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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: February ::
Re: Shakespeare Musicals
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0112. Thursday, 16 February 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Jerry Bangham <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 15 Feb 1995 20:20:08
        Subj:   Re: Shakespeare Musicals   Two gentlemen and Hamletto.
 
(2)     From:   Daniel Vitkus <DVITKUS@EGAUCACS>
        Date:   Thursday, 16 Feb 1995 13:25 +0200
        Subj:   RE: SHK 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
 
(3)     From:   Cary Mazer <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Feb 1995 10:17:42 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
 
(4)     From:   Tom Dale Keever <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Feb 95 11:37:36 EST
        Subj:   Shakespeare Sci-Fi Musical
 
(5)     From:   Mike Young <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Feb 1995 13:50:26 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
 
(6)     From:   Matthew Henerson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Feb 1995 11:19:37 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
 
(7)     From:   Joseph L Lockett <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Feb 1995 12:55:19 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
 
(8)     From:   Fran Teague <
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        Date:   Thursday, 16 Feb 95 10:43:20 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jerry Bangham <
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Date:           Wednesday, 15 Feb 1995 20:20:08
Subject:        Re: Shakespeare Musicals   Two gentlemen and Hamletto.
 
>Regarding Shakespeare musicals, there was a musical version of _Two Gents_
>done in Shakespeare in the Park back in the 70s (I think Raul Julia was in it
>and made a big splash with his performance).
 
It went on to the St. James and was recorded on a two-record set ABC BSCY-1001.
 
>--and we all cherish Anna Russell's approximation of the operatic *Hamletto.*
 
Is it available?  I've been looking for it for years.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Daniel Vitkus <DVITKUS@EGAUCACS>
Date:           Thursday, 16 Feb 1995 13:25 +0200
Subject: 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
Comment:        RE: SHK 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
 
RE: Shakespeare musicals
 
As a teenager in Chicago I once attended a rock 'n' roll musical version of _A
Midsummer Night's Dream_, complete with wigged out fairies, and good, loud rock
music.  This was in the early 1970s, performed at the Ivanhoe Theater Uptown
(now burnt to the ground).  Does anyone out there recall such a production?  I
don't remember much else about the performance, except that I enjoyed it.
 
Daniel Vitkus
The American University in Cairo
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Cary Mazer <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Feb 1995 10:17:42 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
 
Fans of _Your Own Thing_ may be interested to know that a few years later there
was ANOTHER attempt to turn _Twelfth Night_ into a musical, this time a
Broadway production called _Music Is_, adapted and directed by the late great
George Abbott.  I have no recollection of WHY I saw it, but I do remember how
awful it was.  The one scene that sticks out in my memory is a choreographed
party scene in Orsino's house featuring a dozen or so mini-trampolines.
 
Cary
 
(4)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Dale Keever <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Feb 95 11:37:36 EST
Subject:        Shakespeare Sci-Fi Musical
 
Subject: The Shakespeare Sci-Fi Musical
 
I'd like to tie two recent threads into a tidy bow and recall one of the most
delightful evenings I ever spent in the West End.
 
The crew I was working with at the Bloomsbury Theatre said I had to see the new
show at the Cambridge and called over to get me a house seat.  It was a low
budget, but ingeniously staged, gem called RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET: the
world's first Shakespeare Science Fiction Rock and Roll Musical. Based loosely
on the Sci Fi film, FORBIDDEN PLANET, it used rock songs from the 50's and
60's, and featured a marooned mad scientist, Dr. Prospero, a roller skating
android Ariel and a Shatnerish commander named Captain Tempest.  The show was
written and directed by Bob Carlton and developed with a small company called
Bubble Productions.  After touring the provinces it came to London where it was
the season's surprise hit.  It even edged out the bloated MISS SAIGON for the
Best Musical Olivier, prompting that show's producer to furiously demand that
the rules be changed to disallow any show without original music.
 
I never saw the New York version.  Others who'd loved it in London warned me
away.  Even with Julie Cruise as Miranda, it failed to charm the way the
original had.
 
On the opposite extreme I, too, recall that OH, BROTHER only lasted a day or
two on Broadway, but, sadly, I was trapped in the house for one of the
previews.  "Tacky" doesn't begin to describe this turkey.  My companion was,
for some reason, obligated to stick it out, so I reluctantly returned for the
second act.  She agreed she owed me one for that sacrifice.
 
Tom Dale Keever

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(5)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Young <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Feb 1995 13:50:26 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
 
If we really want to review all "Shakespearian" musicals, don't forget the
version of HAMLET from Gilligan's Island.
 
Yours in syndication,
Michael Young
 
(6)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Henerson <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Feb 1995 11:19:37 -0800
Subject: 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
 
I saw a musical version of *Hamlet* called *To Be* at Cal State Northridge some
six years ago.  I don't remember it fondly, but then I don't remember much of
anything about it.  I have no idea if it has ever been performed anywhere else.
 
Matt
 
(7)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joseph L Lockett <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Feb 1995 12:55:19 -0600 (CST)
Subject: 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
 
Rice University's occasional Hamlet musical is "Hello Hamlet", performed every
five years (need it or not) by Wiess residential college, and authored by
former Houston city comptroller (and Rice alum) George Greanias.  I've seen two
different productions, and enjoyed each.  Macbeth's witches make an appearance
running a drug store, we hear renditions of "There Is Nothing Like a Dane" and
"Ya Got Trouble (Right Here in Elsinore)", Hamlet shows up in drag (a tutu,
yet) to perform for Claudius as "Olga, Olga, from the Volga".  A good time all
around.  Greanias owns the rights, I guess, though the rampant stealing of show
tunes makes all that quite murky.  It's always much looked forward to, and I'm
amused to hear that its fame has spread!
 
(8)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Fran Teague <
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Date:           Thursday, 16 Feb 95 10:43:20 EST
Subject: 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0107  Re: Shakespeare Musicals
 
The musical version of _Hamlet_ that is done fairly regularly at Rice
University is entitled _Hello, Hamlet!_ and it's been produced since the late
60s. My husband played Claudius and I worked backstage on several of the early
stagings. His showstopper number began "I'm strictly a heinous highness . . . "
and concluded "I enjoy being a ghoul." As you can probably tell, the show did
every bit as much damage to Broadway musicals as it did to any Shakespearean
text.
 

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