Tag Archives: Jack Nicholson

Nr 422: On A Clear Day You Can See Forever

11 Jan

On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (1965)
Broadway 1965, 280 föreställningar

Filmversion 1970
Broadway revival 2011, 57 föreställningar

Music: Burton Lane
Book & Lyrics: Alan Jay Lerner, löst baserad på pjäsen Berkeley Square (1929) av John L. Balderston som i sin tur var baserad på Henry James sista, ofärdiga, roman The Sense of the Past, publicerad 1917 året efter hans död.
Book, 2011 revival: Peter Parnell

During a lecture, psychiatrist Mark Bruckner discovers a most suitable subject in student Daisy Gamble. Daisy repeatedly lapses into hypnotic states as Dr. Bruckner explains hypnosis in his class. After class, she reveals to the doctor her many extrasensory powers, including her ability to make flowers grow.
Daisy is quite concerned about her eccentricities.
The doctor agrees to treat her if she will let him try to discover, while she is under hypnosis, how she developed her powers. He is astonished to find that while she is hypnotized she starts talking about a prior life in 18th-century London where her name is Melinda Wells.
At their next psychiatric session, Mark puts Daisy into a trance and summons Melinda from her subconscious. Mark’s attachment to Melinda is growing as we are transported to a colorful, 18th-century London club, and he is soon convinced that Daisy’s story is not a mere yarn.
Mark reports on the case to his fellow psychiatrists, who ridicule his findings.

Greek shipping magnate Themistocles Kriakos learns of Mark’s belief in reincarnation and offers to finance a study of the events of Melinda’s life in exchange for Mark’s help in discovering who he will be in his next life, which will allow him to leave his fortune to his future self.
In Mark’s office, Daisy comes across a tape recording of one of her sessions and realises that Mark is really in love with Melinda and is merely using Daisy to summon her. In her angry confrontation with the psychiatrist about the matter, she tells him that she is ”through being a go-between for you and your dream girl. You’re not going to go on using my head for a motel.”
Daisy goes to the airport, ready to return home. Her ESP powers warn her that the plane on which she plans to travel will crash. She realizes at last how special she really is.
She and Mark unite to explore their extraordinary future.

In Michael Mayer’s 2011 reimagining, a young smoker named David visits psychiatrist Dr. Bruckner to break his habit. The doctor finds himself drawn to David’s past-life identity, a 1940s jazz singer named Melinda who emerges during their hypnosis sessions, while David begins falling for the psychiatrist.

En av de där musikalerna som man, när man bara har hört musiken från castinspelningen, tror måste ha varit en hit men som det visar sig var en flopp.
On A Clear Day spelades 280 gånger i originaluppsättningen och det kanske tycks som ganska ok men här pratar vi om en musikal med manus och sångtexter av Alan Jay Lerner, mannen bakom My Fair Lady, Gigi, Camelot m fl så ni förstår säkert att förväntningarna var skyhöga.
Och de infriades inte.

1970 gjorde man, av nån för mig obegriplig anledning, film av denna semi-flopp. Kanske var det Barbra Streisand som såg den som en bra uppföljare till Hello, Dolly! som hon gjort året innan. Jag vet inte, men jag tycker att filmen är dötrist. Seg som bara den.
La Streisand sjunger gudomligt men drar, sin vana trogen, ner tempot på nästan alla låtar.
Yves Montand som den franske psykiatrikern känns mest obekväm.
Man strök flera av scenversionens sånger (speciellt up tempo och ensemblenummer) och skrev 2 nya.
Det är bara Barbra och Yves som sjunger i filmen.

Revivaln som kom till Broadway 2011 hade mer eller mindre strukit hela det gamla manuset och bara behållit namnen och själva tematiken.
Nu utspelade sig allt 1973 med en extremt ”psykedelisk” scenografi och skådespelare i fula tidstypiska utsvängda jeans och storblommiga tajta skjortor gjorda av polyester.
”Daisy” är förvandlad till en fjollig, blomsterförsäljare vid namn David.
Hans tidigare liv utspelar sig nu 1943. Man har också valt att låta en kvinna spela rollen som Davids reinkarnation, jazzsångerskan Melinda.
Eftersom man valt att låta Davids ”tidigare liv” utspela sig under 2:a världskriget så har man bytt ut en mängd av originalets sånger och ersatt dem med Lerner/Lane sånger ur filmen Royal Wedding (1951).
Det är inte mycket som fungerar i denna version.

Originalmanuset var en total obegriplig och oengagerande röra och alla försök att få den att fungera – via filmversion och revival – har misslyckats. Detta är en omöjlig musikal med fantastisk musik.
Så hoppa filmversionen och dess soundtrack och ladda ner Broadwaycastinspelningen via Spotify och njut av en riktigt härlig gammaldags musikal med starka melodier och bra sångtexter.

 

Kuriosa:
Originaluppsättningen vann en Theatre World Award för bästa manliga huvudroll för John Cullum.

Jack Nicholson spelade Daisys halvbror i filmversionen men hans enda sång och de flesta av hans scener klipptes bort.

Legendariska fotografen och klädskaparen Cecil Beaton (1904 – 1980) gjorde kläderna till filmen.

Från början (1963) skulle musikalen ha hetat I Picked a Daisy och haft musik av Richard Rodgers. Men Lerner tog så lång tid på sig att skriva manuset och ”missade” så många produktionsmöten att Rodgers till sist fick nog och hoppade av.
Det blev Lerners partner från filmen Royal Wedding, Burton Lane, som tog över komponerandet. Inte för att det fick Lerner att skriva snabbare men Lane hade mer tålamod.

Press:
Om originaluppsättningen 1965:

It would be pleasant to say that the result is a charming fantasy, but it seemed to me it is instead a melodious muddle.


There is even a sense that something better, at least less confusing, should come out of the story.
– John McClain, Journal-American

 

The first hit of the season, even if the second act does, for a time, let story and mood slip through its fingers. Generally, on its own highly individual terms, it is a happy wonder and a bewitching, beguiling musical play.
– Norman Nadel, World Telegram & Sun

 

Although there are several outstandingly genial elements, they do not suffice to turn the new musical into the soaring, satisfying unity it ought to be. 

The book loses itself in a fog of metaphysics that dares not stray too far from the romantic demands of musicals. What Lerner should have worried about was not another life but a better idea. In any event, it’s doubtful that he could have found a more tuneful composer or a more ingratiating leading lady.
– Howard Taubman, Times

Om Broadwayreviveln 2011:

Toward the long-awaited end of the new semirevival of “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” an eminent psychiatrist proposes that what we have been watching was perhaps only “my own psychoneurotic fantasy”.
Now, I don’t have a medical degree, but might I propose an alternate diagnosis? It seems to me, Doc, that you and your show have been suffering instead from a case of clinical depression that you’ve never been able to get over, no matter how hard you’ve tried. And, believe me, I know how you’ve tried. I have felt the pain of your efforts.
Where the heck is Zoloft (and Prozac and Abilify) when you need the little suckers? This wholesale reconception of a fluffy, muddled 1965 musical about reincarnation appears to have given everyone who appears in it — including its charismatic star, Harry Connick Jr. — a moaning case of the deep-dyed blues. Though done up to resemble a psychedelic fun house (the sanitized, perky kind that brings to mind middle-of-the-road rock album covers from the late 1960s and early ’70s), this “Clear Day” still has the approximate fun quotient of a day in an M.R.I. machine.
– Ben Brantley, The New York Times


It was broke, but they sure ain’t fixed it. In fact, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever‘s bumbling show doctors should be sued for malpractice and felonious misuse of star talent. Manslaughter, too: The patient died on the slab.

– David Cote, Time Out


This new ”Day” has flaws and foibles of its own, but it’s far more elegant than the original show and a valid (if more than slightly cockeyed) entertainment on its own weird merits.

Clear Day
is a mutant, but it’s a beautiful mutant, and the kind of mistake I’d like to see made again and again.

– Scott Brown, Vulture

Videosar
What Did I Have That I Don’t Have m Eydie Gorme
High Light från 1965 års original
High Lights från Reviveln 2011
Hurry It’s Lovely Up Here m Kristin Chenoweth
Go to Sleep m Barbra Streisand
Trailer till filmversionen

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