Tag Archives: sex

Nr 463: The First Nudie Musical (1976)

16 Jan

The First Nudie Musical (movie)
Screenplay, Music & Lyrics: Bruce Kimmel

Gotta sing, Gotta dance
While I’m Taking of my pants


The son of an almost famous studio owner is forced to make porno films to keep the bankrupt studio from being made into a shopping center. The films have titels like Teenage Sexmutants and Stewardesses in Cages. But lately these films have started to flop. In an attempt to get back on the high ground he decides to make a new kind of porno, a musical comedy porno. He makes a bet with the debtors who wish to take ownership of the studio, that if they finance the musical and he can’t complete it within two weeks, they can foreclose.
Ribald humor, bawdy songs and plenty of skin abounds in this sophomoric satire that while unabashedly trashy, has developed a bit of a cult following.

I found the films soundtrack album in a record store in Sweden when I was a teenager and I found it deliciously smutty. I loved going around town and with a loud voice sing the songs in the hope that I would shock people. But it was the seventies so people, at least in Sweden, weren’t that easily shocked about sexual stuff. I was a bit disappointed, I mean there I was singing about Dancing Dildos, cunnilingus and Orgasms and people just thought it cute or absolutely normal… Ah, the seventies…
I loved the songs then and I still do. But I didn’t actually get a chance to see the film itself until it came out on DVD in the early noughties. I have just revisited it so it would be fresh in my mind for this blog and I can tell you that it still holds up pretty well. Some of the physical comedy feels a little forced and dated, but the dialogue is still funny and had me laughing out loud quite a few times and some of the show numbers are pure delights. It’s pretty crude and has a low-budget feel with a ”musical-within-a-movie” theme, but with satirical sexual humor and if you like that kind of thing (and I do), it’s definitely worth seeking out!
They’ve added a very funny hour long retrospective documentary as a bonus on the DVD.

The budget for the picture was $125 000. It got picked up by Paramount Pictures for distribution. But when the studio saw the finished product they thought it dragged a bit in the middle and they asked Bruce to shoot some new scenes. So he came up with the Dancing Dildos number. The studio asked ”Are there nude girls in the number?” ”Yes”, he answered and they gave him $75 000 just to shoot that scene!

There are som great future stars in this movie:
Cindy Williams who already had a nice little movie career going on, got her big break through on tv the same year the film premiered in the tv-series Laverne & Shirley. She played Shirley for 8 seasons. Laverne & Shirley was a spin-off of the sitcom Happy Days (1974-84).
Future director Ron Howard was the star of Happy Days and he did a cameo in this movie.
Cindy and Ron also played girlfriend and boyfriend in the George Lucas film American Graffiti (1973).
Diana Canova went on to play Corinne Tate in the sitcom Soap (Lödder in Sweden).
And director, actor, author, composer and lyric writer Bruce Kimmel has starred in and directed a lot of films and tv-series. He has also written plays and musicals (among them The Brain from Planet X, which you can find on this blogg, it’s nr 200). From 1988 to 1993, Kimmel co-owned the specialty label, Bay Cities, releasing over 100 albums that included American classical music, cast albums, and soundtracks. In 1993, Kimmel became a full time record producer with his own division at Varese Sarabande, producing many cast albums (Broadway and off-Broadway), Broadway singers, and musical theater concept albums, first for the Varese Sarabande, and then for a company he founded, Fynsworth Alley. His current label Kritzerland has issued close to 400 albums including cast albums, singers, and a series of reissues of limited edition soundtracks.

The film actually got some great reviews and became a minor hit. The first week of its wide release, it was the fourth highest-grossing picture in the country, behind Star Wars, You Light Up My Life, and The Spy Who Loved Me.

The actual first nudie musical is considered to be the 1963 nudie-cutie Goldilocks and the Three Bares (1963)

Press:
Chockful of youthful talent, well spiced by outrageousness and sparked by invention. The three stars are simply irresistible. Cindy Williams is enchanting, Kimmel is the ultimate appealing schnook. Fresh and funny and funky. Made for about 1 percent of the budget of New York, New York, but a hundred times funnier and more perceptive. It’s the Star Wars of nudie musicals.
– Judith Crist, New York Post

More vitality, imagination, zany comedy and stellar performances than most movies. It’s one of the most memorable movies of this year. A raunchy delight. Cindy Williams is a marvel! Kimmel is a joy to watch!
– Joseph Gelmiş, Newsday

A Mel Brooksian salute to porno chic.
– Bruce Williamson, Playboy

Silly, sophomoric, at times downright inept, this little low-budget venture picked up by Paramount is more often than not hilarious, offering good, tonic laughter to those not offended by nudity and blunt language.
– Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

Basically a one-joke idea that wears thin despite an air of amiability.
– Leonard Maltin’s Film Guide (two stars out of four)

A few clever bits are downed in a larger sea of silliness, forced gags and predictable cliche.
– Arthur D Murphy, Variety

Videos:
C’mon Honey
The Red Band Trailer
Audition scene
A ”naked” tv-review of the movie from 1976

Nr 462: American Psycho (2013)

13 Jan

American Psycho
London 2013
Broadway 2016
Sydney 2019

Music & Lyrics: Duncan Sheik
Book: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis

Based on the best-selling novel by Bret Easton Ellis, and set in the epicenter of excess: 1980s Manhattan, American Psycho tells the story of 26-year-old Wall Street investment banker Patrick Bateman, young and handsome with impeccable taste and unquenchable desires. Patrick and his elite group of friends spend their days in chic restaurants, exclusive clubs and designer labels. It’s a world where appearance trumps substance, greed is good, and one’s purpose in life is to crush the competition at all costs. But underneath his smooth and suave exterior lies a psychopath with bottomless blood-lust for getting what he wants and wanting what he can’t get.
When he finds out that one of his coworkers, Paul Owen, not only has secured the exclusive and highly sought after Fisher account, but also has managed to get a reservation at the new elite restaurant Dorsia, AND has a better looking business card, the inner monster flashes his teeth. 
Patrick invites Paul to his apartment before a party. Patrick spikes Owen’s drink, puts on a raincoat and begins a long one-sided analysis of the artistic and commercial merits of the band Huey Lewis and the News. After stating that ”the world is better off with some people gone”, Patrick slaughters Owen with an ax.
Afterwards, he lets himself into Paul’s apartment and stages his disappearance by resetting his voicemail and packing many of his possessions into a suitcase.
Months pass. Having made sure to make people believe that Paul is in London Patrick appropriates Paul’s apartment as a place to host and kill more victims, beginning with 2 hookers…

 This is a rather uneven show. I found the first act to be laugh out funny, sharp, edgy, witty, a little scary, and at the same time a little nostalgic since I lived through that era, and with a perfect first act finale: the bloody murder of Paul Owens. I really couldn’t wait for the second act to begin but… I didn’t really like that act. The music was still good, some numbers amazing but the murdering got a bit tedious and the piece didn’t really go anywhere. And I hated the end of the musical which has him marrying his girlfriend and resigning himself to a pointless existence in which the punishment and notoriety that he craves will forever be denied him. While the book ends as it began, with Bateman and his colleagues at a new club on a Friday night, engaging in banal conversation. A much more cynical and frightening end, I think.

The music is, of course, for the most part synth music, and quite hard synth I might add, which I love. I think mr Sheik has done a brilliant jobb in giving us a batch of new synth hits. There are also some covers of 80s hits like Hip to Be Square, Don’t You Love Me Baby and In the Air Tonight all performed in new exiting versions that differ quite a lot from the originals.
All in all, I like the cast album a lot, the show itself… well, it isn’t bad but there could be improvements made…


And speaking of American psychos… Patrick Bateman and his friends idolize Donald Trump…

Duncan Sheik is perhaps best known for writing the music to the Tony Award winning Broadway musical Spring Awakening (2006).

In London the part of Patrick Bateman was played by Matt Smith, maybe most famous for being the youngest actor ever to portray the title character in the BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who and he also portrayed Prince Philip in the two first seasons of the Netflix series The Crown.

The Broadway version of the show won 3 Drama Desk Awards: Outstanding Lighting Design, Projection Design and Sound Design in a musical.
And 2 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Lighting Design and Projection Design.
It was nominated for two Tony Awards but didn’t win.

Press:
Though it is spattered with stage blood from beginning to end and features the sort of carnage associated with Eli Roth movies, “American Psycho” turns out to be one of those musicals that send your thoughts awandering, even as you watch them. So while this show’s title character takes a gleaming ax or chain saw to his co-stars, you may find yourself fixating on the following questions: Collectively, how many hours   of gym time per week does the incredibly buff cast embody? … Did those auditioning for “American Psycho” have to submit ab shots instead of head shots? And before they set foot onstage each night, are they required to pass a body mass index test?
If such queries do indeed fill your head during the long and decoratively gory duration of “American Psycho,” … then it could be argued that the show’s creators have done their job.

Of course, it could be argued that the “American Psycho” team has done its job too well, since you’re also likely to identify with Patrick when, shortly before he crucifies a young woman with a nail gun, he concludes solemnly that there’s “not one clear, identifiable emotion within me.”

Characters snort cocaine in dance clubs; have meaningless sex; order silly-sounding, elaborately named fusion dishes at overpriced restaurants; and recite designer clothing labels as if they were holy mantras, and make fun of those who are less of-the-minute than they are.
In other words, New York hasn’t changed all that much. Yet “American Psycho” treats the ’80s with the condescending nostalgia associated with decade-defining clip-compilation shows on lesser cable channels. And with a couple of signal exceptions, this musical treats its inhabitants as shrill cartoons (to laugh at) and sculpted sides of meat (to ogle).

Mostly, though, this psycho is neither scary nor sexy, nor is the show in which he appears. This may be good news for concerned citizens who feared the musical might present a nastily irresistible role model to impressionable young ’uns. Not to worry. In “American Psycho,” there’s little that’s lusty in blood lust.
– Ben Brantley, The New York Times

If you can resign yourself to the story’s innate ambiguity, you’re in for a perversely enjoyable experience.

The music is totally ’80s as well: Sheik’s bizarrely catchy, entirely electronic score – far from the usual Broadway fare….

And as for the violence – it’s simply part of the story, usually a joke, and often part of a stunning stage picture.
– Melissa Rose Bernardo, Entertainment Weekly

The second act flags…but the score is strong…Duncan Sheik’s synthesizer-heavy music – radical by Broadway standards…finally delivers a worthy follow-up to his ”Spring Awakening.” A comic ”American Psycho” you can dance to? Somehow, it works.
– Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New York Post

Videos:
Selling Out
You Are What You Wear
Cards
Hip To Be Square
Killing Spree
Trailer

Nr 458: Shock Treatment (1981)

17 Jun

small_d9a51eda28ce8804ad05c3d579242267-SHOCK_20TREATMENT_20POSTER  shock_treatment_blu_ray_import

Shock Treatment (film)
Music:
Richard O’Brien

Lyrics: Richard O’Brien
Screenplay: Richard O’Brien

”It’s not a sequel… it’s not a prequel… it’s an equal”
”Trust me, I’m a doctor!”
– 2 olika taglines till filmen.

A sort of follow up to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, continuing from that film are the characters of Brad and Janet, now married, and the film takes place several years later in their hometown of Denton, USA.
Denton  has been taken over by fast food magnate Farley Flavors. The town is entirely encased within a television studio for the DTV (Denton Television) network. Residents are either stars and regulars on a show, cast, crew, or audience members.
Brad and Janet, seated in the audience, are chosen to participate in the game show Marriage Maze by the kooky, supposedly blind host Bert Schnick. As a ”prize”, Brad is imprisoned on Dentonvale, the channel’s bizarre medical soap opera that centers upon the local mental hospital and is run by brother and sister Cosmo and Nation McKinley.
Janet is given a taste of showbiz as Farley molds her into the singing diva superstar  of Denton Dossier, a show that tells people how great Denton is. Her compliance is assured through the use of drugs supplied by the McKinleys.
*OBS, Spoilers!!!*
Meanwhile: Betty Hapschatt and Judge Oliver Wright investigate Farley and other people involved in DTV and eventually discover that Cosmo and Nation are not doctors, but merely character actors, and Farley Flavors is Brad’s jealous, long-lost twin brother, seeking to destroy Brad and take Janet for himself.
The pair rescue Brad from Dentonvale and have him confront his twin on his new show Farley Flavor’s Faith Factory. Farley imprisons the three and Janet, but they manage to escape in a car along with a local band while the remainder of Denton’s citizens follow Farley and commit themselves to Dentonvale.

Den här filmen kom 5 år efter The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Rocky Horror filmen floppade till en början men blev sakta men säkert ett kultfenomen som kom att visas på fredag- och lördagskvällar kring midnatt på biografer i USA. Folk kom dit utklädda till sina favoritkaraktärer och man slängde sarkastiska svar  till repliker som sas i filmen, man dansade med i shownumren, man hade en uppsjö av rekvisita med sig som användes vid specielle tillfällen under föreställningen etc. Detta pågår fortfarande än i dag över 40 år senare. Så floppen blev en succé.
Shock Treatment tänkte man skulle upprepa den förras fenomenala framgång och kultstatus men… Rocky Horror förvandlades av sin publik från flop till kult, här försökte man istället vara kult redan från premiärdagen och det misslyckades. Filmen fick förödande dåliga recensioner och publiken gillade den inte alls.
Nu är den inte riktigt så dålig som ryktet kan få en att tro. Hatat kom nog från det faktum att folk ogillade att man på kommersiella vägar försökte skapa en kultfilm. Det kändes som en ”cop out” av Rocky’s fan base och de mer eller mindre bojkottade filmen. Och om ni har läst sammanfattningen ovanför så förstår ni hur krystat och hysteriskt man jobbade för att få till kultfaktorn. Men som man säger: ”camp is found, not made”.
Sen hjälpte det inte heller att filmen aldrig fick en bredare biopremiär i USA utan man visade den fråmst på midnattsvisningar. Detta faktum gjorde att många missade att filmen ens existerade innan den kom ut på video.
Jag har dock för mig att den fick premiär på bio här i Sverige och att det var där jag såg den första gången.

Men som sagt, om man ser den utan några större förväntningar så får man en film som bitvis är riktigt rolig även om den tappar fart på tok för snabbt och ibland mest bara går på tomgång.
Här finns en hel del kul musik och en del av sångerna är minst lika catch-iga som låtarna från Rocky Horror – ibland också förvillande lika, lyssna bara på Little Black Dress  och sen på Time Warp….  Det är rock, det är lite new wave, lite synt, lite ska, lite show, lite allt möjligt – lite som Rocky Horror alltså.
Sen är det ju intressant med det faktum att alla ”reality shower” som i filmen ses som en osannolik utveckling av tv-mediet (ren science fiction på sin tid) idag i högsta grad är verklighet. Så de var definitivt före sin tid och kanske är det också en anledning till att filmen ändå håller hyfsat idag.
Har ni inte sett den så gör det, speciellt om ni är Rocky H fans, och har ni inte hört musiken så ska ni definitivt ge den en chans.

Kuriosa:
1978 så hade Richard O’Brien börjat jobba på en uppföljare till Rocky Horror, den skulle heta Rocky Horror Shows His Heels. I den skulle bland annat Frank och Rocky återförenas, både Brad och Dr Scott skulle bli gay och Janet skulle föda Franks barn. Men det blev inget med det.
Men Richard hade redan skrivit en del musik så han bestämde sig för att återanvända musiken i en ny story som skulle heta The Brad & Janet Show som sen skulle byta titel till Shock Treatment.
Från början var det tänkt att Tim Curry (original Frnk ‘ n’ Furter) skulle spela Farley men när han förstod att han också skulle behöva spela rollen som Brad så hoppade han av, anledningen var att han inte trodde sig kunna bemästra en övertygande amerikansk accent.

En del av de medverkande i Rocky Horror var även med i denna film:
Charles Grey (berättaren i första rullen spelar en domare här).
Richard O’Brien och Patricia Quinn som var syskonparet Riff-Raff och Magenta i Rocky är syskonparet Cosmo och Nation McKinley här.
Även Little Nell (Columbia i Rocky) gör en liten insats som sjuksystern Ansalong i denna rulle.
Brad och Janet spelas dock av nya skådisar: Jessica Harper och Cliff De Young. Jessica är kanske mest känd som huvudpersonen i Dario Argentos skräckfilmsklassiker Suspiria (Flykten från helvetet) från 1977.

Den framtida Dame Edna Everage, även känd som skådespelaren Barry Humphries, medverkar i filmen som den ”blinda” tyska läkaren.

Bland övriga medverkande hittar man bland annat komikerna Ruby Wax och Rik Mayall.

Filmen förvandlades till en scenproduktion i London 2015.

Videorecenssioner:
The Cinema Snob
Musical Hell Review

Videosar:
Bitchin’ In The Kitchen
Denton!
Little Black Dress
Lullaby
Me of Me
Farley’s Song
Trailer o Titelsången

 

 

Nr 457: Reefer Madness! (1998)

6 Jun

410R4F6PQ3L._QL70_ML2_
Reefer Madness!
1998: Los Angeles
2001: Off-Broadway
2005: Tv-version
2009: London

Music: Dan Studney
Lyrics: Kevin Murphy
Book: Kevin Murphy based on the 1936 film Reefer Madness

Creeping like a communist it’s knocking at our doors
Turning all our children into hooligans and whores
Voraciously devouring the way things are today
Savagely deflowering the good ol’ USA
It’s… Reefer madness! Reefer madness!

As the play opens, an evangelical lecturer addresses an audience which is supposedly composed of concerned parents. His goal is to warn them of a new menace that is sweeping the nation, a leafy green assassin ready to ensnare and seduce the youth and drag them down into a life of sin: marijuana.
He starts to tell the true story of the Harper Affair: 15 year old Jimmy Harper, was a fine, upstanding, clean-cut, All-American boy whose life fell apart because of the evil reefer. Jimmy was a good kid, with a bright future ahead of him. He had a sweetheart whom he loved, the wholesome and sweet Mary Lane. But when Jimmy is tricked into taking his first puff of reefer, his life quickly spirals downward. He begins to neglect his family, his schoolwork, even Mary, in order to spend all his time smoking at the Reefer Den. His addiction leads him to evil jazz music, dance, debauchery, sin, theft, violence and, eventually, murder. Along the way he also meets Jesus, the devil, some zombies, a cannibalistic, constant giggling manic dope fiend, an angel, some overly friendly inmates at the local penetentuary who just want to take a shower with him and a surprise visit from president Franklin D. Roosevelt…
On top of all that he also finds time to recite a little Shakespeare!
What’s not to like?
It’s a musical filled with camp, hilarity, mayhem, and madness.

Detta är en riktigt underhållande och grymt kul musikal med smittande musik. Jag är oerhört förtjust i den och har lite svårt att fatta att den inte har blivit kult. När den spelades i Los Angeles i originaluppsättningen så blev det lite ”Rocky Horror” varning på den för folk såg föreställningen om och om igen och klädde ut sig till sina favvofigurer och lärde sig replikerna etc. 
Men i New York så las den ner rätt fort och filmversionen är nog relativt bortglömd. Men om ni kan hitta DVDn så köp den direkt. Ni får en galen musikal med stora shownummer, catchiga låtar, absurd och garanterat icke-PK handling, ”over the top” skådespeleri från väldigt bra skådisar, lite sex, lite våld och ni får, som bonus, även originalfilmen från 1936 som musikalen är baserad på. 

Musiken är en blandning av rock, swing, jazz, gospell och musikalpasticher. Det finns några stora skillnader mellan scenversionens musik och den i filmen, man bytte bl a ut några sånger och skrev om andra. Men jag gillar bägge versionerna.

Kuriosa:
The film from 1936 was originally made as Tell Your Children and sometimes titled as The Burning Question, Dope Addict, Doped Youth, and Love Madness but is best known as Reefer Madness.

Originally the film was produced as a warning to parents about the use of cannabis, the film was later recut by Dwain Esper and gained notoriety as an education-exploitation film, the typically low-budget genre known for excessively hyping trends and news through lurid and trashy scenes intended to be more entertaining than enlightening. Over the years, some of these films have been artistic or revolutionary enough to become culturally significant, such as Night of the Living Dead. However, Reefer Madness has been declared the worst film ever made; Leonard Maltin gave it zero out of four stars, calling it “the granddaddy of all ‘worst’ movies.”

Christian Campbell som spelar Jimmy i filmen spelade samma roll redan i originaluppsättningen i Los Angeles.
Han är storebror till Neve Campbell som spelade huvudrollen i alla 4 Screamfilmerna. Hon är också med i denna musikalfilm. Man tyckte det var så kul att kunna ha med bägge syskonen i filmen att man skrev om en av rollerna så man kunde casta henne i den. 

Videosar:
Trailer for the original 1936 Reefer Madness film.
Trailer for the movie musical Reefer Madness from 2005
Title song with Alan Cumming
Little Mary Sunshine with Kristen Bell
Listen To Jesus Jimmy
Jimmy Takes a Hit/The Orgy
The Truth – Finale

613FJJnJjfL._AC_  ny_ad_color Reefer_Madness_(1936)
Filmaffisch.

 

Nr 432: The Wild Party #2 (LaChiusa)

3 Feb

Unknown
The Wild Party (2000)
Broadway 2000, 68 föreställningar
Off-West End 2017

Music & Lyrics: John Michael LaChiusa
Book:  George C. Wolfe & John Michael LaChiusa, baserad på Joseph Moncure March (1899-1977) narrativa dikt med samma namn från 1928.

”Gin, skin, sin, fun.”

“Queenie was a blonde, and her age stood still
And she danced twice a day in vaudeville”

The show is presented as a series of vaudeville sketches, complete with signs at the beginning and the end (but abandoned for most of the show) announcing the next scene propped on an easel at the side of the stage.
The company recounts the story of Queenie, a blonde who works as a showgirl in the Vaudeville, who is attracted to ”violent and vicious” men. She is currently living with a man named Burrs, who works in the same vaudeville, as the act after her.
One Sunday, Queenie wakes up restless and she and Burrs soon come to blows. To try to put less strain on their relationship (and to convince her to put a knife down), Burrs suggest they throw a huge party and invite ”all the old gang”, a motley assortment of has-beens and wannabes . Queenie is ecstatic and they get prepared for the evening.
The guests who arrive to party include Dolores, a stage diva hanging on by her nails to the remnants of a glamorous career; Kate, Queenie’s best friend and rival; Black, Kate’s boy toy, who has an eye for Queenie; Jackie, a self-destructive ”ambisextrous” rich kid who has an eye for everyone, including the incestuously devoted D’Armano brothers, who sing naughty, name-dropping songs about high and low society; lesbian stripper Miss Madelaine True and her morphine-addicted girlfriend Sally; colored prizefighter Eddie, his white wife Mae and Mae’s underaged Lolita-like sister, Nadine.
The party is fueled by bathtub gin, cocaine, and uninhibited sexual behavior. It quickly devolves into an orgy that culminates with attempted rape, beatings, more cocaine and murder…

Precis som med Lippas Wild Party (see inlägg Nr 431) så är jag lite kluven till denna musikal. Men om Lippa delvis bjuder på partymusik som fastnar direkt så kräver LaChiusa mer av sina lyssnare. Denna musikal var i alla fall jag tvungen att ge ett flertal genomlyssningar bara för att se om nått skulle fastna eller ens bli intressant i mina öron. För att vara musikal så är det här bitvis rätt så ”svår” musik.
Nu är den värd att ge flera chanser för sakta men säkert så nästlar den in sig hos en. För varje lyssning så hittar jag fler och fler nummer som jag tycker om. Det gemensamma för mina favvisar är att de är skrivna i en vass, jazzig 20-tals stil, en ganska hård men melodiös variant med starka suggestiva beats.  Det är mycket sex i musiken. Den känns svettig, het och depraverad – precis som den ska vara på en vild fest. Det är när den är som bäst alltså. Sen finns här en hel del sånger som är mördande tråkiga och som jag inte har lyckats ta till mig alls.
De flesta av numren har dialog insprängda i sig vilket gör att melodiernas bågar ofta blir svåra att urskilja. 
Jag hade säkert kunnat ta till mig fler av sångerna men det finns ett stort problem för mig på denna platta, hans namn är Mandy Patinkin. Han är en stor Broadway stjärna som bl a gjorde Che Guevara i originaluppsättningen av Evita på Broadway och var original ”Georges” i Sondheims Sunday in the Park with George och han är en duktig skådespelare och sångare men… Jag hatar hans röst! Jag hatar hans manierade och självgoda sångstil där han älskar att kasta sig mellan mycket låga partier och extrem falsett och liksom bara pågår och är för mycket hela tiden. Hans sångstil och röst är nått som man antingen älskar eller hatar, för jag tror inte att den lämnar nån oberörd. Jag hatar den alltså och det gör att de flesta av de sånger han sjunger är i det närmaste olyssningsbara för mig.
Men det finns flera jag känner som älskar hans röst, så ladda ner plattan från Spotify, ge showen en ordentlig genomlyssning och avgör själv. För som sagt, det finns mycket bra att hämta här det är bara ganska så väl dolt…

Av en slump eller p g a klantig planering av producenterna för respektive verk, så hade 2 olika musikalversioner av Joseph Moncure March episka diktberättelse The Wild Party premiär under våren 2000 i New York.
Andrew Lippas version fick sin premiär i februari på The Manhattan Theatre Club (dvs off-Broadway) och John Michael LaChiusas i april på Broadway.
Jag har kallat denna version av The Wild Party för #2, inte för att den inte är min favorit version (fast det är den inte) utan för att den hade premiär som nummer 2.

Det är stora skillnader mellan de båda verken:
Lippa koncentrera sig i huvudsak på kärlekstriangeln mellan Queenie, Burrs och Black. Även om alla de större birollerna har solonummer de med.
LaChiusa har självklart också med kärlekstriangeln men alla biroller här har dessutom tydliga egna bågar och story-lines som berättas parallellt med den övergripande intrigen. Dessa sidointriger tar upp ämnen som sexism, rasism, anti-semetism, bisexualitet och The American Dream.
LaChiusa har även med flera figurer som inte finns med i Lippas version och en del av dem som finns med i bägge versionerna får större plats i hans version. Som exempelvis Dolores som blev en saftig roll för Eartha Kitt på Broadway.
Vad gäller musiken så är Lippas sånger mer lösrykta och inte helt beroende av intrigen, vilket gör att de kan förstås även utanför showens sammanhang. Vilket är toppen för oss som söker efter sånger att framföra på konserter, här finns ett gäng bra nummer.
LaChiusas musik är mer integrerad och intrigdriven och därför svårare att framföra utan att först förklara i vilken situation/sammanhang de sjungs i verket.
LaChiusas musik är mer traditionell musikteatermusik än Lippas. Lippas  är anakronistisk i sin blandning av rock, gospel, jazz och latino medan LaChiusas är mer ”20-tal” med sin blandning av jazz, Tin Pan Ally låtar, torch songs, blues och burlesquenummer.

Vilken version man tycker är bäst är verkligen en smaksak. Men jag kan hitta fantastiska toppnummer i bägge och även en hel del bottennapp. För mig vore den ideala versionen av The Wild Party en version där man använde sig av nummer från bägge versionerna.
Det skulle bli en fantastisk musikal det!

Kuriosa:
Toni Collette vann en Theatre World Award för sin insats som Queenie.

Rollen som Queenie var från början tänkt att spelas av Vanessa Williams men rollen gick till Toni Collette när Vanessa blev gravid.
John Michael LaChiusa: ”I don’t think of it as something that was lost in the piece, but it would have been fascinating to see how an audience responded to a black Queenie. The show is all about the masks that we wear culturally and the removal of those masks over the course of the party. So it’s all there…”

I produktionen gjorde Eartha Kitt sin Broadway come back som den falnande stjärnan Dolores. Den förra gången hon stod på en Broadwayscen var 1978 och musikalen hette Timbuktu!
I Londonversionen spelades samma roll av Donna McKechnie som var original Cassie i A Chorus Line på Broadway 1975, en roll hon fick en Tony Award för.

The poem, told in syncopated rhyming couplets, chronicles a sex-infused, liquor-soaked Prohibition-era party that degenerates from hedonism into murder. The poem — improvised by March at age 26 after he resigned as managing editor of The New Yorker — was considered too risque to publish until 1928, when a limited edition was released and then banned in Boston. After producing another poem, ”The Set-Up,” March went on to write documentaries and to contribute many articles to The New York Times Magazine until his death in 1977.

1975 gjordes en film baserad på dikten  med James Coco och Raquel Welsh. Fast där hade man flyttat platsen för festen från en Manhattan lägenhet till en lyxig villa i Hollywood.

Press:
The chief flaw of “The Wild Party,” Michael John LaChiusa and George C. Wolfe’s dark, glittering new musical, is one it shares with the gathering it so vividly depicts — it goes on too long. The musical has reportedly been shortened by at least a half-hour during an angst-plagued preview period, and further ruthless cuts and a sharper focus on the show’s central themes might have transformed an impressive but uneven show into a stellar one. As it is, “The Wild Party” is a restlessly percolating, stylish romp through a smoky world of vices and their prices — but one that lacks the emotional punch it could carry.
– Charles Isherwood, Variety


If ”Wild Party I” (Lippas Off Broadwayversion se Nr 432) seemed to be a party with no personalities, ”Wild Party II” feels like a parade of personalities in search of a missing party. Actually, the shows are equally effective at guaranteeing that a good time is had by no one. And both carry with them a heavy weight of professional disappointment.


It must have sounded like such a sexy proposition once upon a time. … And what promising subject matter: sex (of several varieties), murder, showbiz, drugs, booze and jazz, all set in a percolating moment in Manhattan … Yet what has wound up on the stage is a portrait of desperation that itself feels harshly, wantonly desperate.

Yet even singing the jauntier examples of Mr. LaChiusa’s vaudeville and jazz pastiches (with Stravinsky hovering in the background, natch), they tend to be as whiny and overstimulated as a party of 2-year-olds with no videos to watch.
– Ben Brantley, The New York Times

Videosar:
The Wild Party at the Tony Awards
Moving Uptown med Eartha Kitt
High Lights
Lowdown-Down
Breezin’ Through Another Day/Uptown
Black Bottom/Best Friend
Love Ain’t Nothin’/How Many Women
Trailer för Londonversionen 2017
Trailer för filmversionen 1975

 

Nr 431: The Wild Party #1 (Lippa)

1 Feb

1200x630bb
The Wild Party (2000)

Off-Broadway, 54 föreställningar
Sverigepremiär: 2010 på Teater Aftonstjärnan i Göteborg

Music, Lyrics & Book: Andrew Lippa baserad på Joseph Moncure March (1899-1977) narrativa dikt med samma namn från 1928.

”Gin, skin, sin, fun.”

“Queenie was a blonde, and her age stood still
And she danced twice a day in vaudeville”

The Wild Party tells the story of one wild evening in the Manhattan apartment shared by Queenie and Burrs, a vaudeville dancer and a vaudeville clown, who are in a relationship marked by vicious behaviour and recklessness.
Queenie is fed up with the life she lives and the pain Burrs puts her through, so she decides to throw the party to end all parties to shake things up a little. Burrs agrees.
After the colorful arrival of a slew of guests living life on the edge, Queenie’s wandering eyes land on a striking man named Black and she sets out to use him to make Burrs jealous. But Queenie goes a little too far and begins to fall in love with Black.
After a long night of decadence, Burrs’ jealousy erupts and sends him into a violent rage. Gun in hand and inhibitions abandoned, Burrs turns on Queenie and Black. The gun gets fired, but who’s been shot?
In the stark light of a new day, Queenie moves out into a brighter world, although not necessarily a brighter future, leaving the passed-out revelers in her wake.

 

Det här är en musikal som jag har lite dubbla känslor för. Å ena sidan älskar jag drygt hälften av den men å andra sidan tycker jag den sista tredjedelen är fruktansvärt seg och tråkig. Så oavsett hur uppåt och entusiastisk jag är när pausen kommer, jag tappar intresset snabbt i andra akten och det slutar med att jag tycker att musikalen är typ ”meh”. Det gäller både när jag bara lyssnar på musiken eller om jag ser en uppsättning (har sett 3 olika vid det här laget). När den är bra så är den mycket bra men när den tappar fart så tvärdör den.
Men bitar av musiken är fullständigt outstanding, tycker jag. Lippa blandar friskt bland rock, jazz, gospel, lite latino, pianoballader och Broadwayaktiga showstoppers. Så musiken är inte problemet. Problemet är att man inte bryr sig om människorna på scen. Så länge festen är i full sving och det sups, raggas, dansas, drogas och knullas hej vilt så är det kul men när natten glider mot morgon och festfolket tappar ork och somnar lite överallt så tappar man även som publik intresset och triangeldramat som ska vara verkets klimax känns bara som en onödig och lång transportsträcka till applådtacket.
Men som sagt stora delar av musiken är fantastisk partymusik.

Av en slump eller p g a klantig planering av producenterna för respektive verk, så hade 2 olika musikalversioner av Joseph Moncure March episka diktberättelse The Wild Party premiär under samma säsong i New York, våren 2000.
Andrew Lippas version fick sin premiär i februari på The Manhattan Theatre Club (dvs off-Broadway) och John Michael LaChiusas i april på Broadway.
Jag har kallat denna version av The Wild Party för #1, inte för att det är min favorit version (vilket den faktiskt är) utan för att den hade premiär först.
Läs om LaChiusas version på blogginlägg Nr 432.

Det är stora skillnader mellan de båda verken:
Lippa koncentrera sig i huvudsak på kärlekstriangeln mellan Queenie, Burrs och Black. Även om alla de större birollerna har solonummer de med.
LaChiusa har självklart också med kärlekstriangeln men alla biroller här har dessutom tydliga egna bågar och story-lines som berättas parallellt med den övergripande intrigen. Dessa sidointriger tar upp ämnen som sexism, rasism, anti-semetism, bisexualitet och The American Dream.
LaChiusa har även med flera figurer som inte finns med i Lippas version och en del av dem som finns med i bägge versionerna får större plats i hans version. Som exempelvis Dolores som blev en saftig roll för Eartha Kitt på Broadway.
Vad gäller musiken så är Lippas sånger mer lösrykta och inte helt beroende av intrigen, vilket gör att de kan förstås även utanför showens sammanhang. Vilket är toppen för oss som söker efter sånger att framföra på konserter, här finns ett gäng bra nummer.
LaChiusas musik är mer integrerad och intrigdriven och därför svårare att framföra utan att först förklara i vilken situation/sammanhang de sjungs i verket.
LaChiusas musik är mer traditionell musikteatermusik än Lippas. Lippas  är anakronistisk i sin blandning av rock, gospel, jazz och latino medan LaChiusas är mer ”20-tal” med sin blandning av jazz, Tin Pan Ally låtar, torch songs, blues och burlesquenummer.

Vilken version man tycker är bäst är verkligen en smaksak. Men jag kan hitta fantastiska toppnummer i bägge och även en hel del bottennapp. För mig vore den ideala versionen av The Wild Party en version där man blandade nummer från bägge versionerna.
Det skulle bli en fantastisk musikal det!

Kuriosa:
Föreställningen vann:
1 Drama Desk Award för bästa music
1 Outer Critics Circle Award för bästa off-Broadway föreställning
1 Obie Award för bästa koreografi

Idina Menzel, blivande Tony winnande Elphaba från Wicked, spelade Kate i denna version. Hennes blivande kollega i Wicked, Kristin Chenoweth, spelade Mae i den första workshopproduktionen av showen 1997.

The poem, told in syncopated rhyming couplets, chronicles a sex-infused, liquor-soaked Prohibition-era party that degenerates from hedonism into murder. The poem — improvised by March at age 26 after he resigned as managing editor of The New Yorker — was considered too risque to publish until 1928, when a limited edition was released and then banned in Boston. After producing another poem, ”The Set-Up,” March went on to write documentaries and to contribute many articles to The New York Times Magazine until his death in 1977.

1975 gjordes en film baserad på dikten  med James Coco och Raquel Welsh. Fast där hade man flyttat platsen för festen från en sunkig Manhattan lägenhet till en lyxig villa i Hollywood. 

Press:
Now we have the feverish creatures who are slinking their way through Andrew Lippa’s ”Wild Party,” the Jazz Age musical tale of lust, death and substance abuse that opened last night at the Manhattan Theater Club. There they are, so true to the trends of the moment, swiveling their hips in their underwear and garter belts and bowler hats amid clouds of cigarette smoke. O Bob Fosse, what hast thou wrought?
The guests at ”The Wild Party,” however, suffer from their own particular afflictions: the identity crisis that comes from being shaped in the image of something superior (e.g., ”Chicago,” ”Cabaret”), for starters. They also appear to be taking themselves as seriously as the tragic sopranos do in Verdi operas.

As long as the ensemble is dancing as fast as it can … the show can be entertaining, although its choreography nearly always feels secondhand.
It’s when ”The Wild Party” zeroes in on individual characters that your attention strays. 

(the score)  … has a jittery, wandering quality, conscientiously shifting styles and tempos as if in search of a lost chord . . . The ballads . . . are of the high-decibel, swooning pop variety made popular by Frank Wildhorn. Mr. Lippa fares better with pastiches of jazz, vaudeville and gospel vintage, although these, too, suffer by comparison to the Kander-Ebb songs for Chicago.”
– Ben Brantley, The New York Times


The first challenge facing the creators of these musicals is how to win over an audience with such nasty material. One alternative is to serve it up in all its sordidness, garnished with the cool comic panache that characterizes “Chicago” or Brecht and Weill’s “Threepenny Opera.” Another is to soften it up for easier consumption by fans of the heart-tugging Broadway musical. Andrew Lippa, the composer, book writer and lyricist of this first “Wild Party,” is nothing if not ambitious — he tries to do both. … One room, one night, one conflict — a small canvas for a full-fledged musical. Let alone two. … Lippa is a very facile composer, and he seems to have had no trouble creating music to fill out every corner of his small canvas. The show is virtually sung-through, with minimal dialogue bridging musical numbers, and nary a reprise in sight.


His music is very accessible indeed. But that’s the problem — it’s accessible because you feel you’ve heard it all before. Lippa’s two and a half hours of music boasts little of real distinction or originality. He’s a skilled student of musical theater history, but where is his own voice?

The result is a hard-working, ambitious musical that makes a negligible impact. Just as it’s hard to exude decadence when you’re so obviously trying to please, it’s hard to make a memorable impression with forgettable material.
Charles Isherwood, Variety


The Wild Party
may not be the perfect musical we’ve all been looking for but it’s great fun to watch and puts enough talent on display to have warranted a longer run than it will have.

– Elyse Sommer, CurtainUp

Videosar:
The Wild Party
Den Vilda Festen med Kulturama elever
High Lights från Encores! konsertversion 2015
Light Of The Party med Idina Menzel
The Juggernaut
Reviewer’s reel
The Wild Party in rehearsal (2015)
Make Me Happy (animerad)
The Wild Party på Fria Teatern 2017
Trailer till filmversionen (1975)

Nr 402: Córki dancingu / The Lure

25 Feb


Córki dancingu (The Lure), Musikalfilm
Polen (2015)

Regi: Agnieszka Smoczynska
Musik & sångtexter: Barbara Wrońska, Zuzanna Wrońska, Marcin Macuk
Manus: Robert Bollsto baserad på H C Andersens saga om Den lilla sjöjungfrun från 1837.

Teenage sisters Silver and Golden yearn for a new life on American soil, but obligingly surface in Warsaw when unwittingly summoned by the human song of Mietek, the handsome young bass player of a low-rent nightclub band. “Help us come ashore … we won’t eat you, dear,” they sing back at him, a little too menacingly for comfort.
Sprouting human legs once they hit dry land, the girls follow him back to his workplace, where the sleazebag proprietor hires them as strippers and backing singers to the band’s brassy interpretations of dance-floor standards. (Suffice it to say that Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” has never sounded less velvety or more Velveeta.)
Word spreads with unsurprising speed of two nude mermaids (their tails return when wet) writhing in disco-fabulous style atop giant champagne coupes.
Local celebrity does little, however, to aid a heartsore Silver’s unrequited crush on Mietek, while Golden increasingly struggles to contain her blood-sucking urges — particularly with so many leeringly interested men to hand.
A broken hearted mermaid is not a force to be reckoned with especially not if that mermaid is your sister. The two make a harsh decision causing violence, and bloodshed.

Córki dancingu (meaning The Daughters of the Dance) is a distinctly Polish musical set against a nostalgic 80’s tinged backdrop. Filled with music, dancing and surprising twists.
A sort of horror-romance-coming of age-disco-adult fairytale musical with murders, sex, operations, drugs, mysticism, vodka, singing, dancing, telepathic communication and bad perms.
A total blast!

Det här är en film som man antingen gillar eller avskyr – skulle jag tro.
Men oberörd blir man inte. 
Här blandas gengrestilarna vilt och man kan hitta det mesta: från strippor, mord, disconummer, punknummer, en massa synthmusik, vackra ballader, snygga special effekter och fruktansvärda ”dansbandskostymer” till sagostämning, sorgligt slut och en grotesk men samtidigt barnsligt naiv kroppsamputering. Typ.
Den här filmen är svår att beskriva i ord och den är bitvis hysteriskt rolig och fantasifull men bitvis också både obegriplig och seg.
Men det är en musikal. Och den innehåller väldigt mycket bra musik, framförallt om man som jag är uppvuxen på disco, punk och det tidiga 80-talets synthvåg.
Jag gillade den. Gillade den mycket.
Om ni hittar den så ge den en chans.

Kuriosa:
Gick på Stockholms Filmfestival 2016.

Delar av det som sker på nattklubben är baserat på regissörens egna upplevelser, för hennes mor drev en nattklubb och det var där hon, enligt egen utsago, tog sin första vodka, rökte sin första cigarett, hade sin första sexuella besvikelse och första riktiga förälskelse.
Hon ser filmen som en allegori över flyktingar som på sin väg mot sina drömmars mål kommer till ett främmande land där de blir utnyttjade.

Det här är polens första filmmusikal.

Den valdes till Bästa Film på Fantasporto skräckfilmfestival 2016.
Fantasporto är en stor internationellt erkänd skräck/fantasyfilmfestival som har hållits i Porto i Portugal sen 1981.
Den vann juryns pris på Fantasia Film Festival – det är Nord Amerikas största Skräck/Fantasyfilmfestival och har hållits i Montreal, Kanada sen 1996.
Den vann Special Jury Prize på Sundance Film Festival 2016.
Den har vunnit ett flertal internationella filmpriser till.

Press:
“Look at this stuff — isn’t it neat?” sang the heroine of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” gesturing at her glittering earthly possessions while ruefully admitting their triviality. It’s a line “The Lure,” a very different kind of fairy-fishtail, might sing without any of the wistful irony: Polish tyro helmer Agnieszka Smoczynska’s deeply dippy story of vampire mermaid sisters wreaking havoc above water gleefully shows off its cluttered collection of whosits and whatsits galore. Yet as it morphs restlessly from siren-shrill horror to Europop musical to, gradually, a loose but sincere riff on Hans Christian Andersen, it seems the pic may contain a thingamabob (or 20) too many. Still, this kooky-monster escapade is never less than arresting, and sometimes even a riot: There’s nothing else like it in the sea, which should encourage offbeat international distribs to make it part of their world.
– Guy Lodge, Variety

…the unrestrained exuberance of The Lure often substitutes stylistic flourishes for a sometimes confounding lack of coherence, which is perhaps attributable to a youthful perspective on hazily remembered bygone days that vanished with the fall of Communism. Candy-colored nightclub lighting, soaring camera shots and graceful underwater sequences all boost the fantasy quotient, but don’t contribute greatly to an understanding of the characters, although the SFX are impressive throughout.

Nevertheless, the filmmakers’ enthusiasm for their characters and the vanished period setting is palpable, asserting a certain fatalistic charm of its own.
– Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter

Watching ”The Lure” is a bit like having manic depression—the thrilling high points are just as relentless as the crushing low-tide ebbs.

But the makers of ”The Lure” drop the ball when their reliance on archetypal power dynamics dictates when characters must sober up and act according to their types. Smoczyńska and Bolesto deserve the benefit of the doubt since their story isn’t necessarily bad because it’s not non-stop fun. But in this case, quiet and serious simply does not suit a movie where bare-breasted teenagers sing and slay their way into viewers’ hearts. ”The Lure” deserves to be seen, though it’s sadly not as joyfully deranged as it could be.
**1/2
Simon Abrams, rogerebert.com

Videosar:
Trailer
Ballady i Romanse – Przyszłam do miasta

Nr 382: Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly!

27 Maj

PigLogo

Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly! (1996)
– a musical revue in two acts conceived by Howard Crabtree and Mark Waldrop
Off-Broadway, 840 föreställningar
Music: Dick Gallagher
Lyrics and sketches: Mark Waldrop

Brother, you ain’t seen a thing
Till you’ve seen bacon taking wing!

This revue takes a hilarious look at gay life in the 1990s.
It’s a grab bag of songs, dances, sketches, and running gags — unified by a gay sensibility that combines a love of traditional musical theatre, a taste for outrageous visual humour, and a delight in shameless wordplay. These elements are strung upon the slenderest of plot threads.
The concept of the revue is that ”Howard” stages a musical. As he struggles to do so, dealing with the large egos of performers or scenery gone wrong, he hears the words of his high school counselor, ”Miss Roundhole”. She sarcastically said, ”When pigs fly!” in response to his ambitions. The characters in the revue are all played by men.
But the linking story is not where the focus lies.
The individual numbers are the meat of the show. In When Pigs Fly the empty stage becomes a kind of dreamscape populated by Howard’s fevered imagination. The audience never knows who or what it will see next. A bare-breasted mermaid? A Garden of Eden tableau? Bette Davis as Baby Jane slinging a life-size Joan Crawford rag doll around? They all get into the act.
Each freshly revealed character will have something to say, usually through song, that provides a skewed but revelatory reflection of what it is to be gay in the 1990s.
Though the spirit is gay — in both senses of the word — the tone is inclusive, and always the tilt is towards the universal. When Pigs Fly is completely accessible to anyone who can appreciate being smart and silly at the same time.
Welcome to Howard’s world….

The show’s a queer one, there’s no doubt
Just to be in it you have to be out!

Jag gillar verkligen det här. Kul musik med smarta och väääldigt kvicka sångtexter. Det här är en show som driver med det mesta, både ”gay” och ”straight” men mest ”gay”, och inte för en sekund tar den sig själv på allt för stort allvar.
Sånginsatserna är av varierande kvalité, några är rena Broadwayröster medan andra är mer åt glada amatörerhållet men det de saknar i sångkvalité fyller de istället med charm och grym komisk tajming. Så allt som allt så är det här en helgjuten liten show.

Några av sångerna är ännu roligare om man vet varför de sjungs och av vem, som Not All Man som sjungs av en förvirrad kentaur i omklädningsrummet på ett gym – därav alla ”häst” skämt.
Rekommenderas!

Favvisar:
When Pigs Fly, Not All Man, Sam and Me, You’ve Got To Stay In The Game, Light in the Loafers

Kuriosa:
Howard Crabtree (1954 – 1996), började sin showbizkarriär som dansare men började snart skapa hysteriska kostymer för olika off-Broadway shower.
Tillsammans med upphovsmännen till denna show skapade han 1993 revyn Howard Crabtree’s Whoop-Dee-Doo! Här skapade han inte bara kostymerna utan spelade även huvudrollen.
Han gick bort bara nån månad innan When Pigs Fly hade sin premiär.
Han dog i en AIDS relaterad sjukdom.

Press:
Some shows, you leave humming the scenery; others, the costumes. Howard Crabtree’s When Pigs Fly sends you out humming the sequins on the costumes.
The wigs alone in this exuberant eyeful of a revue … are like tone poems of camp: pillowy, cartoon-land creations, threatening to lift the men beneath them somewhere, fully aloft.

But if the revue is essentially fabulous window dressing–make that faaaaaaaabulous window dressing–its overall musical buoyancy serves as artful dressing for the dressing.

So many costume changes; so little time.
– Michael Phillips, Los Angeles Times

…an exceptionally cheerful, militantly gay new musical revue that comes close to living up to its own billing ”the side-splitting musical extravaganza”.  No sides are ever in serious danger of splitting. Yet there’s enough hilarity, wit and outre humor here to evoke that era, more than 40 years ago, when bright, irreverent revues were as commonplace on Broadway as today’s stately Cameron Mackintosh spectacles.
 Vincent Canby, The New York Times

This show is user-friendly for straights.
Clive Brooks,  The New York Post 

A Hog-Heaven of silliness.
 Michael Sommers, The Star Ledger 

Videosar:
Color Out Of Colorado (A Patriotic Finale)
You’ve Got To Stay In The Game
Bigger is Better
Hawaiian Wedding Song
Last One Picked

You can’t take the color out of Colorado
You can’t take the Mary out of Mary-Land
As John Phillip Sousa said, ‘I can’t march
If I can’t hear the boys in the band.

4793737271_927a2c1121_b
Den förvirrade men glade kentauren.

4794374120_16801bcda2_b
We Wear Our Vanity with Pride

l3

Nr 381: The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas

25 Maj

whorehouse-300x300
The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas (1978)
, 1584 föreställningar
Music & lyrics: Carol Hall
Book: Larry L. King and Peter Masterson, baserad på artikel med samma namn av Larry L Kings som publicerades i Playboy 1974

It was the nicest little whorehouse you ever saw.
The Chicken Ranch of Gilbert (subbing for real locale La Grange) is a beloved institution in Texas. With a history harking back 80 years, it has served as a homey ”pleasure palace” for the men of the Lone Star State, and is currently run by the no-nonsense Miss (not ”Madam”) Mona Stangley.
Miss Mona runs a class act: the grounds are well-tended, her ”Ladies” live under strict regulations, and the ”Guests” are treated with the utmost respect and are expected to reciprocate.
Everything’s fine until TV moralist ”Watchdog” Melvin P. Thorpe (based on real-life Houston news personality Marvin Zindler) declares a personal crusade against the Chicken Ranch. Despite the fact that ”one-half of the police officers and two-thirds of the lawyers in the state of Texas grew up in this house,” the political pressure mounts and the Ranch is eventually shut down.
While others object, Mona just takes the bitter with the sweet and moves on.

En skön liten musikal med gospel- och countryinfluerad musik. Och det är fantastiskt hur familjevänligt och oskyldigt upphovsmakarna har lyckats få det här potentiellt barnförbjudna ämnet att bli.
En en hel del av den politiska satiren och driften med frikyrkopastorer som försöker sko sig och sin karriär på lättköpta populistiska korståg känns, tyvärr, fortfarande rykande aktuellt idag.
En lite bortglömd musikal som kanske inte har den bästa och mest minnesvärda musiken jag hört men ganska så småcharmig är den allt.

Favvisar:
20 Fans, A Lil’ Ole Bitty Pissant Country Place, Texas Has a Whorehouse in It, Twenty Four Hours of Lovin

Kuriosa:
Föreställningen vann:
2 Tony Awards: bästa manliga och kvinnliga biroll.
3 Drama Desk Awards: bästa regi, sångtexter och musik
1 Theatre World Award till Carlin Glynn (spelade Bordellmamman)

Man gjorde en hemsk filmversion av musikalen 1982 med Dolly Parton och Burt Reynolds i huvudrollerna. Bordellbyggnaden byggdes på Universal Studios mark och man kan fortfarande se den om man åker på The Universal Studio Tour.
Byggnaden användes också i Rob Zombies skräckfilm från 2003  House of 1000 Corpses.
Förutom sångerna från musikalen så la man till 2 av Dolly Partons egna sånger bl a I Will Always Love You, som var en hit för henne 1974 och som i och med filmen blev hit igen 1982. Fast det är väl Whitney Houstons cover av den från 1992 som numera är mest känd.

Dolly skrev ett flertal nya sånger till filmversionen men de användes aldrig. En av dem filmades dock (Where Stallions Run som sjöngs av Burt reynolds) och las till när man började visa filmen på tv. Två andra sånger A Gamble Either Way och A Cowboy’s Ways finns med på hennes album Burlap & Satin från 1983.

Showen började som en artikel i Playboy som handlade om att Texas mest populära bordell The Chicken Ranch hade tvingats stänga sina dörrar. Bordellen startade sin verksamhet 1905 och var oerhört populär och framgångsrik fram till att den stängdes 1973.

Det finns fortfarande en Chicken Ranch bordell men den ligger i närheten av Las Vegas den öppnades 1976och har inget med den ”gamla” bordellen att göra.

Carlin Glynn (som spelade bordellmadammen) är mamma till skådespelerskan Mary Stuart Masterson

Musikalen fick en uppföljare 1994, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public (se dag 83) som las ned efter 16 föreställningar. Sequels till framgångsrika scenmusikaler har en tendens att floppa nått otroligt.

Press:
If all the tarts with hearts of gold currently at the Intermedia Theatre banded together they could buy out Fort Knox.

… it is, depending perhaps on your family, just good family entertainment.

A strange, old-fashioned, new-fashioned musical, full of simple sentiments, dirty words, political chicanery and social hypocrisy, decent jokes, indecent jokes, bubbling performances and music with a bustle.
Clive Barnes, Post

A musical on a milk diet. It takes a small, bright, wry idea and expands and dilutes it at the same time.

The small adjectives that come to mind with Whorehouse – ”pleasant”, ”agreeable” – are like school gold stars given for things that have turned out well.  … It is a show that marks a lot of time, one fitted for compliments rather than enthusiasm.
Richard Eder, Times


The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas 
is actually located in that vast desert between respectability and profanity. The show has come to us in time to help fill that great void.

It is more fun than a beer-toting hayride at a Mardi Gras.

This show, in fact, could help make ungarnished heterosexuality fashionable again.
Christopher Sharp, Women’s Wear Daily

If you can allow yourself to think for a couple of hours that whores are angels in disguise and that a town brothel is heaven on earth, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a whale of a good time.

I’m only surprised they don’t sell Girl Scout cookies in the lobby.
Douglas Watt, Daily News

Videosar:
The Aggie Song from the Tony Awards, med censusrerade sångtexter trots att inga ”fula” ord förekommer i sången bara lättare associationer.
Lil’ Ole Bitty Pissant Country Place med Dolly Parton från filmen
Trailer från filmen
The Sidestep
Hard Candy Christmas – Jessica Vosk
Texas Has a Whorehouse in it

 

Nr 366: Stephen Ward

18 Feb

71RAcGHiQjL._SL1423_
Stephen Ward (2013)
, West End, still running
Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics & book: Don Black & Christopher Hampton, based on the Profumo Affair.

The show deals with the victim of the Profumo Affair – not John Profumo himself, the disgraced Minister for War, but the society osteopath by the name of Stephen Ward whose private libertarian experiments blew up in his own and everyone else’s face.
The show centers on his involvement with the young and beautiful Christine Keeler and their chance meeting in a West End night club, which led to one of the biggest political scandals and most famous trials of the 20th century.

There is always a little excitement in the air when it’s time for a new Lloyd Webber musical. Will it be the new Phantom or will it go the same way his latest musicals have gone, that is to say down Flop Avenue?
Well, judging by the reviews things don’t look to good for the lords latest show.
But the music is nice – not terrific, but nice enough. Some good tunes, a lot of 60’s flavor but I get a feeling that I’ve already heard most of it before. I can detect strong influences from shows like Evita, Joseph and Tell Me on a Sunday, some songs even sound a bit like reworked tunes from those shows.
The songs are for the most part in a medium tempo and sound a bit like lounge music and although they are nice to listen to they don’t really engage the listener – or at least not me.
There are no real up tempo songs, the closest we get is a 60’s pop pastiche called Super Duper Hula Hooper.
Of course we get a couple of typical Webber ballads which are good but they sound so ”Webber-y” that they almost become parodies of his style and also, it’s very obvious that he has written them in the hopes to get a new Music of the Night or Think of Me. And although they’re written in the same mold as the  songs mentioned they are in no way in the same league. They’re just (here’s that word again) nice and rather forgettable.
I don’t get a real ”hit” feeling for this album. You’ll find a couple of good songs, some nice ones and the album is enjoyable enough but don’t expect a classic. But at least it doesn’t feel or sound as pretentious as some of his earlier shows and that in itself is a very good thing.

My favorites:
1963, When You Get To Know Me, Manipulation

A little bit of this and a little bit of that:
The Profumo Affair of 1963 was a British political scandal that originated with a brief sexual liaison between John Profumo, the War Minister in Harold Macmillan’s government, and Christine Keeler, a 19-year-old model and dancer.
In March 1963 Profumo denied any impropriety in a personal statement to the House of Commons, but was forced to admit the truth a few weeks later. He resigned from the government and from parliament.
The sensation surrounding the affair was heightened by the revelation that Keeler had seemingly been simultaneously involved with Captain Yevgeny (Eugene) Ivanov, the Russian naval attaché.
Keeler had met both Profumo and Ivanov through her friendship with Stephen Ward, an osteopath and socialite who had taken her under his wing when she was a 17-year-old nightclub dancer.
The suggestions of a widespread immorality in high places and security concerns arising from the Profumo-Ivanov conjunction drew official attention to the activities of Ward, who was widely depicted as an amoral manipulator. In the highly-charged atmosphere following Profumo’s resignation Ward was tried on a series of immorality offences concerning Keeler, her friend Mandy Rice-Davis, and other women. Perceiving himself as a scapegoat, Ward died, apparently by his own hand, during the final stages of the trial, at which he was found guilty on two counts of living off immoral earnings (that means he was considered being their pimp).

Press clippings:
My hunch is that those who like Lloyd Webber best when he’s doomy-gloomy won’t warm to this show, but that those who have previously found him overwrought will find this sharp, funny – and, at times, genuinely touching – musical highly enjoyable.
Charles Spencer,Telegraph

Videos:
This Side of the Sky
You’ve Never Had It So Good
Human Sacrifice
I’m Hopeless When It Comes to You

screen_shot_2013-11-12_at_13.51.38

%d bloggare gillar detta: