Kiss with the spider woman essay thesis
In certain sports and intellectual uses, results are assessed both by success from the final item and the degree of difficulty with the attempt. By this system, the figure skater, gymnast or test-taker gets a better quality for performing a harder thing even if the efficiency is not flawless than for a ideal execution of something regimen.
In the theatre, too often, we all dont acknowledge that some things are harder than others. Displays, especially in the commercial arena, are either advantages or disadvantages, hits of flops. I possess before me a stack of recently introduced compact disks of musicals from the two categories. Some are the result of new production, some commemorate earlier works in newly digitized form.
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Given the task of reviewing them, the temptation is virtually to bludgeon the current plant about the eye and neck using the magnificent Rodgers and Hammerstein 50th-anniversary boxed collection as team, with the fresh Broadway solid recording of Guys and Plaything held in book. Kander and Ebb and McNallys Hug of the Index Woman, the Maury Yeston/Arthur Kopit Phantomhow could these kinds of discs talk about the same lazer light while Carousel acting John Raitt and Jan Clayton, or Alfred Drake invoking the bright golden haze of Oklahoma!? Nothe American music has undoubtedly, by this raw measure, gone into eclipse, with the exception of a number of solar flares put out simply by Sondheim and Finn.
In Kiss of the Spider Girl, Manuel Puigs hallucinatory, psychodramatic story of political horror and artistic salvation, we certainly have the makings of a main work of music-theatre. There exists conflict and tension and atmosphere enough for Verdi, and the element of the fantastic enters naturally via a single characters technicolor, celluloid fantasies. The high-concept contributions of director Harold Prince wonderful set and projection designer, Jerome Sirlinnot to mention a chorus of singing prisoners and Chita Rivera bedecked in spidery Florence Klotz frockscreate a theatrical tour-de-force thats even now pulling all of them in.
Why, then, may be the CD (a 1992 RCA Victor release) so uncompelling, so cloying? Why does the experience of listening to Hug of the Index Woman recede so quickly to the backdrop of types consciousness? Whenever we apply the degree of difficulty normal, we have to let Kander and Ebb quite a good rating a priori. Hug is a tough, rich subject that integrates torture, intimate tension between a gay and lesbian man and his straight cellmate, and colliding levels of actuality.
And enables recognize the Kiss cds legitimate talents. The music provided to Molina, the flamboyant window-dresser, and Valentin, the politics revolutionary, is practically always clearly character-specific. The performances by Brent Carver (Molina) and Anthony Crivello (Valentin) are emotionally jam-packed, well-sung and crisply articulated. Rivera is within fine, expressive voice through. There are a few figures, particularly Shes a Woman, that remind all of us of Kander and Ebb at all their plaintive, musical best (in the style of A Quiet Thing from Bacteria, The Reddish Menace, which can be my candidate for their finest single song).
But the documenting exposes, more clearly than any in recent memory, the dark side in the degree of difficulty standard: Kisss music and lyrics will not begin to surge to the level of the material, and so the final impression left by cast record is certainly one of an extraordinary point made ordinary, pedestrian, pleasantlike the freezer-section versions of exotic cultural entrees.
Listen to almost any tune and be informed of 50 various other Kander and Ebb music, which in turn remind us of these amalgamated songwriting team of Harnick and Bock and Comden and Green and lesser Loesser, Lerner and Lowe. Instantly were not within a prison cell in an un-named Latin American country, were unmistakably upon Broadway, in which the neon lights (and the cheerful key signatures) will be bright.
Aurora features the conventional show-tune unit of wispy recitative accelerating into bouncy rhythms alternating with a third style copped from one more tradition, in this case the string. Blue-bloods tries to muster up some Sondheimesque patter strength, and segues seamlessly into the next number (Dressing All of them Up). Yet whenever lyricist Ebb gets to for a thing more unique and difficult, as with the parallel duet Gabriels Letter/My Initial Woman, Kanders music enables down. Taken individually, the tunes seem to be collections of your notes that never quite check out with the tempos or the feelings of the phrases, then, when the two parts come together briefly, the result has an air of accidental about this, as if some arranger long-removed from the project was asked to make a medley and chose the wrong two songs to smash collectively.
Overall, the CD release of Hug of the Spider Woman specially in light from the shows Tony a2z awards as well as monster-hit statusillustrates the current impoverishment of the American musical, which mostly seems to be stuck within a kind of hazy, pleasant mid-century mist.
Which brings me to Rodgers and Hammerstein, they that acquired us to mid-century in such magnificent style. In case you are waryand we all should beof Golden Grow older myths, than it was better when nostalgia, of the belief that crisis generally continues to be going downhill since Aeschylus, a tour through the R&H 50th is likely to make you stressed. This birthday collection, issued by MCA Classics in a four-CD boxed set, is made up of original players recordings of Oklahoma! (the Theatre Guild Musical Play that in so many techniques started this all), Carousel and The California king and I, and also a fourth disk called The Rodgers and Hammerstein Collection, featuring R&H oddities and covers. The unsurprising although chastening truth that emerges from hearing these recordings is that it absolutely was better back when.
Rodgers and Hammerstein come up (or re-emerge) as much more numerous than some of our modern-day writers or perhaps composers. The stylistic array of the music within Slide carousel or, much more dramatic, among the list of three reveals reproduced hereis vast. The word-setting and emotion-painting of Rodgerss music is almost often directly supportive of Hammersteins lyrics, which usually although competent of a contact of the goony (especially in South Pacific) are usually because supple and muscular because speech, as elevated while organized poems. The activity these two accomplished is the more remarkable mainly because, although there is a discernible Rodgers and Hammerstein sound, that dominate the material they work with, but rather emerges from that: Oklahoma! seems a little bit like Carousel, but somehow they both audio as if they spring from other own community habitation rather than from forty second Street.
The performances on these old recordings happen to be instructive, also. Once your ear adjusts to Alfred Drakes extremely patrician-sounding Curly, his wonderful voice and a lot important his sense of freedom in phrasing and shaping a musical series are stimulating. Celeste Holms Ado Annie is joyful and unashamed a level of playing approached in contemporary musicals most nearly by Trust Prince in Guys and Dolls.
On a technical notice, modern saving technology (like modern Broadway microphone technique) has provided us clean, clear nevertheless unspecific and soulless appear. Kiss in the Spider Woman, from a great engineering point of view, might as well certainly be a top-40 strategy album, not really a stage music. Studio beliefs have triumphed over the unforeseen energy in the theatre, where some people happen to be louder and even more present than others, where singers place their sounds to reach the balcony, certainly not their hairpieces, and the place that the imaginary wall surfaces are not protected in anechoic sculptured froth. The R&H collection, nevertheless clearly studio-created, has the think of the stage behind it. Most likely this is this is the result of the several (less technically supported) functionality conditions through the day, both in the theatre and in the recording studio, but I impression a different philosophy of overall performance at work that transcends the of this or that electronic gizmo.
The fourth CD inside the anniversary established is an adorable collection including these kinds of out-of-the-way things as Oh yea, What a Beautiful Mornin sung by Bing Crosby and Trudy Erwin with the Sportsmen Glee Membership, or Dites-moi, sung in regrettable English language and The french language by the redoubtable Hildegarde and Orchestra. There are several sublime moments on this compact disk, too, which include Carousels big rouser, Youll Never Walk Alone, sung plangently in 1945 by Judy Garland having a splendid orchestra and refrain behind her. After the three big reveals in this collection, this record is a amusing dessert study course.
The most evident conclusion that you reaches by listening to this 50th wedding anniversary set in close juxtaposition for the best modern-day writing (of which Kiss of the Index Woman can be described as genuinely achieved representative) can be how innovatively and variously Rodgers and Hammerstein responded to their resource texts. And their original activities had a musicality, an energy and a verve that modern performance style, conditioned to their detriment by modern audio technology, simply cannot match.
We will listen and learn from these kinds of last 50 years. Lets not shy away from ever-higher degrees of difficulty in our music theatre, yet lets be bolder and fewer formulaic in our responses. And enable us worth but , pertaining to everyones sake, not overvalue those musicals (like Kiss) that reach for something wonderful and ultimately fall to earth with no quite attaining it.