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re: Is this really LuPone singing?
Last Edit: EvFoDr 09:50 am EDT 05/19/21
Posted by: EvFoDr 09:47 am EDT 05/19/21
In reply to: re: Is this really LuPone singing? - bway1430 03:30 am EDT 05/19/21

I think there can be more nuance to this conversation. I love ALW, in fact Evita is my favorite musical. But he does also have shortcomings as a composer. There is nothing wrong with writing a challenging score that can be thrilling to hear. But I think it's also realistic to call out when notes are written that---time has shown---no singer is able to produce consistently in performances of the show (the original basis of this thread being about the low E at the end of Rainbow High).

And it is well reported that after Time Rice, who challenged ALW's ego and fought to be an equal with him, ALW used less regarded lyricists and/or ones who would not challenge him to change any of his notes so that a lyric might scan better. Then ALW started producing his shows so he really had all the control. So, in a way and in some cases, ALW shares responsibility for lyrics not sitting well. It's supposed to be a collaboration, and even the best of lyricists can't be expected to write perfect lyrics to existing music in every case. Sondheim (who I also adore) has famously noted how much he struggled with setting Somewhere---a melody that Bernstein had in the trunk and was very keen to use, and not change. Sondheim always hated that, becuase of the stresses in the music, the emphasis in "There's A Place For Us", is on the "A" because it's a throwaway transition word that shouldn't have such weight. But he couldnt figure out a better way to do it.

ALW has also been repeatedly criticised and sued for plagiarism. And over the years he has used less and less original melodies in each show, opting for more and more endless repeating of fewer melodies. I once counted them up and Evita has something like 25+ original melodies while Sunset Boulevard has about 9.

AND I frggin' love ALW. Phantom was the show that got me really into theatre. I played the cassettes until they broke, draggerd my father to NYC (well, he paid!) to see it in 1989 when I graduated from junior high. I've driven to different states to see productions of Evita. I recently took my eight year old niece to see the tour of Cats as her first live musical because I wanted her to experience its unique theatricality rather than some other shows that fancy themselves as being tailor-made for children. She runs around the living room singing Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer. LOL. I also begged my piano teacher to let us include ALW songs in the mix along with the classical repertoire I was being trained on.

Point is, there are valid criticisms, which I can level without disdain, and those can coexist with my great love for much of the man's work.
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