Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Page: 1



Great Gastby Musical

Damiensta
Stand-by
joined:5/11/12
Stand-by
joined:
5/11/12
Great Gastby Musical #1
Posted: 8/3/20 at 11:03pm
Florence Welch is allegedly working in making it a musical . https://mobile.twitter.com/flomachinenews/status/1290279813559668736
Globefan
Featured Actor
joined:10/31/12
Featured Actor
joined:
10/31/12
Great Gastby Musical#2
Posted: 8/3/20 at 11:14pm

This is great

SouthernCakes
Broadway Legend
joined:7/29/19
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/29/19
Great Gastby Musical#3
Posted: 8/3/20 at 11:52pm
Hm. I love the book, and I do think it’s a good musical idea. Not a ton of action, etc.
nativenewyorker2
Understudy
joined:8/30/18
Understudy
joined:
8/30/18
Great Gastby Musical#4
Posted: 8/4/20 at 12:05am
I heard Houston and Levitt were gonna write the score until Levitt wanted to focus on his directing career.
nativenewyorker2
Understudy
joined:8/30/18
Understudy
joined:
8/30/18
Great Gastby Musical#5
Posted: 8/4/20 at 12:05am
I heard Houston and Levitt were gonna write the score until Levitt wanted to focus on his directing career.
jonah3500
Featured Actor
joined:3/17/17
Featured Actor
joined:
3/17/17
Great Gastby Musical#6
Posted: 8/4/20 at 12:08am
Hm. I heard that Houston was working on it as a play for Manhattan Theatre Workshop.
A Director
Broadway Legend
joined:12/18/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/18/07
Great Gastby Musical#7
Posted: 8/4/20 at 3:42am

The novel is one the greatest written in the 20th century.  There have been three stage versions, all flops.  There have been four movie versions that opened to mix reviews.  There is an opera that got mixed reviews. The story only works as a novel.  There is no hope for it as a musical.

bear88
Broadway Star
joined:4/26/16
Broadway Star
joined:
4/26/16
Great Gastby Musical#8
Posted: 8/4/20 at 4:58am

How was Gatz a flop? Rave reviews, performed for years all over the world for more than a decade (it was the last play I saw - at the Berkeley Rep in February - before everything shut down due to COVID-19 - and the 600-seat theater was packed for its long day's journey into night with no discounts).

Not everyone loves it, and you might be one of those people. My wife was ambivalent, and it's certainly not a typical adaptation. But I thought it was wonderful - as it's a chance to hear Fitzgerald's language - which is funnier than I think of the novel as being when hearing it out loud. I certainly don't think I will see a Nick Carroway better than Scott Shepherd.

If Gatz doesn't count, because it's not a traditional adaptation, then I'll concede the point. If you want to argue it works as a novel better than it does as a play or film or opera, I won't quibble. But any eight-hour stage play (including dinner) that can pack decent-sized theaters more than 10 years after it first came onto the scene can't be fairly described as a flop.

On the proposed musical, fine, I'm skeptical. But copyright protection is done now. Everyone can do whatever they'd like with the novel.

nativenewyorker2
Understudy
joined:8/30/18
Understudy
joined:
8/30/18
Great Gastby Musical#9
Posted: 8/4/20 at 9:29am
After Levitt said he didn’t want to write the music
nativenewyorker2
Understudy
joined:8/30/18
Understudy
joined:
8/30/18
Great Gastby Musical#10
Posted: 8/4/20 at 9:29am
After Levitt said he didn’t want to write the music
JennH
Broadway Legend
joined:11/14/13
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/14/13
Great Gastby Musical#11
Posted: 8/4/20 at 9:33am

Nativenewyorker and Jonah-BWHAHAHA that's where my mind went immediately when I saw this thread! Glad I'm not the only one! 

I think with some more careful thought, I could work, but who knows. And bear88, you're close...it doesn't enter public domain until next year. Right on January 1 to be precise. So not much longer, so if there's anyone out there who wanting to create a musical out if out, might as well wait these 5 months and then go to town.

Updated On: 8/4/20 at 09:33 AM
darquegk Profile Photodarquegk Profile Photo
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/5/09
Great Gastby Musical#12
Posted: 8/4/20 at 10:35am
Wait these five months? Don’t you mean “work quietly for five months and be ready to release when it’s free?”
JBroadway Profile PhotoJBroadway Profile Photo
JBroadway
Broadway Legend
joined:4/6/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/6/12
Great Gastby Musical#13
Posted: 8/4/20 at 10:50am

I generally hold the belief that literally ANY source material has the potential to be successfully adapted into a musical - it just has to be done right: it has to be the right team, making the right creative choices. 

I haven't seen any of the Gatsby adaptations except Gatz, and the Baz Lurhmann movie, so I can't speak to why those other adaptations failed artistically. But I wonder if part of the problem is that there's too much reverence for the material (or the estate is too strict) so no one can really take any massive stylistic risks with it. I think about how Great Comet adapted War and Peace, even though anyone would have said that War and Peace was impossible to adapt into a musical. But Malloy had the creative vision to say "we're only going to do this chunk of it, and we're going to do it in this hyper-stylized way."

The next team of people to adapt Gatsby need to be willing/able to make bold choices like that: re-imagining it in a way that departs from the source material, and feels highly specific to a new, inventive, PURPOSEFUL artistic vision, while still honoring the spirit of the book. It should almost feel like it's an original musical that happens to use Fitzgerald's text as a foundation (I realize that's an oxi-moron, I'm just speaking to the sense of originality and creativity that it should have) 

Updated On: 8/4/20 at 10:50 AM
JennH
Broadway Legend
joined:11/14/13
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/14/13
Great Gastby Musical#14
Posted: 8/4/20 at 11:12am

darquegk said: "Wait these five months? Don’t you mean “work quietly for five months and be ready to release when it’s free?”"

Or that ;P But I'm not a writer, so I have no idea of the more detailed logistics surrounding that specific issue. 

I tend to disagree about any source material can be musicalized. There's some things that just won't work as a musical for one reason or another. I'm thinking of Pride and Prejudice off the top of my head. There a good few adaptations, but not one works for me because musicalizing Austen inherently cheapens her brilliant language. I prefer the straight plays for her material. I think Gatsby could work because they're not dealing with an older heightened language, the story itself is so heightened what with being an unrequited love story at it's core, and the spectacle it could be always helps. 

aliceripleyofficial Profile Photoaliceripleyofficial Profile Photo
aliceripleyofficial
Understudy
joined:8/14/19
Understudy
joined:
8/14/19
Great Gastby Musical#15
Posted: 8/4/20 at 12:36pm

Florence is one the greatest singer-songwriters of our time and I will absolutely devour whatever she puts out... but this is just SO unnecessary.

JBroadway Profile PhotoJBroadway Profile Photo
JBroadway
Broadway Legend
joined:4/6/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/6/12
Great Gastby Musical#16
Posted: 8/4/20 at 12:50pm

JennH said: "I'm thinking of Pride and Prejudice off the top of my head. There a goodfew adaptations, but not one works for me because musicalizing Austen inherently cheapens her brilliant language."

 

But see, I would just say the same thing about P&P as I would about Gatsby or War and Peace. Just because it hasn't worked doesn't mean it couldn't work. And I don't see how musicalization can "inherently"cheapen anything; music has the power to add depth and nuance, and if done well, it could potentially make her language shine even more. It just hasn't yet, because nobody has done it well enough.

Or alternately, what if the adaptation were transplanted to outer space, and used bluegrass music? Like, it's ridiculous of course - and I'm not claiming that a Bluegrass Sci-fi version of Pride & Prejudice would actually be good. But that's the sort of wild re-imagining that could remove the pressure to capture the precise style of the source material, and end up being brilliant as a result. If the artist somehow saw some spiritual connection between Sci-Fi, Bluegrass, and Jane Austen, then they could make those connections and end up shedding new light on the original story. Again, this is a wild example and not one that I'm actually advocating for (although if it happened, I'd definitely go see it lol), I'm just saying that thinking outside the box can open up doors to adapting any material that seems impossible to adapt. 

 

Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/15/03
Great Gastby Musical#17
Posted: 8/4/20 at 4:22pm
I taught the novel throughout my career in the classroom and have seen most of the film adaptations and suffered through the opera. All I can say is that the novel doesn't transfer well off the printed page. It would be nice to see a film adaptation that captured the essence and the style of the novel but that hasn't happened yet.

As for the opera, it was saddled with dull and repetitive sounding music. Although Jerry Hadley was friend of mine, he was woefully miscast as Gatsby and when I visited him backstage after a performance, he read the expression on my face to know how I felt about the opera.

I wish the musical well . We'll see what happens.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
Dollypop
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/15/03
Great Gastby Musical#17
Posted: 8/4/20 at 4:22pm
I taught the novel throughout my career in the classroom and have seen most of the film adaptations and suffered through the opera. All I can say is that the novel doesn't transfer well off the printed page. It would be nice to see a film adaptation that captured the essence and the style of the novel but that hasn't happened yet.

As for the opera, it was saddled with dull and repetitive sounding music. Although Jerry Hadley was friend of mine, he was woefully miscast as Gatsby and when I visited him backstage after a performance, he read the expression on my face to know how I felt about the opera.

I wish the musical well . We'll see what happens.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
Charley Kringas Inc Profile PhotoCharley Kringas Inc Profile Photo
Charley Kringas Inc
Broadway Star
joined:8/12/11
Broadway Star
joined:
8/12/11
Great Gastby Musical#18
Posted: 8/4/20 at 6:00pm

It's funny, I think the Luhrmann film was nearly perfect - I'm not sure I've ever seen any other film adaptation that has captured a book so well, from the look to the tone.

Gatsby could make a good musical, as long as they don't make the crappy musical I think we can all envision. Under no circumstances do I want to have to sit through a mediocre ballad about the green light.

darquegk Profile Photodarquegk Profile Photo
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
Broadway Legend
joined:
2/5/09
Great Gastby Musical#19
Posted: 8/4/20 at 6:25pm
If you put me in charge I’d go Spring Awakening impressionism with it; keep the book close but not slavish to Fitzgerald, and rather than put songs into the characters’ mouths in universe, fill the score with thematically appropriate but lyrically oblique/suggestive songs from Bowie’s 1970-1975 era. The glitter and doom of that version of him was Fitzgeraldesque, and “Watch That Man” feels more like that first party sequence than any Charleston or megaphone number ever could.
bear88
Broadway Star
joined:4/26/16
Broadway Star
joined:
4/26/16
Great Gastby Musical#20
Posted: 8/5/20 at 3:52am

While I'm not necessarily a believer in JBroadway's "Anything can be turned into a musical if done right" school, I agree that Great Comet is the right model for a Gatsby adaptation. I certainly never thought I would see a musical adaptation of War and Peace that turned out to be one of my favorite shows. Pick an idea that captures the spirit of the novel without being wedded to the literal text. Because I've seen a show that gave me the literal text earlier this year. (I can't believe I saw Gatz less than six months ago.)

henrikegerman Profile Photohenrikegerman Profile Photo
henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
4/29/05
Great Gastby Musical#21
Posted: 8/7/20 at 7:49pm

Let's break it down and see where it takes us.

A romantic obsession 
An unhappy marriage
A rags to riches story in which the riches have already been made, and sordidly
Male lead has a rather innocent and pensive buddy, the POV character who probably must be the POV character in the musical for it to possibly work, i.e. the story takes Nick from innocence to experience (problem, Nick, charming as a narrator, isn't very dramatic, and much less musically so)
Female lead has a rather sophisticated and bored best friend
The buddy and the best friend have a romance that neither one of them is very invested in
Female lead's husband has a tragic mistress - she is the only character with sensuality and the only one whom we can actually maybe see having an actual need to sing

It ends very badly.

Big parties, jazz, class oppression, snobbery, ennui 

Sure, why not?
 

Updated On: 8/7/20 at 07:49 PM