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I've given Andrew Lloyd Webber a lot of crap for much of his work (Phantom sequel? Really?), but there's one work of his that i have a soft spot for, and that's Starlight Express. When I was 7 years old, my parents took me on a wonderful trip to NYC with their theater connections. I got to see Phantom, Into The Woods, and Anything Goes with Patti Lupone. We had also planned on seeing Les Mis, but they couldn't get enough tickets, so we settled for Starlight Express instead...in retrospect that was a good choice, as seeing the little boy, Gavroche, getting shot dead in Act II of Les Mis would have scarred me for life at that age.
I recently got a recording of Starlight from 1984, and while it may not be at the artistic level of my other favorite shows, I still found it pretty catchy. I know it gets a lot of grief from musical purists, but I think it's pretty well done for a rock musical. I like it waaaaaaay better than Cats, I know that much.
Also, I came up with a theory for the plot that makes this show much more interesting than the obvious bells and whistles. . I think that control, the voice of the boy, isn't really the boy at all, but really an outside force in what is clearly a dream world. I think that the boy and the main character, Rusty, are one in the same. The boy is dreaming that he's this underdog steam train, that feels the urge to race against the very trains he plays with, in order to prove his own worth in the world. Plus, remember that Starlight Express is an allegory for god in this show. If you think about it, the story really about this boy, who through his dreams, is discovering his own spirituality, and learning how to use it.
Again, that's just my theory. The fact that it's all on roller-blades doesn't hurt this show's appeal either. I know there have been broadway shows like Xanadu and Little Mermaid recently, but to me, there is only ONE rollerskating musical. Plus, I think it's the kind of show Kidtums would enjoy at her current age.
Sorry to double post, but I recently had an idea...what if somebody took Starlight Express, and changed it to a show about roller coaster trains racing each other. Imagine the story of an underdog woodie train, proving his worth against the steelies.
Starlight Express! I thought I was the only person who ever liked that show! It's so cheesy and bad, but has so much character and great music. I saw it once in London when I was a kid and was fascinated by it and always wondered why it wasn't more successful, other than the fact that it appeared to be an incredibly difficult production to produce.
Another show I love that never quite gained popularity in America was Sunset Boulevard, I think it opened briefly in New York and L.A. but never quite gained the popularity I thought it deserved.
I geeked out just a little two days ago when I found out that Book of Mormon is coming to Tampa during the 2013-2014 season, I did a fist pump and a cheer in the middle of a restaurant at lunch that got me a few funny looks but I don't care. Can't wait to see it finally.
When it comes to the original Phantom, everyone knows Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, but what about the original Raoul, Steve Barton?
Unfortunately, I discovered that Barton died very suddenly of heart failure in 2001. He was 47, and had been in Germany, performing the role of Count Von Krolock in Roman Polanski and Jim Steinman's "Tanz Der Vampire." which was going to be brought to the US before his untimely death. I happened to find a video of him performing the role, with subtitles.
I'm convinced that if he had lived to perform this role in America, he would have easily won a Tony, and become a Broadway superstar in his own right.
^ The musical has/had already been created, and has done out-of-town try-outs in a couple of other major US cities, I believe.
Chicago? Los Angeles? Cross-country tour, to be (sort of) precise, heh heh.
Not too sure, but "the word I heard" was that this one is possibly looking to be the next "Elf," "White Christmas" or "The Grinch," which now sometimes pop up from winter to winter for the Broadway Holiday Season.
Hey, the more the Merrier, hmm?
And it's A Christmas Story OMG!
Last edited by Nrthwnd on Fri Oct 05, 2012 5:49 pm.
Sorry if this has been posted, but I just saw it today. Netflix has "The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall." It's a film of the actual musical production from 2011. I thought the performers did a really good job. It's great to see the full musical version again. Haven't seen it for a few years.
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