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? Happened to Baby Jane Literally

skingdom
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? Happened to Baby Jane Literally#0
Posted: 9/4/03 at 11:19pm
Does anyone know if the musical is coming to Broadway?
MusicMan
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re: ? Happened to Baby Jane Literally#1
Posted: 9/4/03 at 11:24pm


No, never. It received disastrous reviews in its Texas production, deservedly so---it was a horrible idea for a musical, written by one of the worst writers in American musical theater history, Hal Hackady. His name says it all.
Gothampc
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re: re: ? Happened to Baby Jane Literally#2
Posted: 9/4/03 at 11:36pm
Hal Hackady wrote "Snoopy" which is a cute musical.
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skingdom
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re: ? Happened to Baby Jane Literally#3
Posted: 9/4/03 at 11:51pm
That was funny. Thanks for replying, music man. you're probably right, and I've read your other honest posts on here, and it takes a lot to impress you, which I suppose is a good thing.
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TheaterBaby
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re: re: ? Happened to Baby Jane Literally#4
Posted: 9/5/03 at 12:59am
They're re-naming it "Whatever Happened to Baby June" and it will be playing at the Shubert as a sequal to Gypsy. re: re: ? Happened to Baby Jane Literally LOL

Come on! I know I'm not the only one who finds it weird that it's about two sisters, where one would have been more famous (if not for the accident) than her blonde haired sister who looks like a large scary doll; and ironically enough was the more famous of the 2 as children. It so could have been about Louise and June as adults! Well, without the whole wheelchair thing.
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QueenS
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I saw the show in Houston and it was pretty painful. Not bad enough to be funny, nowhere near good. I did chuckle at a couple of things including Jane sitting in the chair lift and doing high kicks as she rode it up the winding staircase. Also laughed through much of the big second act number "You're THERE, Blanche, you're THERE, Blanche, sitting in your CHAIR, Blanche."

I knew that we were in trouble when the artistic director gave a curtain speech letting us know that it wasn't a comedy.
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robbiej
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Seriously, QueenS? I mean...you're not lying?

Cause I would sell my mother to see that performed on a stage somewhere.
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MasterLcZ
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"I knew that we were in trouble when the artistic director gave a curtain speech letting us know that it wasn't a comedy. "

Talk about NOT knowing your intended audience!
"Christ, Bette Davis?!?!"
QueenS
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You can't make stuff like that up.

Also, the show was "narrated" by a chorus of circus/side show characters. They sang the opening song (also happened to be the title song, sung in a detached whisper sort of voice) and showed up again every once in a while as a sort of greek chorus. But I could never figure out their purpose. I mean, the girls were not ever in the circus. They never referenced a side show. These "characters" didn't have anything to do with the show.

Oh, and did I mention the big rubber rat?
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jrb_actor
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They were vaudeville characters: a ventriloquist, a magician, acrobats, opera singers, etc. The acrobats threw you I presume.
Updated On: 9/5/03 at 07:30 PM
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jrb_actor
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dupe message =)
Updated On: 9/5/03 at 07:30 PM
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Mr Roxy
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re: re: ? Happened to Baby Jane Literally#11
Posted: 9/5/03 at 7:35pm
To Music Man

For your info, Hal Hackady wrote the scores for Minnies Boys, Goodtime Charlie, Grind, Paper Moon. I totally disagree with your assessment of him. Next time you write even one song, let me know how simple it is. The guy is ( or was ) a very good hard luck composer
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jrb_actor
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He was also extremely nice--and it isn't as if that was an easy undertaking. Yes, it was a flawed show, but there was/is a genuine attempt to create a serious musical out of the novel (not the film btw)--the novelist wrote the book for the show. They do need to go back to the drawing board and learn from what did not work in this production, which I will agree will be much work. But, this is why they premiered it in Houston and not NYC.

It is a show that needs to be either extremely funny and campy or extremely dark like a Sweeney Todd. It could work (as many of the theatre professionals (who I will not name out of discretion) said when they commented on the production).

=)
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ErikJ972
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Queen S...
You have no idea how jealous I am. Please..PLEASE give us more details!
Dollypop
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BABY JANE has all the makings of a terrific opera, but NOT a musical comedy!

As for Hackaday's work--I've seen many of them and they were pretty dreadful. I don't think any of them ran more than a year on Broadway.
"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
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jrb_actor
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hmmmm--do Sondheims's? And we know he is brilliant.
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jrb_actor
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dupe message--don't know why this keeps happening =)
Updated On: 9/5/03 at 10:46 PM
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magruder
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Mr. Roxy -

Hal Hackady is a lyricist. You are confusing him with the composer of the shows you listed, Larry Grossman. Hackady wrote the lyrics for Minnie's Boys, Goodtime Charlie and Snoopy!, all with music by Grossman. Ellen Fitzhugh wrote the lyrics for Grossman's music for Grind, and Fitzhugh and Carol Hall wrote the lyrics for Grossman's music for Paper Moon.

Grossman is indeed a major talent, with a hard-luck career. All of those shows have interesting scores for shows that didn't work for one reason or another. He also wrote the music for A Doll's Life, to lyrics by Comden and Green ... a truly awful idea, that still at least had some very interesting songs. "Stay With Me, Nora" is a gorgeous song.
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MusicMan
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It's not up to me as an audience member to write anything, Mr. Roxy. I've already done my job: I BOUGHT A TICKET. Let the writers do THEIR job. I will, however, give credit where it is due: Hackaday has written one good song in his career: MAMA, A RAINBOW.
And, just for the record, all the shows you mentioned, Hackaday's or not, were flops.
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TEACHEROFTHEATER
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I believe that Millicent Martin played Jane in the musical adaption.

right?
"MAY YOUR LIFE BE AS BRIGHT AS BROADWAY AT NIGHT"
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TxTwoStep
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that's right, and there is a chance of further European productions of the property (that's the rumor around Houston, anyway---in Italy or Spain or English regional theaters). Millicent (as well as one of the show's original producers, i think) is British. Some of you may recognize Millicent Martin from her TV work as Daphne Moon's mother on FRASIER, or her appearances previously on Broadway (original replacement cast of BOYFRIEND, SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM, replacement in original 42nd STREET) or her presence on the HEY MR. PRODUCER video/DVD Brit celebration of Cameron Mackintosh. i agree with JRB ACTOR that there is potential in the piece; the night i saw it so did Tommy Tune, and the other rumor around Houston at the time is that he was offered it to direct "back in the day" and might be being considered to take it over. i do think the title role is a good vehicle for a female singing stars "of a certain age", and as effective as Martin was, she might not have the vocal chops anymore (or acting variety) to carry it off. The property has been kicking around for years awaiting a major production. i personally don't see the obsession with the material, and feel that the basic story is kinda simple for a musical: two jealous sisters. The show-biz elements have been done to death in better earlier shows like FOLLIES, GYPSY, and SUNSET BOULEVARD.

Yet JRB sang very well in that afore-mentioned Greek chorus (sorry if you didn't want to reveal that, JRB, i will edit the post if so) and also he can now add "fake ventroliquism" to his special skills on the resume!
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TxTwoStep
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also i agree that MAMA, A RAINBOW is a great song. i'd like to hear that PAPER MOON score too, that's a great source for a musical. Don't know the rest of Hackaday's work (and yes, i know he didn't write PAPER MOON, his collaborator Grossman did, Magruder).

i'd also liked to have seen DOLL'S LIFE since until CARRIE it had the distinction of being the worst and most talked-about flop in NYC. Maybe DOTV has passed that now. And if BABY JANE as presented in Houston did come in, it would be a contender!
Will: They don't give out awards for helping people be gay... unless you count the Tonys. "I guarantee that we'll have tough times. I guarantee that at some point one or both of us will want to get out. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life..."
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jrb_actor
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LOL---you outted me! (nah--it's in my who's who).

=)
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Mr Roxy
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To Music Man

Just because a show does not succed on Broadway does not mean composers/lyricists are not good. Sometimes the critics have their pre conceived opinion on some one. On other occasions a great score is buried in a show that because of its subject matter is a hardsell ( take Sideshow). Conversely, just because a show runs for a long time does not make it good ( take Cats - please)

A show or composer you may love others may loathe. What I was trying to say is it is easy to try & be a critic but it is very hard to write a song as their on only 8 musical notes. Try it sometime & see how far you get.

Some shows critics loved I despised & vice versa. Sideshow deserved a long run & Cats did not.

To each his own & I was incorrect saying Hackady was a composer. He was indeed a lyricist. Many great songwriting teams were scared off by the critics ( composers of The Yearling & Drat the Cat are but 2) & never wrote for Broadway again
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Updated On: 9/7/03 at 07:20 PM