midwestern astronaut (swedishfrogs) wrote in green_room,
midwestern astronaut

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...Aaaaand... on the flip side...

Now that we've discussed guilty pleasures, what about the other end of it? Guilty unpleasures, perhaps?

There are shows I feel obligated to like, for varying reasons. And I just can't. I try, but I can't.

While I love more than my fair share of Sondheim shows, I couldn't make myself like Follies or Into the Woods. I never shut up about how much I adore the work of JRB, but Parade? It makes me cry, but unintentionally. I might be one of Ragtime's biggest fans, oh, ever, but A&F--in my mind--have been on a rapidly descending trip into craptacularness since, with A Man of No Importance somehow annoying me EVEN MORE than Seussical the Musical.

So am I alone? Are there shows you feel you really, really should like but just... don't? Discuss amongst yourselves.
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On the Sondheim front - it's all about Sunday for me. Don't like it. Loved the production at the Kennedy Center, but I'm really not fond of the show.

On the flip side, I have an immense soft spot for Starmites, and I've never been able to figure out quite why.
I know I've already said this to you personally, but for the community's sake -- I think Sunday in many ways is one of Sondheim's weakest shows, only 'cause it doesn't sit well on a first viewing/hearing. The music is way inferior to the text, which is revelatory upon actual reading...but not so much upon introduction.
And, pray tell, what is it about AMONI that bugs you?
This is all based off of the cast recording only, so it may not be the most well-based of opinions.

Firstly, the accents annoy me to no end. I get that everyone is supposed to be Irish, but it grates. Lucky the Leprechaun has more subtlety than some of these actors. That song about boooooooks, and cooooooks, and looooooks? It gave me a headache.

I hate that I don't have specific examples, but there were many moments I felt were musicalized poorly, or the wrong moments were. There's, of course, a good chance that the book to the show was strong and tied everything together nicely. And if that's the case, I would take back this statement. But as the cast recording stands, I'm reminded of a section I just read today in a writing book about proportion. We get entire songs about minor characters while main plotlines seem to get the shaft. Again, based purely off of the album. Things may have been woven together better onstage.

And, lastly, one of my friends really oversold it to me. Not the show's fault, but it's influenced my opinion regardless.
Yeah, "Books" was overdone on stage, too - although the characters are supposed to be getting slightly drunk during it. :)

There are two songs, inexplicably not on the album, that worked towards the main plot - "First Rehearsal" and the full-length reprise of "The Burden Of Life." Yes, there's no particularly good reason for "The Cuddles Mary Gave" to be there at all, since Baldy is a minor character who's barely there before the song and all but disappears after it, but it's a lovely song.
Maybe if those two songs had made an appearance, my opinion might have been different. It's rarely fair to base one's opinion entirely off of a cast recording, but living in Missouri, that's often my only option. Ah well.

I'm glad to hear there was at least something to explain the overannoyingness of "Books". That helps... a bit.

This is all. I am twelve. :-D
demonbaby19 and I were sort of talking about this last night--I mentioned that we'd seen a lot of bad theater together, but she pointed out that while that was true, neither of us has ever really regretted seeing anything we've seen--even with something that's awful or irritating, there's something to think about. Case in point, Thou Shalt Night--I saw it once, first preview, including the Craig Bierko Warms His Hands Over a Corpse's Crotch Song (cut that night), and it was HORRIBLE but it was AWESOME. Same goes for Sweet Smell of Success which has a pretty lame score and an impossibly mixed-up book, but I went to see it twice because I had fun "fixing" it in my head. And Brian d'Arcy James didn't hurt.

I always thought I should have gotten into A Class Act, but there was something, I don't know, saccharine? Something that didn't work out for me. I was not hugely impressed with Bat Boy when I saw it, although I like the cast recording quite a lot. And Ragtime has never done a thing for me.
You make a *really* good point. I would much rather see something truly terrible than something mediocre. What's more of a waste of time than a piece of theatre that leaves no impact upon you?


Seriously, ego or no, I am always down with the JRB. However, Parade does nothing for me. There are beautiful moments, I will gladly admit, but as a cohesive whole, I can't bring myself to love it with the ardor that so many do. Judging by his other work, Parade has an air of disengagement that kills it. JRB's strengths are, by and large, relationship songs, and the moments when Parade truly shines are when the action falls back and the characters are given time of their own.

As for Floyd Collins, well, I'll say two things:
1) My own personal connection to Floyd Collins is too funny to take anything regarding him seriously.
2) I am a melodist, and I will argue the cause of melody to the death. Start getting atonal on me and I will go postal. The end.

I admire Floyd Collins quite a bit. The production I saw at Actors Theatre of Louisville two years ago was stunning. That said, I feel little more than intellectual respect for Adam Guettel's work. It leaves me emotionally cold, and for that reason, I can't truly get behind it.

I think it's really, really funny that the biggest disagreements between us involve Floyd Collins and cilantro.

I find Floyd devastatingly beautiful, and so chilling and haunting that every listen is with me for days. I saw a crappy little production at Scott Miller's theatre, and by the end every hair on the back of my neck was standing straight up and my arms were covered in goosebumps. I think what Adam Guettel did was nothing short of amazing.

However? Myths and Hymns? Oh, how I tried. Oh, how back on my shelf it went.
Floyd Collins? Eh. I can see where you're coming from.

Cilantro? No way, NO HOW.
Floyd Collins is a piece with which I have a love/hate relationship. "The Riddle Song" is one of the most astoundingly brilliant numbers ever written, I think - it's one of those songs that, when I'm playing the album, I can't listen to just once. I have to listen to it a few times before I can bring myself to move on to "Is That Remarkable?," and how remarkable I think that number is, that's insanely high praise. But then you throw "'Tween A Rock And A Hard Place" or "Through The Mountain" at me, and I just shudder.

As for Myths And Hymns, yes, the CD is atrocious. I have a live recording of Saturn Returns from the Public, though, and I like that a great deal. The arrangements, setlist, and performers are all mostly different (a few are the same - nobody but nobody other than Annie Golden can do "How Can I Love You?," except Celia Keenan-Bolger), and substantially better. I don't understand why Adam and Nonesuch did what they did for the CD.
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