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re: this is how Best Musical should be
Posted by: Chazwaza 04:54 am EDT 08/23/19
In reply to: re: this is how Best Musical should be - WaymanWong 01:56 am EDT 08/23/19

Wayman, I'm not a child, we have been interacting on this forum for years. You don't need to be dismissive with me because you think I'm being dismissive to Memphis, or firm like we are arguing and you need to be the adult and end it by telling me this is your "last post on this thread." This is a conversation, if you want to stop having it just stop. Okay, this is your last post. Good for you.

Yes, it is unfair, but I'm not even fully presenting it as my opinion and I am fully transparent about having not seen the show. I am basing it on other things, which I think I laid out a strong case for, or at least a strong set of reasonings. I'm sorry if you don't care for it. It's not only meant for you but for whoever is reading along. Either way... as far as popular opinion and musical theater fans go, I continue to maintain that Memphis is not an acclaimed or beloved musical and it APPEARS TO ME that its success with awards was a result of being luckily in a weak year of competition. And this was an opinion shared by many that year as far as I recall. My opinion is not based on my feelings on the piece, as I have none, but about my observation and absorption of how it was received by critics and musical theater fans, and how it is or is not remembered or celebrated so far. I'm sorry you can't see past the numbers to the context of the year it opens and of the competition in the year it won.
Hell, even Sweeney Todd can be brought under the same microscope. Obviously I would defend it as a genius masterwork loved and acclaimed and celebrated by many for years. But it also happened to win its awards in a VERY weak year for musicals, and I can't help but wonder if it had opened a few years later... would it have beat La Cage? Would it have beat Cats? Or Phantom of the Opera? Would it have beat Annie or A Chorus Line, or even Evita? It was weird and dark and operatic... and would it have won without Prince's production of it? If Doyle's staging was the first way we saw it, or Schulman's even... would it have had the same critical adoration?

Would Memphis have won any awards if it opened the year before against Billy Elliott and Next to Normal? Or the year after, against Book of Mormon (and Scottsboro Boys), or the year before, against In the Heights and Passing Strange. Etc. Memphis's wins, I think, are very much a result of the year it was competing. You may not agree. We can never know.

Point is, brilliant shows and mediocre shows alike benefit from weak competition years, and there's no way to know what would have happened awards-wise in other years. But I do know that outside of the year it competed for and won awards, Memphis is not a show people talk about or celebrate or whatever, as I already said, to any notable amount, unlike almost all Best Musical winners (or the passionately loved-by-some shows that didn't win). I'll get around to seeing it myself soon and then I'll have my own opinion of the show and it's actual quality/merit.
who knows!
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Previous: re: this is how Best Musical should be - WaymanWong 01:56 am EDT 08/23/19
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