re: Frank's private tragedy
Posted by: AlanScott 05:48 pm EDT 03/13/19
In reply to: re: Frank's private tragedy - Michael_Portantiere 04:58 pm EDT 03/13/19

To my knowledge, no one has ever spoken in detail in public about the extent of his direct involvement in the actual writing. Based on statements that were made, he may have been the person who first suggested that major revisions might be useful. I think that some of the specific changes made for La Jolla — such as getting rid of the high-school frame — were said to be his ideas. I should look again at some of those early articles about Lapine's involvement. Of course, it may be that they'd already decided to do a major revision, and perhaps Sondheim and Furth themselves wanted to get rid of the high-school frame even before he suggested it. (Sorry. I know that essentially says, "Maybe he did, but maybe he didn't.") That they were going to do revisions was publicly stated more than two years before La Jolla. It was the reason given for why they would not allow a 1983 London production of the Guildhall School, which received critical raves and a lot of public interest, move to a commercial run. In at least one article at the time, it was mentioned that at least a couple of producers (Bill Kenwright and Cameron Mackintosh were mentioned) wanted to move the production.

That Lapine made suggestions is not in question, I think, but directors of new musicals always make suggestions, and (I know this is not news to you) directors of major revivals often have significant input on changes if changes are going to be made. I don't know if he actually wrote anything of significance or if he just made suggestions.

For Encores! he clearly made changes, not just cuts. If memory serves, there was some restructuring within a couple of scenes, and then there was the major change in the last scene. That didn't involve a lot of rewriting, but changing just a few lines can make a huge difference, and it did there (not for the better). He was credited with the "Concert Adaptation."

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