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West end Shows vs Broadway Show

Dstar85
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West end Shows vs Broadway Show#0
Posted: 2/28/06 at 3:01pm
Im writing a Paper for my Theatre history class and Im looking at Styles of Musicals

Is there a diffence in Styles from West End Shows Vs Broadway Show?
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WigInABox
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re: West end Shows vs Broadway Show#1
Posted: 3/1/06 at 1:25am
Broadway doesn't have anything like the National Theatre that shows more 'experimental' shows. (Unless you count off-Broadway?).

I think you might be able to find something to write about in the West End's farce plays (Last fall's 'What the Butler Saw'). This style certainly isn't popular on Broadway.

And maybe something to do with plays in the mystery genre - Agatha Christie's shows & The Mousetrap. Plays definitely don't run that long on Broadway (recently anyway).
"It's very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present." - Ms. Beale
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angel_star
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re: West end Shows vs Broadway Show#2
Posted: 3/1/06 at 4:16am
if your thinking about musicals then i dont think there would be much different, it depends on the cast and production team rather than the country! although its true that with our fringe stuff we are alot more experimental.
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Theatreboy33
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re: West end Shows vs Broadway Show#3
Posted: 3/7/06 at 10:15am
There is quite a difference in fact in musicals. British musicals focus far more on spectacle than most American musicals. They also have a great many more jukebox musicals currently running. The vast majority of musical composers are American (after all it is an American artform). Lloyd Weber is the only major Brit composer, and thus, his shows still hold a slightly more popular hold on British audiences, though judging from Woman in White, that is slipping. Generally Broadway is thought of as the place to go to for musicals, while West End is the place to go for straight theatre.
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Eastwickian
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re: West end Shows vs Broadway Show#4
Posted: 3/7/06 at 10:36am
I have found that in the UK, musicals are acted (not always that well sung, but nearly always well acted) whereas on Broadway they are performed (well sung and danced, very glossy, but the acting can be variable). I know that this is a gross generalisation, but it's the feeling I've evolved having seen both. British directors don't direct American musicals well because they're not that interested in that 'gloss' so much as the acting and the 'truth' of the piece. Often to its detriment

We have more jukebox shows open because they're cheap and the economics of the West End are more forgiving than Broadway - shows hang on even when they're only half full (or empty depending on your mindset!) I disagree about the spectacle - don't forget that 42nd Street, Beauty & the Beast, Lion King, Ragtime, and Wicked are all recent 'Broadway spectaculars'. In the West End, we're heading towards more scaled down shows such as the new Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park..., Guys and Dolls and other Donmar productions, Blood Brothers, Taboo etc

"Murder is a very British thing, isn't it? I mean, it's almost like a hobby over there."
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Updated On: 3/7/06 at 10:36 AM
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re: West end Shows vs Broadway Show#5
Posted: 3/7/06 at 4:30pm
I agree Eastwickian. I think it is the more common opinion for people to see Broadway musicals as the ones that are purely spectacle. There have been some similar posts on the broadway boards that also show this. I think because British audiences tend to be reserved in comparison to American, then they require more drama behind a spectacle. Obviously there are exceptions, but I think the vast majority of west end musicals that have come about with spectacle in mind are the result of a prior audience before release.
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BroadwayBaby6
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re: West end Shows vs Broadway Show#6
Posted: 3/9/06 at 9:12pm
I agree with Eastwickian. The acting in British musicals is usually first rate while the singing is not always up to Broadway standards. The high level of acting that one sees in London musicals simply rarely exists in American musicals. To give you just one example, I was blown away by the high level of acting in Billy Elliot--- the chorus played miners and cops absolutely convincingly. On Broadway cops and miners would be played as caricatures and most of the male chorus would frankly come off as being too "artistic" to be real cops or miners.
"It does what a musical is supposed to do; it takes you to another world. And it gives you a little tune to carry in your head. Something to take you away from the dreary horrors of the real world. A little something for when you're feeling blue. You know?"