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re: Musical Revivals
Posted by: hugoP 09:26 pm EST 12/14/18
In reply to: Musical Revivals - EvFoDr 01:53 pm EST 12/14/18

I had two great experiences with revivals this past year. Both were unusual productions of big, atmospheric spectacles set in a specific time and place in history. Both have mixed reputations (some people like the scores, some like the ambitions of the shows, but very few people love them). These revivals, though, were thrilling, mainly because everyone involved 'went for it.'

The ENCORES revival of GRAND HOTEL was my first experience with a production of the full show. I had heard some of the score and seen a few numbers on various tv shows but had totally missed the Broadway production. I loved the ENCORES version, and while I'm not sure it's a good show, it has a haunting score and a collection of great characters. The performers were wonderful and the staging was really exciting. And it was BIG, and boisterous, and energetic and all-in. I would have seen it again in a heartbeat and will seek out further productions (if anyone does it anywhere!).

My other great revival experience was at Serenbe Playhouse's TITANIC this summer-- where they staged it lakeside and had the cast end the show either on lifeboats or in the water by the end of the show. Big orchestra, enormous outdoor set, fully committed cast of brilliant singers... this one I got back to see multiple times. Each time I went they had expanded the seating areas further and further to accomodate the growing crowds. The final night I went there were people in the audience who had made their way there from all across the US-- I sat in between theatre fans from Baltimore and Seattle.

Both of these revivals had more thought and passion and spectacle (in the good way) put into them then I've seen at many Broadway musicals over the past several years. And I'll add that wonderful live production of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR for good measure! They reflected an appreciation for the music, a love of musical theatre, and a strong grasp of the power of spectacle and staging.
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