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How Irrelevant is Theatre?

Cages or Wings
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How Irrelevant is Theatre?#0
Posted: 10/30/05 at 1:21am
I was just thinking about how irrelevant Theatre has become to mainstream culture when I was watching "I love the '80s 3-D" (these shows are my guilty pleasure), and they talked about Cats. Now as much as I hate to admit it, Cats is undoubtedly a landmark in the medium(at least in the amount of cross-over appeal),, but it took three editions of the vh1 retrospective show, before one of the biggest musicals in history was even mentioned. What does this say about the mainstream culture's view of theatre? (I guess I already realized this, but it just brought that view of Broadway into sharper focus)
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munkustrap178
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re: How Irrelevant is Theatre?#1
Posted: 10/30/05 at 1:03am
Well, it certainly says that the general population isn't terribly interested in hearing about CATS. I think that CATS is the successful show that is most hated - whether people know why they hate it or not. A musical about people dressed up as cats is all it takes for most of America to already cringe and laugh.

So why you have a point that no, audiences (TV) aren't interesed in CATS, I don't think that says anything about musical theatre as an art form. And certainly, theatre is generally incredibly relevant - but it can only be as relevant as you let it be.
"If you are going to do something, do it well. And leave something witchy." -Charlie Manson
Cages or Wings
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re: How Irrelevant is Theatre?#2
Posted: 10/30/05 at 9:16am
I agree that Cats seems to be hated across the board, but it was still significant. I may be wrong, but I don't remember too many mentions of any theatrical productions in any of the "I Love... Shows". Is that to say that VH1 is a good indicator of what is culturally relevant? No, but it makes you think. The lack of theatrical mentions on this trashy tv show itillustrates a general lack of interest by the general public on musical theatre as an art form. Does that seem to be changing? Maybe a little, with the movie versions of certain shows bringing them to the mainstream (in some cases back to the mainstream), and of course every once in a while certain shows have giant cross-over appeal (Lion King, Rent, The Producers, Spamalot...etc), but as a whole I think that most of the country could care less. (This is not to say that I find theatre irrelevant, this is obviously far from the truth.)
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pab
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re: How Irrelevant is Theatre?#3
Posted: 10/30/05 at 9:22am
I think the mention of CATS in a show like "I love the '80s 3-D" is a reflection on CATS and not on theatre. That TV show is mostly about novelty acts and to most of us that's exactly what CATS was.
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greenegirl87
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re: How Irrelevant is Theatre?#4
Posted: 10/30/05 at 9:38am
It's sad to think of what the "mainstream" is missing out on. I have friends who absolutely love the movie version of Chicago and keep begging to come with me to see the movie of RENT, but when I suggest them coming to see a live show with me they cringe, and tell me that they only like the movies, the shows would be weird.
"But now the air is filled with confusion. We replace care with illusion."
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The Distinctive Baritone
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re: How Irrelevant is Theatre?#5
Posted: 10/30/05 at 12:05pm
Cages, you have hit it right on the head. From what I understand, theater left the mainstream (if it was ever in) over half a century ago--when TV and film took the place of theater as our means of entertainment. Now, it's become an over-priced, elitist art form. I love theater with all my heart, but it's the truth.

I think the biggest dividing factor is ticket prices. Even here in Chicago, you're going to be paying at least $20 per ticket. If I weren't such a theater dork, I could be saving myself a lot of money just by watching TV instead. What are we to do? With ticket price what they are, theater is putting itself out of the reach of many potential audience members.
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re: How Irrelevant is Theatre?#6
Posted: 10/30/05 at 3:45pm
What i think is more sad is the fact that there is a 3rd addition of I love the 80's. Don't get me wrong, I love them, but how much more 80's, 70's and 90's can we handle?
CAGES OR WINGS? WHICH DO YOU PREFER? ASK THE BIRDS. FEAR OR LOVE, BABY? DON'T SAY THE ANSWER, ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS.