Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Some Notes for Lerner and Loewe

As this is meant to critique the composers and not anyone ever associated with a certain show that shall remain nameless, I feel that it is safe to issue the following notes to the writers and composers of this show that must not be named.

1) If you're going to spend most of act 1 talking about how you need to improve your main character's speaking so that you can show her off at a ball, you should show this ball on stage, and not just have it take place during intermission. By only talking about it afterwards, you weigh your drama down with tedious exposition. This is especially the case when, during the ball, your protagonist has a life-changing experience that incredibly alters and matures your main character.

2) If you start your show off with a solo that lends itself to being spoke-sung rather than actually sung, you will turn off just about anyone from your musical who was born after 1975. Why not start the show with a big group number? Something that gets the audience going? I'll give it to you that the song has its funny moments, but you have to remember that your audience can only laugh at funny moments if it is still awake.

3) If a secondary character spends the show talking about how it is good that he is not married because he is poor, and then he suddenly becomes rich, and now feels like it is his duty to get married, might I recommend a sentimental song, and not a rip-roaring good time song? While I appreciate that everything else in Act 2 is very serious and distressing, this song just seems like you said, "Hey, everything else in this act is heavy. Let's insert an inappropriate light number."

4) By writing all of your tertiary characters as caricatures, you confuse your audience as to whether or not one should believe that this show is a comedy when everything going on on stage is serious.

Having said all that, I believe that our production of this show has some real promise. Our lead, in particular, is an excellent actress that I enjoy watching on stage. Let us hope that we can overcome these intrinsic flaws of the show.

7 comments:

Lerner & Loewe said...

Dear AC,

Eat it.

Your friends,

Lerner & Loewe

Analyst Catalyst said...

Oh man, I ticked 'em off so much they came back from the dead.

I know I won't be sleeping tonight!

Red Riding Hood said...

1, 2, 4, I agree. I adore "With a Little Bit o' Luck". And am thinking of making it my mantra.

Analyst Catalyst said...

Sorry about that; for number three, I am talking about "Get Me to the Church on Time." And, actually, I enjoy both the above song and "With a Little Bit o' Luck."

If I were looking to rewrite it, I might try to work out some way to put either of Dolittle's songs at the beginning of the show to get the audience in a good mood.

Also, since I posted this, I read that Lerner and Loewe meant for all of Higgins' songs to be spoke-sung, because they thought that he was entirely too serious and emotionless of a character to really break out into song.

Although that begs the question, "Why then write a musical about him?", I find myself feeling a little better about it.

I also found it interesting that Rodgers and Hammerstein tried to turn this story into a musical, but decided that it couldn't be done.

Red Riding Hood said...

Agree with paragraph one. TOTALLY agree with paragraph two (ah the genious that is AC). Agree with paragraph four. And I don't believe paragraph 5. I would think Rodgers and Hammerstain could make a musical about anything.

Analyst Catalyst said...

It's true! Check out the trivia under the movie at imdb.com.

miss thany said...

i heart imdb.com.