Ignoring Politics -- The Theatre

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silverscreenselect
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Re: Ignoring Politics -- The Theatre

#26 Post by silverscreenselect » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:49 am

Last weekend, Mrs. SSS and I saw something unusual. It was called Guys and Dolls in Concert, and it was a performance of what appeared to me (I've seen the show a couple of times but I can't swear that nothing was cut out) to be the entire show (including the non-musical dialogue) in a concert format. The full orchestra was on stage and the performers were in front of them. There were no sets but a video screen in the background had paintings of where the scenes were supposed to be set. The actors dressed in gangsterish suits for the guys and dresses for the women. The only props they had were a couple of benches they brought out for "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat." And some of the actors carried oversized script books, although most of them didn't appear to refer to them much.

One big difference between this and other local performances is that the high end local theater companies usually put on shows for two or three weeks with 3-4 shows a weekend. This was just one performance on Saturday night. The cast included mostly people who play regularly at these high-end companies, so the quality was about as good as it gets for theater in Atlanta. They also managed to do several dance routines in a somewhat restricted space (although these might have been shortened).

Apart from the novelty aspect, the performance was pretty good overall, although I have to admit that the sets and individual scene costuming add something to the show. It was a professional production and not just a staged reading, and I was most impressed that the cast and orchestra put this much time and effort into something that was only going to have one performance. The same producers will be putting on three more shows later this year in the same one-performance format: La Cage Aux Folles, Chess, and Funny Girl.
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Bob Juch
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Re: Ignoring Politics -- The Theatre

#27 Post by Bob Juch » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:11 pm

It seems there's a trend nowadays for very non-traditional staging.

My high school did a musical each year. "Guys and Dolls" was the one we did our senior year. I was the photographer and got some great shots that were given a full page in our yearbook.
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mrkelley23
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Re: Ignoring Politics -- The Theatre

#28 Post by mrkelley23 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:31 pm

Concert versions of musicals have been around for a long time, but they do seem to be getting more popular. Some may not know that the famous musical Les Miserables started out on stage as a concert version., based on a concept album of music. As the concert version progressed, with more and more movement being added, someone had the bright idea to turn it into a fully-realized and choreographed show. Alfie Boe sang Valjean for a 25th anniversary concert version that is going to be showing up in movie theaters again this year.

I have seen concert versions of other musicals as well, but never Guys and Dolls. I bet I would like it.
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