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Favorite BOOK from a musical

buddharich
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Favorite BOOK from a musical#1
Posted: 2/26/08 at 4:51am
I've noticed in many review type posts on these boards criticisms are particularly harsh on the "book" from current musicals. I'm curious about what others think are the best "books" (librettos) of musical shows (broadway, off-broadway or beyond)? And what constitutes a great book? Who historically do you consider the best "book" writer? I've been writing a book for a musical, which has been both a total pleasure and incredibly difficult!! (:

My own favorite book is James Goldman's "Follies" - I've read many criticisms of this particular book but I feel that it does it's job perfectly, letting us know who the characters are and serving as connective tissue to the brilliant songs. "Urinetown" has an exceptional book. "Jersey Boys" served it's story very well.

I'm one who enjoys the old books, too, and don't believe they need to be "updated" or made "politically correct". I esp. love the book of "DuBarry Was a Lady" - I've never understood how it is that we can love old movies, and not demand they change their dialogue, but can't seem to wrap our minds around loving old books of musicals (they are always criticized as "outdated", blah blah blah)
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dramarama2
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#2
Posted: 2/26/08 at 6:52am
Sunday In The Park with George & Grey Gardens.
A little known fact is that in the original screenplay, Pan's Labyrinth was Pan's FLAByrinth. Hmmmmmmm...glad they changed it.
nyc44
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#2
Posted: 2/26/08 at 7:13am
I love love love Company's book infinitely more than the music.
Yankeefan007
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#3
Posted: 2/26/08 at 7:58am
Guys and Dolls
Gypsy
PUPPETMAN
Understudy
joined:12/28/07
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#4
Posted: 2/26/08 at 3:53pm
Fantasticks
Carnival
Les Miz
Mame
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ray-andallthatjazz86
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#5
Posted: 2/26/08 at 4:01pm
GYPSY (probably my favorite)
FOLLIES
SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE
A CHORUS LINE
CAROLINE, OR CHANGE
PASSION
THE KING & I
CURTAINS
GREY GARDENS
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
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scaryclowns223
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#6
Posted: 2/26/08 at 5:24pm
Assassins.

Hands down.

Such a strong book, with clear, distinct, and hilarious characters.
The Sara Jane Moore-Squeaky Fromme scene is one of the funniest things to ever grace the stage in a Sondheim musical.

Plus, it really makes you think. It does a great job of presenting alternate viewpoints.

Other good books are three winners of the Tony for Best Book, they're all very good: Spelling Bee, Drowsy Chaperone, Producers
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DMsquared2
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#7
Posted: 2/26/08 at 5:53pm
Into the Woods. Act II can make or break the show.
sondhead
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#8
Posted: 2/26/08 at 8:00pm
Into the Woods? Really? I've always seen a huge problem in the fact that the show seems to be (or at least in part) about the consequences of your actions, and yet the "happy" ending happens when they decide to kill the giantess. So she comes down because they killed her husband and the answer is to kill her in turn? Bad plotting, I say.

Gypsy. It's perfect. So is Little Shop of Horrors.
Boq101
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#9
Posted: 2/26/08 at 8:06pm
A Little Night Music
Josh Freilich
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#10
Posted: 2/26/08 at 9:22pm
COMPANY
THE FANTASTICKS
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
ASSASSINS
OF THEE I SING
DAMN YANKEES
CURTAINS
A CHORUS LINE
SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE
FALSETTOS

But no one even brought up 1776! One of the best books of ANY musical, bar none!
"How could she just suddenly, completely disappear into thin water?" - The Little Mermaid
Josh Freilich
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#11
Posted: 3/2/08 at 4:42pm
bump
"How could she just suddenly, completely disappear into thin water?" - The Little Mermaid
LePetiteFromage
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#12
Posted: 3/2/08 at 4:45pm
Updated On: 5/7/09 at 04:45 PM
snl89
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#13
Posted: 3/2/08 at 4:55pm
I love love love Company's book infinitely more than the music.


Same :)


and I love the book for Bare as well. I think it's incredibly well written, with very well developed characters.
I don't need a life that's normal. That's way too far away. But something next to normal would be okay. Something next to normal is what I'd like to try. Close enough to normal to get by.
sparkleplenty
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#14
Posted: 3/3/08 at 4:02pm
A Little Night Music
Ragtime
Gypsy
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TomMonster
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#15
Posted: 3/3/08 at 4:03pm
GYPSY. No question. Perfection.
"It's not so much do what you like, as it is that you like what you do." SS

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana." GMarx
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musicalfan07
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#16
Posted: 3/3/08 at 4:05pm
Gypsy and Sunday in the Park with George.
bwayguy22089
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#17
Posted: 3/3/08 at 4:56pm
1776, How To Succeed..., Guys and Dolls, and almost all R&H musicals.
husk_charmer
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#18
Posted: 3/3/08 at 5:43pm
Sondhead-
Really? It's about continuing the cycle in fairy tales.

Although it's flawed, I really like Anyone Can Whistle's book. 1776 is another very strong one.
http://www.youtube.com/huskcharmer
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blaxx
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#19
Posted: 3/3/08 at 5:45pm
ReNt
WicKid

Oh, sorry, you said favorite, nevermind.
Listen, I don't take my clothes off for anyone, even if it is "artistic". - JANICE
BkCollector
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#20
Posted: 3/3/08 at 5:46pm
Another vote for 1776. Most Peter Stone books are pretty strong in my opinion
Tom148502
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re: Favorite BOOK from a musical#21
Posted: 3/3/08 at 5:54pm
1776
Gypsy
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
My Fair Lady
The Music Man
Fiorello
A Chorus Line
South Pacific
City of Angels
Grand Hotel