How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?

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antonijan
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How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#1
Posted: 5/2/09 at 2:45pm
Did the musical have a mock-up of the ship and how did they show it sinking?

Can anybody elaborate?

I almost got a titanic musical memorabilia on ebay but I lost How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?
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The set lifted and tilted.
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To elaborate, there was a three level set, all on hydraulic lifts. All through Act 2, the floor gradually sloped more and more (Stage left lifting up in the air) until it reached a 45 degree angle.
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So the whole ship wasn't shown? Did they use projection?

PS. Your icon look similar to the "Baptized to the Bone".
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There was a little boat too, but it was only used at the very end if Act I, when it hit the iceberg.
Updated On: 5/3/09 at 02:53 PM
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So the whole ship wasn't shown?

That can't be a real question...
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We had tickets for a preview which was cancelled as they could not get it to sink.

The ship at the end of the first act was very effective.
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basically for the last half of the 2nd act all the sets were at a 45 degree angle, and then during "andrew's vision", the platform that the actors were on gradually started to tilt farther and farther, the stage right side being raised, and the stage left side being lowered. It probably got up to a 35-40 defree angle with about 20 actors on it all to the stage right side.

Mr. Andrews was actually under that level, and he could be seen singing the song, looking over blueprints and whatnot. he was stage left, and a grand piano was stage right.

At the climax of the song, the piano started to slide down toward stage left toward Andrews, ultimately killing him, while a backdrop of stars upstage of the ship was lifted, and a black scrim which was downstage was simultaneously dropped. A lot was going on in a 10 second time period, and the traffic of the drops created an optical illusion that really made the ship look like it was sinking into the stage. It was very effective- when it worked.
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Updated On: 5/2/09 at 02:58 PM
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They hit an ice berg.
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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#10
Posted: 5/2/09 at 3:10pm
Very interesting. Too bad it flopped re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?

I wonder if they can re-create this regionally.

Anybody seen a version outside of broadway?

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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#11
Posted: 5/2/09 at 3:16pm
Actually, Titanic is produced alot in many venues, including high schools and community theatres because it has a large, diverse cast. Plus, I think the music is great. The score is lovely. Ive seen a few scaled down versions and most leave the sinking of the sink to the audience imagination with blackouts or curtains rising from the bottom of the stage.
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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#12
Posted: 5/2/09 at 3:17pm
It was a boring show. Torture. Why would anyone make Highschool kids put on anything so dour? Yuck.
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Updated On: 5/2/09 at 03:17 PM
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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#13
Posted: 5/2/09 at 3:32pm
In the touring version, the set tilten to about 45 degrees then a black curtain slowly rose from the front of the stage until the whole stage was in blackness and then a black out. It was extremely effective and you could hear sniffles and gasps from the audience. You really felt that you were watching the ship go down.
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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#14
Posted: 5/2/09 at 3:38pm
Dame, high school kids are OBSESSED with Titanic and they love doing the show. It makes them feel like Leo or Kate. They love it, plus it makes them feel like they are "acting." They get to do accents and stuff and all the stage mothers get to think their child is sooooo talented. It works out for everyone. Plus, its so much better than another frickin production of Grease.
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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#15
Posted: 5/2/09 at 3:38pm
I actually loved this on B'way, and I went unwillingly.

I thought the mini boat, howwever, was the worst part of it.
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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#16
Posted: 5/2/09 at 4:28pm
The audience laughed at the mini-boat during the tour when I saw it...there were also a few "awww"s, like "aw, that is so cute." My friend was a local wig person for the tour stop in buffalo and said the cast was so downtrodden by all the bad reviews.
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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#17
Posted: 5/2/09 at 4:37pm
I'll never understand why people laughed at the mini boat, but I've read that it was more effective depending on where you were sitting. It looked amazing from my seat and I was also impressed with the watter effect underneath the ship and how it all disappeared in the quick blackout.
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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#18
Posted: 5/2/09 at 4:47pm
I saw it in the Civic Opera House when it was still an equity tour in Chicago. I had pretty good seats, front center mezz, and the little ship looked pretty funny and a whole lot of people were laughing at it. I think people were disappointed in the show in General. The Music was great, the sinking effect was cool, but the very similar effect of Javert jumping into the Seine in Les Miz was more impressive to me.
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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#19
Posted: 5/2/09 at 8:03pm
To me, the most effective moment was at the top of act 2, as the first class passengers gathered in the salon and bitched about being awakened for nothing. During a pause in the song, a rolling bar cart suddenly rolled across stage as the ship was starting to sink. The simple easy effect brought the drama home far better than any of the subsequent hydraulics.
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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#20
Posted: 5/2/09 at 11:36pm
Our drama teacher is considering this for next years musical. It sounds like one very technical piece.
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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#21
Posted: 5/2/09 at 11:57pm
It doesn't have to be. It just was on Broadway.
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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#22
Posted: 5/3/09 at 12:07am
Oh. Just curious, how have other productions of Titanic executed the sinking of the ship?
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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#23
Posted: 5/3/09 at 12:11am
I love it when Michael Cerveris talks about this show. I would sell someones first born to have seen it.
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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#24
Posted: 5/3/09 at 1:34am
Thanks for all the information.
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re: How did the Titanic sink on Broadway?#25
Posted: 5/3/09 at 2:07am
CatsNY is right. It doesn't HAVE to be all that elaborate. In fact watching the Broadway production I wished they had gone with a minimalist staging (thing GRAND HOTEL at sea and you'll get the idea.)

Trouble was the set was huge but some of the drops looked cheap and scenes such as the first class dining room cried out for an opulence that was missing.

Also director Richard Jones seemed so concerned with the technical aspects he wasn't giving more than general direction to the cast. (Jones was not even nominated for a Tony that year.) Fortunately most were able to develop some kind of characterization from Peter Stones' very thin script.

But the show had moments. The tableau at the end of act one when the set cleared away and se saw the mighty Titanic off in the distance sailing across the ocean and off stage to a crash. Blackout. I thought it was brilliant. But when I first heard about it I must admit it sounded chintzy. Then I saw it and saw how effective it was.

Maury Yeston's score was (as any who have heard the cast album know) gorgeous. The show was helped by first by Rosie O'Donnell constantly plugging it, then winning the Tony award, and finally when the phenomenally successful movie coming out 8 months later. Unfortunately the movie was so huge that within a year there was Titanic backlash and audiences grew weary of hearing about it. The receipts for the show fell off rather dramatically in the winter of 1999 and the show closed still in the red. It was a flawed show but certainly interesting. I know at least two community theatre groups here are planning to mount it next spring.

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