden. Both were Hollywood stars making their Broadway musical debuts.

APPLAUSE ran longer and no doubt made more money at the time, but it's the latter song that is still performed in cabarets and theaters today. A simple comparison of just those two songs is enough to demonstrate why we don't need a revival of APPLAUSE.

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Applause Revival Due#10
Posted: 1/11/19 at 7:11am
Well, that settles it!
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Applause Revival Due#11
Posted: 1/11/19 at 8:48am

I think ALL ABOUT EVE is incredibly timeless and there is a fantastic musical to be made from that story bit APPLAUSE isn't it. As people have pointed out it's a bad show that hasn't aged well and with the amount of work it needs you may as well scrap it and start again with a fresh adaption.

I'd love to see a fresh, new musical version of All About Eve that retains the original 50's setting. 

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LarryD2
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Applause Revival Due#12
Posted: 1/11/19 at 8:50am

Truly one of the worst musicals every written, and very much a product of its time. No one, except maybe the OP, is hankering for a revival. Let it stay dead.

Updated On: 1/11/19 at 08:50 AM
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Applause Revival Due#13
Posted: 1/11/19 at 11:05am

Whenever I see Applause revisited these days, it's pretty much only for camp value. Lauren Bacall in a sanitized 70s gay bar swinging on a lighting fixture is fabulous but not in the way the show wants it to be. 

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
Updated On: 1/11/19 at 11:05 AM
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Applause Revival Due#14
Posted: 1/11/19 at 11:26am

A revival starring Stephanie Powers closed on the road maybe a decade ago. I'd say chances are slim for this idea.

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Applause Revival Due#15
Posted: 1/11/19 at 11:45am

While it's fun seeing Bacall in the filmed broadcast the highlight for me is Penny Fuller. Audiences know that Eve is evil going in but Fuller made her "innocent" act one side convincing in a way that even Anne Baxter couldn't. "One Halloween" is a tricky song. Fuller makes it a star turn where more typical ingenues have strained to sing it.

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markypoo
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Applause Revival Due#16
Posted: 1/11/19 at 12:44pm
That revival with Powers was actually in 1996.
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Applause Revival Due#17
Posted: 1/11/19 at 1:10pm

I saw it with Anne Baxter, about half way through her post-Bacall run, and she was truly remarkable. She found more humor, and seemed like, well, someone who'd be an actual B'way comedy star at the time, the way Margo was reconfigured. She reminted the rather lame party scene that Comden and Green strained to make halfway funny (that unfunny bit of wearing names on your back).  She was a better singer, and looked terrific.  The show is the show, and it has the worst last song -- "Something Greater" -- ever written for a successful musical, ever.  It will never return.

"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Garry Shandling
wonkit
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Applause Revival Due#18
Posted: 1/12/19 at 7:39pm

I saw the Encores! production about twelve yers ago. Tremendous bore and no memorable music.

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MichelleCraig
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Applause Revival Due#19
Posted: 1/12/19 at 9:44pm

I love playing the Original Broadway Cast recording of APPLAUSE once or twice a year...it's a not-so-great musical based on a GREAT movie. I remember being sort of intrigued, as a kid, when Both Katharine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall were both Tony nominated for Best Actress in a Musical... I still listen to COCO, too...but it's a horrendously produced recording; sound is really bad. Too bad Columbia didn't record this with someone like Goddard Lieberson producing.

I think, though, that you'd ruin ALL ABOUT EVE if you tried to update it. Really think about ALL of the changes that would have to be made. So many of the movie's situations wouldn't have happened if the characters all had cell phones and social media! I think audiences are smart enough to understand a work, set in 1950, and viewed in 2019. I really do.

BUT, I guess APPLAUSE *was* an updating of ALL ABOUT EVE (albeit by only 20 years). Maybe APPLAUSE should've stuck to the 1950 time period..who knows? It's still a pretty entertaining cast recording. My two cents.

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Applause Revival Due#20
Posted: 1/12/19 at 10:21pm

Kad said: "Whenever I see Applause revisited these days, it's pretty much only for camp value. Lauren Bacall in a sanitized 70s gay bar swinging on a lighting fixture is fabulous but not in the way the show wants it to be."

I like the gay bar scene from this 1973 tv presentation.  I read somewhere that this was filmed in England.  Harvey Evans (who plays Duane) is still alive.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71dRwNTN69I

"Noel [Coward] and I were in Paris once. Adjoining rooms, of course. One night, I felt mischievous, so I knocked on Noel's door, and he asked, 'Who is it?' I lowered my voice and said 'Hotel detective. Have you got a gentleman in your room?' He answered, 'Just a minute, I'll ask him.'" (Beatrice Lillie)
Updated On: 1/12/19 at 10:21 PM
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Applause Revival Due#21
Posted: 1/13/19 at 1:29pm

Considering that it's not a great show, I've seen APPLAUSE in just about every conceivable production (well, maybe because I've always been a musical theatre queen). Bacall several times on Broadway (she was amazing), Anne Baxter (very good), even Arlene Dahl (who got mediocre press, but had real star poise and  glamour and sang beautifully). Also Stefanie Powers at Paper Mill (dull), and Christine Ebersole (ill at both times I attended, so unfair to judge). The biggest surprise? Was in London in the early 70s, had a free afternoon and thought, wtf? and bought a ticket to see Bacall do it again. The audience was all matinee ladies from the provinces  (saw many of them get off their buses), and thought, what am I doing? Wrong. Bacall gave 150% and knocked us all out of our seats.

Does the show need another revival? Probably not, it's not the strongest of Strouse/Adams scores (imo, that honor goes to GOLDEN BOY) and here comes ALL ABOUT EVE in London, directed by wonder boy Ivo von Hove and starring Gillian Anderson. 

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Applause Revival Due#22
Posted: 1/13/19 at 8:49pm

EdEval said: "I would like to see them revive Applause but up dated to the present time and not the 70's. Perhaps this time have a black Margot Channing. Someone like Alfie Woodward, Loretta Devine or Whoopi Goldberg? Show what the theatre world is like now in the 2010s. I bet it would be great, again."

 

O no no no...never work and it's not a great score-show. It was all about Bacall!!!

"Anything you do, let it it come from you--then it will be new." Sunday in the Park with George
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henrikegerman
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Applause Revival Due#23
Posted: 1/13/19 at 9:05pm

Auggie27 said: "I saw it with Anne Baxter, about half way through her post-Bacall run, and she was truly remarkable. She found more humor, and seemed like, well, someone who'd be an actual B'way comedy star at the time, the way Margo was reconfigured. She reminted the rather lame party scene that Comden and Green strained to make halfway funny (that unfunny bit of wearing names on your back). She was a better singer, and looked terrific. The show is the show, and it has the worst last song -- "Something Greater" -- ever written for a successful musical, ever. It will never return."

An interesting point of view Auggie27.  And while I don't challenge it, it's ironic as Bacall, unlike Baxter, actually was a B'way comedy star of the time.
Prior to Applause she had starred in two Broadway comedies, Goodbye, Charlie (not a hit) and Cactus Flower (a huge hit).

Baxter had prior Broadway credits, but with one exception all of them were from the 30s.  Her only other pre-Applause Broadway was in Carson McCullers's 1957 unsuccessful drama The Square Root of Wonderful.

 

EdEval
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Applause Revival Due#24
Posted: 1/14/19 at 3:48pm

Having read all previous responces I've come to the conclusion that I 'll reconsider my thoughts on an up dated revival and not bother!   It's like trying to update No No Nannette which is blissfully frozen in the 20s.  So is Applause blissfully frozen in the 70's.  All About Eve is a play verty much an artifact of 1950 and should stay there, However someone could present a NEW play about the bitchiness and foilables of Broadway today.  That I'm sure would go.

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Applause Revival Due#25
Posted: 1/14/19 at 4:22pm

I used to listen to this cast recording a lot at the time and still love the sound of it. Overture is great. Missed Bacall but saw Baxter and thought she was great. Besides what's been posted here, I don't think it could be revived because we don't have a Bacall or a Baxter or even a Dahl around now that I can think of that could pull it off.

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