Not all Broadway musicals live up to expectations. And so, after two rounds of Broadway binge-ing (1994 and 1998)—where I tended to like those that I knew least about—I assumed that, this time, I would like most of the shows on my list.
But now that i think about it, I guess I didn't like Hairspray, The Producers and Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels as much as I hoped I would for different reasons.
Hairspray (website | libretto)
It was funny. Actually, all the three musicals mentioned in this post got some very heartfelt guffaws out of me. But in the case of Hairspray, I think I was looking for some depth, in addition to just getting entertained. The villains were much too annoying and the songs were just ok. In fact, there was a point when I thought that an unnecessary song was inserted—to satisfy the star's ego, perhaps?—when all I wanted to know was what happened next to the lead (note: the lead is not necessarily a star). And maybe it mattered that I'm no Haylie Duff or Tevin Campbell fan =)The Producers (website | libretto)
Twelve Tony Awards. The most given to any musical in Broadway history. But all I could think of was how much funnier the show might have been if Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick were still playing the lead roles. There were many jokes that I felt could have been delivered funnier. Not that I would know how. And no, I did not see either the original movie on which the musical was based, or the movie based on the musical.Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels (website)
This one wasn't on my list. I had heard that it was good, so when Plans A, B and C fell through, I thought it might be worth seeing this one. But from the moment it started, I realized just why the one who recommended it liked it—it was set in the 1930s. Despite the presence of Lucie Arnaz (They're Playing Our Song) and some anachronistic touches from the 21st century, it just never really took off—for me.But if you've always wanted to see the musicals above, you don't have to be discouraged by what I've written. Maybe it wasn't the show that was the problem. Maybe it's like that old break-up line: "It's not you, it's me."
It could be that I was just sleepy, feeling cranky, expecting too much, sitting in the wrong seat, wearing uncomfortable clothes, not in the mood for mindless entertainment.
Maybe the fact that all three were based on movies that I hadn't seen had something to do with my less than enthusiastic reaction. Or maybe the shows had changed casts too many times... except that Scoundrels' cast is brand new.
Whatever the case may be, maybe next time I'll be able to spend my money more wisely =)