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re: Merrily on 11/25
Posted by: EvFoDr 01:28 pm EST 11/27/22
In reply to: re: Merrily on 11/25 - lowwriter 12:43 am EST 11/27/22

I think this problem is baked into the show, and always wondered if it was intentional. I don't think specific "rules" always need to be followed, but sometimes a thing should be done because it makes sense, or its abscence doesn't make sense. By this I mean, how odd to have a musical where the leading character does not have a song setting up his character, his wants, his point of view. In fact has no solos (which they tried to fix by adding Growing Up, but in its original incarnation, no). I think even the temporary assigning of Not a Day Goes By to Frank was driven by necessity since the orignal Beth couldn't handle the vocal requirements. And even if he was supposed to really sing this song it comes too late in the show to let the audience know what he's about.

Meanwhile, Charlie gets a dynamic, character defining, shop-stopping first number and Mary gets a a more somber and rueful one, yet powerful nonetheless. And then Charlie gets Good Thing Going in Act Two. While on the surface just a song from a show-wtihin-a-show, it's really a subtextual exploration of where the audience knows his relationship with Frank ends up. It's really no wonder some might see Frank's role as inferior to Charlie's.
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