Guilty as charged. I realize I omitted any reference to the things I actually like about the show!
Despite my copious complaints, I still think it’s a worthwhile endeavor. Things that I feel do work include the lush, interesting beauty of the music; the rock-solid story; the dramatic, atmospheric setting; its themes about the passing of time, nostalgia, and self-delusion; and the power of several of the characters’ defining songs. I especially love Max’s big number, The Greatest Star of All.
Below, I’ll link a wonderful performance of that song by my buddy, Ed Dixon, who did the first national tour.
I had the pleasure of seeing the show on Broadway with Betty Buckley. I hear others may have been better at certain elements of the role, but it’s hard for me to imagine anyone bringing such a complete package of pathos, star power, and spine-tingling singing. That was one fantastic performance.