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Quality Question

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Elphie3
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Quality Question#1
Posted: 4/20/08 at 8:38pm
Do you think it's possible for someone to be deeply moved (I mean REALLY seriously LIFE impacted, not obsessed fan impacted) by a show that when it comes down to it just isn't that good? Not to diss the show, but for example do you think there's ANY chance that someone could have honestly been moved by a show like "Good Vibrations", "Mamma Mia!" etc?

I ask this question because I've been thinking a lot about what moves people in the theater. When you come down to it it seems to be an unquantifiable element. Some brilliantly written shows don't do anything for some people, and others are truly moved by shows that are seriously lacking technically. I think it's interesting that a brilliantly written show, it's generally accepted that different people will take away different things. But if a show is TRULY not well written, people seem to be laughed at if they say they've been affected by it.

I'm specifically talking about the writing of a show. I don't mean a show where the costumes are falling apart, the set looks like a four year old designed it, and the actors can't remember who they're playing.
Madame Morrible: "So you take the chicken, now it must be a white chicken. The corpse can be any color. And that is the spell for lost luggage!" - The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken
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dramamama611
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re: Quality Question#2
Posted: 4/20/08 at 10:55pm
Of course. That's the beauty of art: it speaks to everyone diffeently. ANYTHING is possible.

However, not everything entertaining HAS to be life changing or meaningful. It can just be entertaining. Nothing wrong with that, either.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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mauriposa
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re: Quality Question#2
Posted: 4/20/08 at 11:03pm
For what it's worth, my mother was moved by Mamma Mia! I took her to see the show shortly after I got married, and she was truly touched by the mother/daughter dynamic, especially "Slipping Through My Fingers."

That's the beauty of musical theater; it always has the power to resonate with the audience.
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Elphie3
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re: Quality Question#3
Posted: 4/20/08 at 11:11pm
I think it's a very interesting question.

Sometimes I wonder, specifically with "Wicked" why people who have been moved by the show are so ridiculed.
Madame Morrible: "So you take the chicken, now it must be a white chicken. The corpse can be any color. And that is the spell for lost luggage!" - The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken
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millie_dillmount
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re: Quality Question#4
Posted: 4/20/08 at 11:16pm
"Sometimes I wonder, specifically with "Wicked" why people who have been moved by the show are so ridiculed."

I wonder sometimes, too. If you think about it, Wicked has some very moving themes, whether it involves Elphaba's struggle for acceptance or G(a)linda and Elphaba's friendship. Sure it is not the best written show out there, but I find that its themes can reach out to others. I know people who have been moved by "For Good" and its friendship themes, as the song reminds those of the importance of close friends.
"We like to snark around here. Sometimes we actually talk about theater...but we try not to let that get in our way." - dramamama611
Updated On: 4/20/08 at 11:16 PM
LePetiteFromage
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#5
Posted: 4/20/08 at 11:25pm
Updated On: 5/6/09 at 11:25 PM
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osage08
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re: Quality Question#6
Posted: 4/20/08 at 11:25pm
I've wondered about what moves people in theatre as well and it seems to me that it could also simply depend on the emotional vulerability of a person at the specific time they are seeing the show. Personally, I know that I have sometimes been extremely effected by shows during more emotional periods in my life. I have even wondered about how my opinion of certain shows may have changed had I been more or less volunerable emotionally at the time I was seeing the show. It could just be me though.
"Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs." Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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Elphie3
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re: Quality Question#7
Posted: 4/20/08 at 11:38pm
I totally agree with what everyone's saying.

I feel like one of the difficulties with being in this business (or just being a great theater affectianato) is that we really understand technically what's good and what's not. That's as it should be. But it's a paradox, the more you love something, the more you want to learn about it, and the more it's difficult to have that initial experience that moved you because you're not "innocent" about it anymore.

I think it's so important to remember what made you fall in love with theater in the first place, and be able to go into a show wanting and expecting to be moved. Likewise for performers to go onstage remembering why they love to be there and not fall into the trap of "oh, it's just a job."

Now of course what I'm saying is hard, and idealistic. Especially because there are so many bad shows you have to wade through. And there's nothing worse than walking into a show expecting and wanting to have a great experience and then you get let down.

But sometimes I feel bad when people get put down on the boards for being moved. I agree - there are a lot of obsessive fans. That's not the same thing. I also get sad when I hear about Mus. The. Writing students who get so much pressure to get their work technically "right." Another paradox. It's not about being technically "right" - it's about what's behind it. But of course you're not going to tell students to "forget about technique!"
Madame Morrible: "So you take the chicken, now it must be a white chicken. The corpse can be any color. And that is the spell for lost luggage!" - The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken
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Elphie3
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re: Quality Question#8
Posted: 4/21/08 at 7:54pm
Bump
Madame Morrible: "So you take the chicken, now it must be a white chicken. The corpse can be any color. And that is the spell for lost luggage!" - The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken
LittlexFallxOfxRain
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re: Quality Question#9
Posted: 4/21/08 at 9:03pm
Bad writing is an opinion, obviously someone had to like it for the show to be sucessful. Different shows speak to different people in different ways.
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winston89
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re: Quality Question#10
Posted: 4/21/08 at 11:34pm
I think it sometimes has to do with what you want when going into the theatre. If you want just a fun night out you might just get that and not see anything on any deeper level other then you had a fun night out. You could go into the theatre and want to be moved and come out feeling such.

I think it has to do with what you want out of a show and the kind of show you see. You could want to see a moving show and see Phantom and walk out moved with the beautiful romantic story. Or you can walk in there an want to see just a good story and you can get that. Before you bash phantom on it being a being a beutiful show or anything like that. That itself is a matter of opinion.
"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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Elphie3
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re: Quality Question#11
Posted: 4/21/08 at 11:48pm
Well then how much of "being moved" at all is a matter of a "see what I want to see" factor? Is it all up to the audience member? How much rests on the writer?

Of course I know there are other elements besides the writing, but that's what I've been spicifically thinking about.
Madame Morrible: "So you take the chicken, now it must be a white chicken. The corpse can be any color. And that is the spell for lost luggage!" - The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken
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Taryn
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re: Quality Question#12
Posted: 4/22/08 at 4:23am
I know that Sunday in the Park with George is an excellent show, but there's always been a bit of a wall between me and the show that has prevented me from becoming fully emotionally involved in it. I get what it's trying to do and I know that a lot of people are incredibly moved by it, but it never quite manges to get that deep under my skin.

Art is slippery and subjective. There's no telling what's going to bore you and what's going to send you home shaking and in tears.
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Elphie3
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re: Quality Question#13
Posted: 4/22/08 at 9:08am
I agree. I've had the same experience with "Light in the Piazza" - and yet I found "Wicked" one of the most deeply moving shows I've ever seen.

I wonder how much is due to audiences, and how much is due to creators? What do you think? The part that's due to writers (if any?) is it just manipulating the audience's emotions? I heard a rumor (that I'm SURE is untrue, but illustrative none the less) that the stage manager of "Beauty and the Beast" literally had clocked in that "at 10:45 - X happens, at 10:50 - Z happens, and at 10:53 the audience starts to cry)
Madame Morrible: "So you take the chicken, now it must be a white chicken. The corpse can be any color. And that is the spell for lost luggage!" - The Yellow Brick Road Not Taken
Tom148502
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re: Quality Question#14
Posted: 4/22/08 at 9:14am
Winston89 said:

"I think it sometimes has to do with what you want when going into the theatre. If you want just a fun night out you might just get that and not see anything on any deeper level other then you had a fun night out. You could go into the theatre and want to be moved and come out feeling such."

From my observation, those two reactions apply to CATS, MAMMA MIA! and WICKED. However, when I attended those shows, I felt nothing re: Quality Question