Martin Guerre = Les Miz

PUPPETMAN
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Martin Guerre = Les Miz#1
Posted: 2/24/08 at 3:04pm
I have the recording of Martin Guerre playing now and it seems to me that it is almost impossible to think of it not sounding like part of Les Miz. Has anyone else got this feeling?
Updated On: 2/25/08 at 03:04 PM
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#2
Posted: 2/24/08 at 6:30pm
I think all of Boubulil and Schonberg's stuff sounds alike
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention...I'm the good cop, he's the bad cop.
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#2
Posted: 2/24/08 at 6:56pm
I disagree.
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#3
Posted: 2/24/08 at 7:16pm
Haven't listened to Martin GUERRE, but considering that Les Mis + The Pirate Queen both sound similar, and Miss Saigon has some hints of Les Mis, they all probably sound the same.
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#4
Posted: 2/24/08 at 7:18pm
I disagree. Also, if you have the cast recording, how in the hell did you manage to misspell it?
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#5
Posted: 2/24/08 at 10:16pm
I'm sure Guarre rhymes with Guerre since somehow they managed to rhyme Guerre with everything else that remotely sounds like here, where, there, beware...
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#6
Posted: 2/24/08 at 10:23pm
I disagree Martin Guerre is in my opinion is a great show that never quite got out from under the Les Miz shadow. People were always comparing it to Les Miz and saying it was "the same show" Which if you listen to it I don't believe to be true.
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#7
Posted: 2/25/08 at 12:22am
The only thing that I find to be exactly the same in Gurrier that I do in any other B&S show is one bit that is the same in Miss Saigon. In the beginning of the wedding song when they are playing the game. The music is the same as the small bit of musical dialouge right before Last Night Of The World.
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PUPPETMAN
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#8
Posted: 2/25/08 at 12:32pm
I have two recordings of it a double cd and a single. Ever hear of a typo?

I simply find that a lot of the score sounds like Les Miz, especially parts that echo the barracades music.
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#9
Posted: 2/25/08 at 12:34pm
Ever hear of a typo?

I've heard of "re-reading really quickly just to make sure I spelled it right the first time," too.
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PUPPETMAN
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#10
Posted: 2/25/08 at 12:38pm
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#11
Posted: 2/25/08 at 9:06pm
Well, their shows are similar in that they are all historical fiction. Miss Saigon and Les Mis are very similar. Not so much in their music but in plot. How Kim dies in John's arms is the same as Eponine dying in Marius's arms--Both characters (Kim and Eponine) sacrificed for the one they loved.
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#12
Posted: 2/25/08 at 9:16pm
I think that that is reading too much into it. Les Miserables of course was based on the novel whereas Miss Saigon was based on Madame Butterfly.


I can see how a little bit here and there in Martin Guirrer can make you reminded of Les Miserables. But, I wouldn't go so far to say that they are all the same.

They are all based on very good source material. I have heard the claim that Les Miserables + Miss Saigon = The Pirate Queen. I don't agree with that. I can see how there can be things that are similar in all three. B&S write very powerful ballads. And I can see how one ballad would sound like another ballad. For example, A Day Beyond Belclare can be seen as One Day More because it is a ballad where different characters are taking different turns.

The same can be said with Master of the House and Boys'll Be Boys. Both are up tempo drinking songs.
"If you try to shag my husband while I am still alive, I will shove the art of motorcycle maintenance up your rancid little Cu**. That's a good dear" Tom Stoppard's Rock N Roll
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#13
Posted: 2/28/08 at 11:15am
I think any composer's work has similarities between pieces. Look at Madonna, although she varies some of the basic elements of her work thematically and musically, the basic "Madonna" sound is still there. The same can be said for the works of many composers and musicians including Sondheim, ALW, Ahrens and Flaherty, etc.

I think some of the examples e.g. Kim dying in Chris' arms and Eponine/Marius could be considered primarily directorial choices. (I don't know either way). Yes, they die tragically but the directors are the ones who chose to use the die in the arms theatrical moment. I think I have seen the same moment in other shows as well.

I so wish Martin Guerre, in its reworked London 1996/97 incarnation, could have played in the US. Oh well. The Pirate Queen needed a lot more work and some serious revamping but there are certainly some great nuts and bolts there. I just hope when and/or if they rewrite, they take some of the lessons learned from the over re-writing of MG.



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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#14
Posted: 2/28/08 at 11:28am
While I agree that there are a couple of Martin Guerre songs that sound a little bit like Les Mis or Miss Saigon, I don't know why people make such a fuss over it. A lot of Sondheim songs sound similar. Same with Jerry Herman, Richard Rodgers, John Kander, Elton John, Michael John LaChiusa, etc.

I so wish Martin Guerre, in its reworked London 1996/97 incarnation, could have played in the US.

Actually, it did. In Detroit, I believe. I don't know the whole story, but I think it was scheduled for a national tour or something. I think part of the reason it didn't go further was that it was the revised version, which was simply a mutilated facsimile of what was a really good show. The new orchestrations were especially awful.
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Updated On: 2/28/08 at 11:28 AM
sparrman
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#15
Posted: 2/28/08 at 11:32am
To clarify, in Miss Saigon it's the PLOT that's based on Madame Butterfly, whereas in Les Miserables it's the MUSIC that's based on Madame Butterfly.

Well, one tune, at least... but they clearly love that opera!
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#16
Posted: 2/28/08 at 11:43am
...whereas in Les Miserables it's the MUSIC that's based on Madame Butterfly.

Huh? What part?
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#17
Posted: 2/28/08 at 1:02pm
Actually, it did. In Detroit, I believe. I don't know the whole story, but I think it was scheduled for a national tour or something.

The re-worked version of MARTIN GUERRE opened at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis on Sept 17, 1999 and then toured to Detroit, Washington DC, and Seattle before finishing its run at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles on April 8, 2000.
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#18
Posted: 2/28/08 at 1:12pm
I haven't given Martin Guerre a fair listen, to either recording really, except for the first few songs, but they struck me as VERY les Mis-like.

And the Pirate Queen was just excruciating to sit through, but I did sit through the whole thing, and I was disappointed by the fact that there was no dramatic tension in the piece. and I was disappointed by the fact that Boublil and Schoenberg (no typo, im spelling it that way on purpose) seem to have to have a bawdy uptempo number in each show that sucks.
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#19
Posted: 2/28/08 at 4:01pm
"Huh? What part?"

"Bring Him Home" and Butterfly's "humming chorus".
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#20
Posted: 2/28/08 at 4:21pm
And the Pirate Queen was just excruciating to sit through, but I did sit through the whole thing, and I was disappointed by the fact that there was no dramatic tension in the piece. and I was disappointed by the fact that Boublil and Schoenberg (no typo, im spelling it that way on purpose) seem to have to have a bawdy uptempo number in each show that sucks.

Well, I have to agree about The Pirate Queen. While the score had some nice melodies, the show was a complete and total letdown in many ways from the book, to the design, to the staging. And Boys Will Be Boys has got to be the worst B&S number to date, though I do like Master of the House. I don't care for the song The American Dream, but I have to admit it really fits well into the show with respect to the character's persona and motivation. I just get so tired of the laundry list lyrics and relentless melody.

sparrman - I'm not that familiar with Madama Butterfly, but I'll check that out. That's very interesting.
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re: Martin Guarre = Les Miz#21
Posted: 2/28/08 at 4:35pm
Martin Guerre is closer to Les Miserables than any of their other shows in musical style and once in awhile there is a part of a musical phrase that is lifted. I certainly wish The Pirate Queen sound more like Les Miz, I can't find much appealing about that. For something completely different, try their "La Revolution Francaise" it sounds more like Hair than Les Miz.


Updated On: 2/28/08 at 04:35 PM
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re: Martin GuErre = Les Miz#22
Posted: 2/28/08 at 4:56pm
There is a 2-disc cast recording of Martin Guerre?

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re: Martin GuErre = Les Miz#23
Posted: 2/28/08 at 5:08pm
I saw this in Los Angeles eight years ago (I can't believe it's been that long!) and frankly it was a mess. The "reworked" version had inferior lyrics (compare "Justice Will Be Done" to the original "I Will Make You Proud"), and important plot developments dropped (gone was bit about Martin and Bertrande needing to produce an heir so that the land wouldn't go to Protestants), and wasn't up to Broadway caliber quality visually. (This was supposed to be a Pre-Broadway tour and what did it have? One burning back wall and a cannon.) The actors where all excellent, but the show stunk. They should have the show as it was (even with dreadful "Sleeping On Our Own" it was a far superior show).
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re: Martin GuErre = Les Miz#24
Posted: 2/28/08 at 5:59pm
I actually like the Sleeping on Our Own song for what it is, though I admit it adds nothing to the development of the story or characters or contribute to the setting. Most likely, it existed solely to cover a set/costume change. Still, it's a cute song that might work better if recycled in another show where its characters and lyrics are better incorporated into the story.

The one song in the new version I felt was superior to the old was the replacement of How Many Tears for When Will Someone Hear (though I like both songs). And I must admit I love Why (though I think it was in the original version, just not recorded on CD). It's Your Wedding Day is just boring. Welcome to the Land worked much better as an introduction to the characters and their lives in Working on the Land. And Welcome Home was far more exuberant and energetic for Martin's return than Welcome to the Land. And speaking of reworked lyrics, Bethlehem just makes more sense musically and dramatically than The Holy Fight. The main reason Justice Will Be Done is not as effective is simply that the character is an egomaniac, which was brilliantly supported in I Will Make You Proud. Live With Somebody You Love lent a little more motivation to Arnaud and Martin, but provided very little with regards to their relationship, which is why I preferred Here Comes the Morning. They tried to make up for it with Without You as a Friend, but it comes off as too earnest and trite.

But one of my favorite numbers in the original production is Me and the dramatic outburst of the chorus using the melody from Louison ("What about the morning when the stranger came? You were the first to see him, can't you say his name?"). When the song was changed to Who, the tension and irony were almost completely obliterated musically.

And I loved loved loved the original ending, The Land of Our Fathers. It was absolutely gorgeous and stirring. The reprise of Live With Somebody You Love seemed to be the invention of someone who never trusted the material and shifted the focus of the show to rest entirely on the love story.
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