Million Dollar Craplet

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Million Dollar Craplet#1
Posted: 1/12/11 at 4:42pm
Why all the decent shows playing New York is this pile of **** coming over?
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Million Dollar Craplet#2
Posted: 1/12/11 at 5:15pm
Probably because it's proving to be a hit. The original production has been running in Chicago for two years now. And then there are the millions of fans of the music and the artists on which the show is based. Not to mention the fact that these types of rock and roll biographical musicals are generally better received in the West End than Broadway.

I think the question is: Why wouldn't this show be transferring to London? I know not every show can be Thriller, Flashdance, Dirty Dancing, All the Fun at the Fair or Dreamboats and Petticoats, but sometimes it's nice to have a little variety.

Of course, it could also have something to do with differences in opinions. Perhaps...and this is pure speculation...some people like it. You got Legally Blonde and Fela and you're getting Shrek. Probably more in the future. I seriously doubt this will be the last Broadway musical to transfer to the West End. We didn't get My Fair Lady, Oliver, Lord of the Rings, Sound of Music or Zorro. It happens sometimes.
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Million Dollar Craplet#2
Posted: 1/12/11 at 5:49pm
You kind of got My Fair Lady - it toured pretty extensively. But you weren't missing out on much with Oliver or LOTR aside from spectacle (didn't see the other two...)

Point taken that Million Dollar Quartet fits right in with everything here - especially Jersey Boys, after all. But I am genuinely surprised it's still running - if your show's getting outgrossed by (the admittedly closing and therefore experiencing a box office boost) Next To Normal of all things as MDQ did last week, and the only shows with lower average ticket prices are subsidised, Colin Quinn or the huge flop that was La Bete, there's something weird going on with your show.

MDQ's continued success given what the financial signs point to is odd. Have they announced recoupment in Chicago or on Broadway?
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Million Dollar Craplet#3
Posted: 1/12/11 at 5:53pm
I can see why Mackintosh didn't take 'Oliver!' to Broadway - especially what happened last time! xD
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Million Dollar Craplet#4
Posted: 1/12/11 at 6:01pm
Oh, I saw all the shows I mentioned, including the My Fair Lady tour (though it wasn't very extensive at all).

MDQ is inexpensive to run. I believe the Chicago production recouped a while ago, though it has a much smaller budget and plays in a small theatre. But let's not forget that Next to Normal has been experiencing a holiday and pre-closure boost. The numbers were half of last week grosses for a while. MDQ was consistently posting much higher grosses. Business started slowing down over the holidays with Spider-Man and tourist spectacles cashing in, but with all the recent closures, MDQ has a better chance at picking up some slack. If the show costs $300k/week to run (I'm just speculating), then it is doing fine.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
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Million Dollar Craplet#5
Posted: 1/12/11 at 6:05pm
That still doesn't make us want it... xD
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Million Dollar Craplet#6
Posted: 1/12/11 at 6:43pm
I loved Zorro. When I own the West End, I'm bringing it back. Million Dollar Craplet
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Million Dollar Craplet#7
Posted: 1/12/11 at 6:50pm
You wanna give me a job too? xD
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Million Dollar Craplet#8
Posted: 1/13/11 at 12:45pm
oh Mister Matt, you dissapoint me, not just that 'Million Dollar Quartet' is coming over, but you are conceading it might run for a very long time, I am off to slit my wrists.

incidentally i was just around the corner from MDQ in Chicago, but opted to see 'Story of my Life' instead, which turned out to be dissapointing, so probably be better off seeing MDQ instead.

Wouldn't be great if we had a show such as 'In the Heights', 'Next to Normal' or Chess (Uk tour)?
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Million Dollar Craplet#9
Posted: 1/13/11 at 1:24pm
I believe it is entirely possible MDQ could play for years. AND that you will get other shows as well. It could be worse. Daddy Cool could come back.

Weez - I'd buy tickets! I want to see Zorro again! It was such a pleasant surprise.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
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Million Dollar Craplet#10
Posted: 1/13/11 at 5:27pm
I think the question will be how many of this type of show can the West End hold before it gets to breaking point and they are out-competing themselves. Will Jersey Boys see a fall in sale with such a similar show open? Will MDQ fail to pull the audience from the more established Jukebox shows? Only time will tell. I think it will definitely run see 2012 though.
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Million Dollar Craplet#11
Posted: 1/13/11 at 5:58pm
The bottom line is - if lots of people pay to see it, it will run and run. Otherwise, not. And the track record of jukebox shows doing well at the box office is the reason why producers have brought it over - they can almost smell the money lol.

It's no secret that I am not a lover of jukebox shows and I'm only going to see MDQ because I have friends in the cast - but I'll reserve judgement on whether I think it's any good or not until I've seen it.

As for Zorro - I thought it was quite enjoyable in part while other parts of it were a giant yawn. The one thing that was GREAT about it was Emma Williams, who stole the show as she's stolen almost every show she's been in.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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Million Dollar Craplet#12
Posted: 1/14/11 at 5:10am
There is a show currently touring Australia with exactly the same storyline. Different name of course.
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Million Dollar Craplet#13
Posted: 1/14/11 at 5:22am
I haven't seen the show, so I cannot judge it. Some juke-box musicals are quite good, but even if it's no good one sh*te show more or less in the WestENd won't make a difference.

Maybe some hard economic times will stimulate creativity and give us something completely new ... a new generation of composers/directors/producers ... just trying to cheer myself up.

I was glad to see "Buddy" finally pack his bags ... it's even worse now.

Updated On: 1/14/11 at 05:22 AM
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Million Dollar Craplet#14
Posted: 1/14/11 at 7:25am
I also saw Buddy and really enjoyed it, same as Jolson and Mamma Mia, I love the music of Queen and can see why fans love 'We Will Rock You', but this show didn't make good theatre, as it was something botched together, but because of the untimely death of 'Sir Freddie Mercury' this show will run and run and I assume the same will happen with 'Thriller' for the same reason, but there is a time you have to say enough is enough and we need good original theatre and revivals again, the thought of MDQ, Spice Girls show and the proposed Jersey Girls, Rain and Unchain my Heart on Broadway, just feels me with so much dread.

We need to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough with these tribute/jukebox shows, bring proper theatre back to the fans. Then again I might be an old fart, stuck in a 70's and 80's time warp?
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Million Dollar Craplet#15
Posted: 1/14/11 at 11:34am
We need to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough with these tribute/jukebox shows, bring proper theatre back to the fans.

What is "proper theatre" and which "fans"?

Honestly, the "jukebox musical" is just a newly coined term for something that's been around for a long time. Technically, you could trace it back to Kismet and Song of Norway. What you're really seeing now is a style trend. Whenever a particular style of show produces an international mega-hit, producers and creators try to jump on the bandwagon to see if they can ride the wave of success. It happened with the spectacles of the 80s after Les Mis and Phantom. It happened with family shows after Beauty and the Beast. It happened in London with tribute shows after Buddy (though I've never figured out why it flopped on Broadway as I found it to be a solid and enjoyable show). And it is happening with jukebox musicals after Mamma Mia. Some shows work and some don't. And musicals with original scores never stop being produced. My guess is, you're more likely to see some of these show come and go as quickly as Desperately Seeking Susan, Tonight's the Night, Daddy Cool and Never Forget.
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Million Dollar Craplet#16
Posted: 1/14/11 at 12:03pm
Surely the likes of Anything Goes and Singin' in the Rain are jukebox musicals? In fact, jukebox musicals are almost a return to an older time, pre-Oklahoma!, when the songs weren't written specifically for the show and also functioned as stand-alone popular music.

The thing is... obviously a lot of people enjoy jukebox musicals. Enough for them to be a hugely viable art-form. "Bring proper theatre back to the fans"? The fans who ensure that We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia! will run for years yet are obviously quite happy with the jukebox musicals and might not really appreciate any attempts to fill the West End with Sondheims, Guettels, Lippas, and Finns. Plus there's obviously a TON of 'em, WAY more than the "fans" who want "proper theatre", otherwise jukebox musicals wouldn't be so prevalent right now!

Not sure where I'm going with this post, to be honest, just riled up by the snobbery of "bring[ing] proper theatre back to the fans" and maybe slightly disappointed that the usual levels of wit re: West End board subject headings have not been met this time. Million Dollar Craplet
Updated On: 1/14/11 at 12:03 PM
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Million Dollar Craplet#17
Posted: 1/14/11 at 12:19pm
Anything Goes is certainly not a jukebox musical. When it was written in the 1930s, Cole Porter wrote an original score for the show. The newer version has a revised book written in the 1980s for the Broadway revival - but Porter's score remains. Agreed it comes from the pre-Oklahoma era when musical theatre plots were thin and often served as flimsy excuses for songs to emerge from nowhere, but it still had an original score.

I take your point, Weez about the snobbery syndrome of being anti-juke box shows - and that can be a factor with some detractors. But my position stems from the historical fact that Rodgers & Hammerstein and then Sondheim and all the other great musical theatre creative talents who came after them have succeeded in creating an amazing genre known as musical theatre where song and dialogue merge to form an artistic and dramatic entity. Inserting songs not written specifically for the piece to me is setting the genre back 80 years.

But the major quibble I have with the preponderance of juke-box shows is that they are literally killing new writing for musical theatre because producers go for the "quick buck" of juke box shows rather than investing in original writing. I know they are clearly popular and I'm not so conceited to think that people who lioke them should be denied just because i don't like them. lol But let's hope for some balance - a few less juke box shows and a LOT more new writing on the stage.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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Million Dollar Craplet#18
Posted: 1/14/11 at 12:29pm
Problem is (my ignorance aside, but I am well put-straight now Million Dollar Craplet ), a great deal of the new musicals that do slip through the net and get produced in the West End aren't very good. The Marguerites and the Too Close to the Suns of the theatre world do not work very hard to endear themselves to audiences, which puts off producers and audience members even more. I don't just mean by not using recognisable sources like movies or pop groups, I mean by not being very good! It's very sad that the nobler efforts come to so little, discouraging people to try again with really good stuff. Million Dollar Craplet
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Million Dollar Craplet#19
Posted: 1/14/11 at 12:44pm
The newer version has a revised book written in the 1980s for the Broadway revival - but Porter's score remains.

Well...most of it remains. The 1962 and 1987 productions both used Porter songs from other shows to varying extents (Take Me Back to Manhattan, The Heaven Hop, Let's Misbehave for the former; It's Delovely and Friendship for both) to boost the score with some Porter "standards" or production numbers while cutting two original numbers (Where Are the Men, What a Joy to Be Young) entirely. They were revisals somewhat similar to Crazy for You, but retained the show's original title. The 1987 version is the closest we'll get to the original show. I love the 1988 studio recording just to hear how the original score sounded.
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Million Dollar Craplet#20
Posted: 1/14/11 at 1:18pm
You're right, Weez, that many of the new musicals that do get to the stage are not very good. Of the examples you quoted, Too Close To The Sun was apparently financed by the writer of the show (who clearly has more money than sense lol) and Margueritte attracted investment on the back of the reputations of the writers rather than on the quiality of the writing (though Legrand's score was IMO quite beautiful - unfortunately the book and lyrics were mediocre at best).

The crying shame is there is a huge amount of musical theatre writing talent out there (at the moment mainly surfacing in fringe theatre) just waiting for some brave producer to take a chance on something new.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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Million Dollar Craplet#21
Posted: 1/19/11 at 11:00pm
We saw it and it is very enteratining. Liked it a hell of a lot more than that overblown mess called Wicked

The performers are first rate & they sing the hell out of the songs.
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Million Dollar Craplet#22
Posted: 2/17/11 at 5:32pm
Found this fun in terms of the energy and performances (particularly Ben Goddard who was outstanding!) but ultimately it just isn't a good show. It will appeal to quite a large audience who are fans of the music etc but anyone wanting more than some fluffy entertainment should look elsewhere! It's very much like any other tribute act you could find elsewhere, and would fit perfectly in Vegas.
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Million Dollar Craplet#23
Posted: 2/17/11 at 6:24pm
Yes - saw it last Friday and, despite all my reservations, really enjoyed it - but, as Mark says, that was mainly down to the performances. Every single performance was fantastic - with Ben Goddard way beyond fantastic. So glad my friend Fran is in it coz I would never have dreamed of going to see it otherwise but I'm so glad I did.
THEATRE 2019: ASPECTS OF LOVE**** FRANKENSTEIN (Paris)**** AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE**** COMPANY***** [title of show]**** CAN CAN*** THE CEREAL CAFE**** BAD GIRLS**** RAGS***** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** FOLLIES***** ROMANCE ROMANCE**** THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES*** LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE***** QUEEN OF THE MIST**** SIX** THE PRICE***** MAGGIE MAY **** CALENDAR GIRLS** MAN OF LA MANCHA**** WAITRESS***** FANNY AND STELLA***
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Million Dollar Craplet#24
Posted: 2/17/11 at 7:25pm
Is this the same Ben Goddard that played 'Joe Gillis' quite wonderfully in Sunset Boulevard revival at the Comedy?