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Monday, April 27, 2009

What should we discuss now?

Any suggestions?

4 comments:

ben said...

what are the most popular or the most important theatre shows of the last five years, and what does that say about the current state of theatre, and where it can go from here...?

eg. highest box-office, award-winners, best/worst reviewed...

Michael Wheeler said...

yikes. i like those questions. i'll take a stab

I will throw out there shows from Toronto although I think it would be interesting to hear international lists, and lists from other cities also.

Highest Box Office: Dirty Dancing? Jersey Boys?

Biggest flop: Lord of the Rings?

Best reviewed: Last Days of Judas Iscariot? Under Milkwood?

Award winners: Goodness winning Edinburgh was a big deal?

Most important play: Gladstone Variations? Scorched? Half Life? East of Berlin? Syringa Tree? A lot of people I respect speak reverently of the Brecht/Beckett show that was at Theatre Centre 5 years ago although I didn't see it? The bluemouth trilogy? does blackwatch count?

I have to answer with "?" after each one because I feel like this is so clearly tied to all my own personal biases. I don't believe in mentioning worst reviewed. I always feel like its overkill when they rehash which fringe plays really sucked a SECOND TIME in the weeklies after the festival closes. theatre is risk. sometimes you get burnt on the river.

ben said...

So the highest box office is usually musicals... When and why did that happen? How did "musical theatre" come to be? Isn't it a bit limiting to follow the same format of talk-talk, sing a song, dance, some more talking, dance and sing, back and forth? Is it still theatre...? If you had a story you wanted to present, and you could tell it any way you wanted... why is it that so many shows follow this same template of songs hidden within a plot? There's nothing wrong with singing, or dancing... but it's strange that you either follow this template of "musical theatre" or you don't. Obviously if you follow it, your chances of making money are greater in today's climate... But perhaps "regular" theatre should find ways to take back the spotlight...

Highest Box Office = money, but it also = people who see your show...

Michael Wheeler said...

That's true. I have no idea really. People like music. It's a good pull. i have friends who barely make rent, blow $200 a month on concert tickets and still find the cost of a $20 indie theatre ticket prohibitive. Perhaps it is a more reliable form of catharsis.