THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?

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THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#1
Posted: 4/25/08 at 2:33am
THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?

The Daily Telegraph
April 24th 2008
As the knives get sharpened for 'Gone with The Wind' Dominic Cavendish tales a look back at the history of stage disasters.

1. CARRIE 1988
This atrocious adaption of Stephen Kings novel- taken by the RSC to Broadway where it folded after 21 performances- remains the primus inter pares of the musical flop. Kings story of a menstruating schoolgirl with telekenetic powers and a mad religious mother was served up with a ghastly gloop of rock pop and fake blood. It was hailed as 'a resounding istake' in England and went on to be ferociously panned in New York, losing a neat $8M.

2. WHICH WITCH 1992
The brainchild of Benedicte Adrian and Ingrid Bjornov -members of Norwegian pop group Dollie Deluxe- this 'opera musical' was a cod 16th century tale of a thwarted passion that culminated in the young Italian heroine being burnt at the stake as a witch. The King and Queen of Norway visited the Piccadilly to lend their support to 'the most heavily panned London stage show in a generation' - but it folded after 10 weeks. "flops don't come much floppier than this' said The Daily Telegraph.

3. BERNADETTE 1990
Described as 'one of the most bizarre and spectacular failures in London musical theatre history', the show = naively expected to pack out the Dominion -was based on Bernadette Soubirous, a young peasant girl who has visions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes in 1858. It was written by a piano tuner and his wife, financed by readers of The Daily Mirror and an ex chauffeur and, astoundingly, the Pope blessed the cast. To no avail, it lasted 3 weeks.

4. THE FIELDS OF AMBROSIA 1996
A jaunty, taste free US musical about capital punishment, set in the deep south in 1918. The here, a state executioner, falls for a German femme fatal he's due to fry - and eventually sings the final number from his own electric chair. The Daily Mail described it as 'the biggest turkey,the floppiest flopperoo, the greatest slice of ham to hit the West End stage in years. It didn't last a fortnight!

5. JEEVES 1975
Even Andrew Lloyd Webberhas his off days. Riding high after 'Jesus Christ Superstar', the composer turned to Alan Ayckbourn to help bring the comic charm of Jeeves and Wooster to the stage, but the 'heavy handed affair' was denounced as 'like a dream of all the Wodehouse novels combined in the ultimate ghastly weekend'. It lasted 38 performances.

6. MOBY DICK 1992
'Sixth form school girls perform Melvilles novel in their school swimming pool doesnt sound like a recipe for success does it? And it wasnt! Scantily clad females, 'Dick' jokes and a swiftly forgettable score saw this Cameron Mackintosh extravaganza being harpooned by critics. It survived 15 weeks at the Piccadilly before sinking below the waves.

7. TWANG! 1965
Lionel Bart gave the world 'Oliver!'. Five years later he also gave the world this troubled ' burlesque' version of Robin Hood. Famed director Joan Littlewood abandoned ship after the first regional tryout in Manchester and Bart, against advice from Noel Coward, invested his own fortune in the show. 'The worst musical for years' chortled the critics. Bart was left in financial ruin.

8. THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK 1991
Mike Batt, the producer of The Wombles, gambled heavily and lost on his lavish adaption of Lewis Carrolls nonsense epic poem. Batt wrote the book, the lyrics and music and even gave Kenny Everett his West End moment as the Billiard Marker. a reported 2.1M was spent on the show which successfully emptied the Prince Edward and vanished after 7 weeks.

9. CHILDREN OF EDEN 1991
John Caird and composer Stephen Schwartz (who gave the world 'Godspell') turned the Old testament, from the Creation to the Flood, into a biblical concept show and created a holy mess, by most accounts. 'Clearly God is miffed/ He's left us all a drift' ran one lyric, summing up the ill fated enterprise, which was cast out of the Prince Edward after 10 weeks.

10. OSCAR! 2005
Former radio 1 DJ Mike Read's bio-musical account of the life of Oscar Wilde achieved special notoriety for surviving just one proper performance -press night- at the Shaw Theatre. Read, The daily Telegraph concluded, passes golden genius through the filter of presumptuous mediocrity and produces over two hours of leaden dross'

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Makes for light reading but i'm sure everyone has their top ten list.
I saw all but two of these shows! Boy i've got great taste!!!



A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 4/25/08 at 02:33 AM
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Hmm i would not but Carrie t no 1 at all due to the fact it has a lot f great moments in it (and no its not just because im a fan), that list seems to be going off notoriety rather than bad shows.

I disagree with about 5 of that list at least
Namo i love u but we get it already....you don't like Madonna
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The first on my personal list is doubtlessly "Daddy Cool" !
Sarah bernhardt to a fellow actress: "Have you got stage fright, dear?" "No," the young lady aswered astonished. "Don't worry, it will come along with talent!"
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Beautiful and the damned. Man in the iron mask.
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Agreed that Carrie doesn't belong on the list - Mandelbaum had it right when he commented that no matter what it was, it was never boring. I'd put Gone With The Wind on that list FAR more quickly than Carrie, In My Life, or any other number of the flops listed.
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Oh, come on, please, I actually liked Moby Dick!

It really was a load of old tosh, but good harmless fun - and who can grumble about that many young ladys looking that good and whooping it up! Remind me who the Australian male lead was please.

Can't wait for a revival. May do it myself.

Worst musical of all time though? Let me think, Peggy Sue Got Married was terrible rubbish.

Murderous Instints was equally appaling, but in a much more enjoyable way - it had a car-crash fascination. Well the stories leaking from backstage and the touring venues did.

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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#6
Posted: 4/25/08 at 11:02am
Exedore -Tony Monopoly was in 'Moby Dick'
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#7
Posted: 4/25/08 at 11:14am
I really like Children of Eden...I don't think it should be considered a bad musical. The concept just didn't come across very well.
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#8
Posted: 4/25/08 at 11:32am
Thats it - Tony Monolopy. If I remember my recent history correctly he died not long after the show did.
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#9
Posted: 4/25/08 at 11:37am
Yea he died sadly a year or two after closing, he wasnt at all well during the run but fought to perform every night.



A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 4/25/08 at 11:37 AM
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#10
Posted: 4/25/08 at 11:48am
Saw him in a couple of things and he was quite a presence on stage and had an interesting singing voice - anyone know (maybe WickedBoy) what made his name?
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#11
Posted: 4/25/08 at 11:51am
In the UK he was huge on the now defunct major cabaret scene. Back in the 70s and 80s there were huge cabaret venues like Lakeside in Essex and Blazers in Windsor that provided a full nights entertainment- 5 course dinner followed by world cabaret- we're talking the likes of Diana Ross etc here. Tony Monopoly also won, either Opportunity Knocks or New Faces, i'm not sure which. He was very much in the vein of Englebert Humberdinck and Tom Jones.
He had a huge UK chart hit with 'After The Lovin'
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 4/25/08 at 11:51 AM
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#12
Posted: 4/25/08 at 12:09pm
I was right - you did know! Thanks for that. Very interesting. Had no idea thats how he started out. But i do now!

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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#13
Posted: 4/25/08 at 12:11pm
Here are the first 10 that i can think of i've seen over the years besides the ones on The Daily Telegraphs list.
In no particular order...
1. Murderous Instincts
2. Leonardo
3. The Mystery Of Edwin Drood
4. Napoleon
5. Spin Of The Wheel
6. The Goodbye Girl
7. Stepping Out -The Musical
8. Someone Like You
9. Budgie
10. Sherlock Holmes

There will be more.
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#14
Posted: 4/25/08 at 1:18pm
Tony Monopoly was a monk before decided on a life in the theatre and at he end of his career, after the dizzy heights of cabaret, TV and West End shows he returned to the Catholic faith in his final years.
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 4/26/08 at 01:18 PM
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#15
Posted: 4/25/08 at 2:06pm
I feel so inexperienced; the worst I ever saw were 'The Pirate Queen' and 'Aspects Of Love'. Perhaps this is why I'm so enthused for the massacre that is 'Gone With The Wind'...
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#16
Posted: 4/25/08 at 4:49pm
Gosh..and I kinda liked Which Witch...well sorta, that big opera like scene with the skull bursting out of the wall..I didn't know it was a big flop... ya learn something new every day.
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#17
Posted: 4/25/08 at 5:25pm
Heck, I worked on two of those shows!

I find the list a little muddled- after all, Carrie only flopped on Broadway- in Stratford it was a sell out. If Broadway is counted, there are so many more that could be included. And are these the worst, or simply the least commercially successful?

Well, for London here is my list the worst shows, regardless of whether they flopped or not.

1. Bernadette(Dominion)
2. Seven Brides (Haymarket)
3. Stepping out (Comedy)
4. Daddy Cool (Shaftesbury)
5. Ziegfeld (London Palladium)
6. Miss Saigon (Drury Lane) (sorry, just can't bear its lack of subtlety)
7. Anything Goes (Prince Edward) (Miss Paige's production)
8. Gone With the Wind (New London (not a knee-jerk reaction- it is that bad)
9. Martin Guerre(Prince Edward)
10. The Beautiful Game

I actually liked Budgie and Snark a great deal, as well as several more on the Telegraph list!

Updated On: 4/25/08 at 05:25 PM
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#18
Posted: 4/25/08 at 5:30pm
Those kinds of lists are always a little haphazzard arnt they and it makes me wonder where they get the info from, but its interesting to see what others on here think.
We had a good thread going on here some time ago remember??
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#19
Posted: 4/25/08 at 5:52pm
Worst in the eyes of the press means shortest runs, obviously. We Will Rock You must be Dostoevsky then! Carrie may be been a disastrous flop on Broadway, but at least half of the musical is pure gold! Which is more than can be said of some shows.....
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#20
Posted: 4/25/08 at 6:18pm
This is a tough call, I will struggle to make 10!

Return to the Forbidden Planet
Chicago
Spamalot
Csts
We Will Rock You
Notre Dame de Paris
Fiddler on the Roof
Jolson
Tonights the Night
The Phantom of the Opera (The other version)

Managed it.
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#21
Posted: 4/25/08 at 6:20pm
'The Pirate Queen' -the second of only 2 shows i've walked out of on Broadway, 'Jekyll And Hyde' being the other. I just couldnt stand another act of Davey Jones crock of s***! Truly dire theatre.
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
Updated On: 4/26/08 at 06:20 PM
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#22
Posted: 4/25/08 at 6:30pm
Was the Pirate Queen really that bad? Have not seen the show, but heard the Soundtrack, some really good song on there, but towards the end good be redone.
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#23
Posted: 4/25/08 at 6:34pm
One of the most boring things i've ever seen but not horrendous in staging etc just BOREING! - nothing happened. The Cd is like listening to 'Riverdance' in a John Lewis lift.
A young actress with Noel coward after a dreadful opening night performance said to him 'Well, i knew my lines backwards this morning!'' Noels fast reply was ''Yes dear, and thats exactly how you said them tonight'!'
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re: THE 10 WORST MUSICALS OF ALL TIME....?#24
Posted: 4/26/08 at 2:59am
You want bad musicals come to Australia. Until recently we just couldn't get it right. devoniant Anything Goes? For what reason, and Wickedboy2 how did The Mystery of Edwin Drood get on your list? Was it just a bad production? I rather like it as a show.