Author Topic: Mainstream Musicals - are we seeing a new era?  (Read 348 times)

mattc

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Mainstream Musicals - are we seeing a new era?
« on: June 30, 2019, 04:39:35 pm »
Watched Rocketman last night (in much-welcome air-con!) - it's really good, despite being delightfully strange in format and ... well, in many ways :)

So that's two musicals in recent years that I've paid eye-watering modern cinema prices, and not been disappointed. It feels like these things may be making a comeback after being Mostly Rubbish for many decades*. I'm thinking endless Lloyd Webbers and duff Disney.

Here's some of the "modern" stuff that I've either enjoyed, or seem to get good credible reviews:
(purely from memory, in rough date order)
Glee (yes, the TV series)
La-La Land
Mamma Mia 2
Bo Rap
The Lady ga-ga thing (based on A Star Is Born?)
The Greatest Showman
Rocketman
Yesterday


Am I onto something? Or this just a sign that I've reached a certain age, where I'm beyond anything cool??

*Tell us Matt - just when were they any good?? Well I'm thinking - probably with rose-tinted specs - of Sound of Music, Guys and Dolls, Jungle Book, Singing in The Rain, Some Like it Hot, Grease! ... ya know, the GOOD old days!
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No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Mainstream Musicals - are we seeing a new era?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2019, 04:55:16 pm »
O What a Lovely War! comes to mind.

And the Singing Detective.

mattc

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Re: Mainstream Musicals - are we seeing a new era?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2019, 05:19:08 pm »
O What a Lovely War! comes to mind.

And the Singing Detective.
Both good 'uns - from 1969 and 85-ish IIRC? And the latter used mainly music from much earlier decades (or at least in the style of?)
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No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

citoyen

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Re: Mainstream Musicals - are we seeing a new era?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2019, 05:21:52 pm »
Although they're nothing new, as Ian H notes, there's definitely a bit of a trend for "jukebox musicals" right now - where an "original" story is loosely (sometimes very loosely) woven round existing songs - and I think it was Mamma Mia that started it.

I've not seen Rocketman yet but I did note that it was directed by Dexter Fletcher who has previous in this area, having directed Sunshine On Leith, which I absolutely loved (mainly on the basis of it being Proclaimers songs rather than a particularly good film in other respects).

Pride, which is a fine example of the genre, is on telly tonight - BBC2 at half past midnight.

I don't think O Brother can really be considered a musical - it's a good story that happens to have songs in it, whereas the jukebox musical format is primarily about the songs, and the story is secondary (a bit like opera, really). I think one of the key points about musicals is that the plot is developed through the songs, whereas in O Brother, the songs are integral to the plot but don't contain any plot elements (except very tenuously). But that's possibly a meaningless and pedantic distinction.

citoyen

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Re: Mainstream Musicals - are we seeing a new era?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2019, 05:22:47 pm »
Both good 'uns - from 1969 and 85-ish IIRC? And the latter used mainly music from much earlier decades (or at least in the style of?)

And not forgetting Hard Day's Night (1964)

mattc

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Re: Mainstream Musicals - are we seeing a new era?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2019, 05:47:01 pm »
I did a quick google of "bestest musicals evvah" and it confirmed my theory.

As a first draft, I would say there was nothing I'd want to watch between about
1976 (Rocky Horror / Bugsy Malone era) and about
2009 (Mamma Mia* and Glee)

That's 33 years  :o

Anyone agree? Or want to fire counter-claims at me??


* I haven't seen this yet
I've removed "O Brother... " as it's a bit niche and it ruins my nice timeline  :smug:
Has never ridden RAAM
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No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Mainstream Musicals - are we seeing a new era?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2019, 06:06:14 pm »
The place of dance in musicals can easily be forgotten. We can also tend to ignore pantomimes as a form of musical theatre. Pantos use current musical hits, dance and topical gags. For lots of kids in Britain, pantomime is their introduction into the theatrical experience.

Billy Elliot has been essentially a jukebox film, and a musical. The Producers and Hairspray have followed a similar path. From film to stage, and back to film.

citoyen

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Re: Mainstream Musicals - are we seeing a new era?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2019, 06:08:11 pm »
Anyone agree? Or want to fire counter-claims at me??

Well, if the criterion is films you would want to watch, I imagine you'd be the best judge of that.

But here are a potential contenders from between those dates:
The Blues Brothers (1980)
Beauty & The Beast (1991)
The Commitments (1991)
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Chicago (2002)
Moulin Rouge (2001)
School of Rock (2004)

mattc

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Re: Mainstream Musicals - are we seeing a new era?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2019, 06:13:19 pm »
The Blues Brothers (1980)
A good shout!

I always forget how late that was made - it always felt like a 70s movie in my mind.

Now, if I WERE to allow this into my thesis, it would only reduce the gaping chasm to...      28 years.
Has never ridden RAAM
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No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Mainstream Musicals - are we seeing a new era?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2019, 07:09:15 pm »
I absolutely love the Commiments.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

ian

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Re: Mainstream Musicals - are we seeing a new era?
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2019, 12:06:36 pm »
I've always found musicals slightly surreal, but that said, I often run my day as though it's a musical. You should try it, turn everyday activities into a song. Spreadsheets never were so sweet nor word documents so effortless and neat. Sometimes it bleeds out of my head and people look at me.

Admittedly, my songs are awful, but that never stopped Lloyd-Webber.

I mostly blame my wife and too many gay friends (hey, they willingly embrace the stereotype) for probably having seen every musical in the last couple of decades. There does seem to be a trend to repacking up popular songs in a loose plot as opposed to stories created through songs and music, which is a shame, since it's mostly cheap nostalgia packaging. Musical theatre has delivered some splendid memes. What's the internet for? Porn. Of course.

And every Buffyista has a soft-spot for Once More with Feeling.

!nataS pihsroW