An actor once told me he had been taught by a musical theatre teacher that as soon as you repeat a line in a lyric, you have to uncover a new definition for that line eincredibly time you sing it, brand-new colors, brand-new submessage, brand-new conmessage.Now that sounds good on the surface, although I"m not sure it"s always true.After all, time operates differently throughout a song than it does during a book scene. Generally, time slows down once the music starts. What would certainly take 5 secs of dialogue in a book scene – favor presenting yourself, for instance – takes a minute and a half in song. Or much longer, if there"s a dance break. In Company, Bobby"s "Being Alive" revelation happens in a 2nd or 2 in "real" time, but takes practically 5 minutes in musical theatre time.Sometimes repetition is a vital tool to make sure an audience gets important information. That"s why the really great craftsguy obtain the a lot of important piece of info into the "hook" of the song, as in "Being Alive," "Some People," "Morning Glow," "Populism, Yeah, Yeah," "La Vie Boheme," "You Can"t Beat the System," "You Can"t Stop the Beat," and also many others.Mid-century, it was ground-breaking for a musical to reprise a song and also give the very same lyric brand-new context. The prime example, of course, is Sondheim"s brilliantly chameleon "Let Me Entertain You," but there"s additionally songs like"Lovely" in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and also a number of others.


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But musical theatre creating is gaining more innovative yearly. In regards to just pure craft, lyricists choose Brian Yorcrucial (Next to Normal) and Larry O"Keefe (Bat Boy) have advanced past Hammerstein and also Lerner and Harnick. Once the Rodgers and also Hammerstein revolution happened in the mid-1940s, audiences became impatient with the shalreduced pop musicals of the 20s and also 30s. Later in the 70s, once the concept musical and rock musical both exploded onto the scene, audiences thrived much less associated to the simplistic principles and also storyinforming conventions of the R&H mirrors. With each brand-new rdevelopment, audiences demand also more.So I return to my original suggest. Does an actor need to find a new interpretation for each repeat of a line? I guess I think that periodically the song just isn"t constructed that way, however it"s most likely always a beneficial exercise because it will at leastern expose more possibilities.And I think it"s frequently true through Night of the Living Dead. There are many lyrical themes throughout the present, phrases that get repetitive a lot:Please stand also by.This is the end of broadcast.This can not be happening.What"s happening here?We"ll be albest.and there are even more...They"re all packed through meaning and thematic resonance. But given that the narrative situation is different each time these phrases reshow up, they constantly have a partially or totally new conmessage.For instance, as soon as the actors sing the broadcasts they hear on the radio and also TV, we made a decision that their faces would be precisely the same as if we were playing a recording of the broadcasts. In other words, their singing would be (sort of) external the story, acting as Greek Chorus – providing the voice of the civilization external – while their bodies and encounters would remain alive inside the story, hearing all that. And each time they hear (and also sing) the broadcasts, there are new realities that shade their responses to what they hear. So though particular phrases are repeated in all the broadcasts, they carry out take on new shades of meaning each time.Then there"s the song "We"ll Be Albest." It starts out as a love song of sorts (as cshed as this display gets), however a complicated one. Tom and Judy are sitting in the kitchen, making Molotov cocktails, as part of a plan to gain to a truck exterior. Both of them are plainly scared out of their wits, however Judy wears it more obviously than Tom does. What"s weird around the song is that it"s an entirely dishonest love song. Neither of them think that they"re really gonna be albest, and yet both of them repeat the title phrase over and over. Tom is Being Strong Because He"s the Man (this is 1968, after all), and he"s comforting Judy, also though he knows or suspects that his reassurances aren"t true. Judy knows that Tom desires to safeguard her, and also so she goes in addition to the lie. It feels so a lot better than dealing with fact.It"s an ironic song, in which the surconfront meaning is oppowebsite the actual interpretation, and also it"s vitally crucial to get that across to the audience. Other examples of songs choose this incorporate "Pretty Women" from Sweeney Todd, "So Long, Dearie" from Hello, Dolly!, and also "Spcheck out a Little Sunshine" from Pippin. What Tom"s reallysaying is "We"re doomed and also it"s hopemuch less, but I love you and also I want to defend you from that destructive fact." What Judy"s really saying is, "I understand we"re doomed and it"s hopemuch less, yet I additionally understand you"re just trying to defend me because you love me, so I"ll pretend to think."It"s an acting gold mine.But halfway through the song, "We"ll Be Alright" changes the way it features. Now instead of a straight-forward (?) love duet, it becomes a plot song. Sections of singing different through sections of dialogue in which Ben, Tom, and also Judy are outside, getting through the zombies to the truck, getting it started, driving over to a gas pump, obtaining the pump unlocked, fueling the truck, and so on, all while fighting off zombies. The much longer the scene goes on, the reduced their odds of survival, the even more emotional the lyric becomes. They just store repeating the phrase, "We"ll be alight," as their unease grows right into fear, then into raw panic, and each time we hear that line, it gets sadder. They recognize and we recognize that their luck has around run out, however these children still hang on desperately to their lie.The first few times we ran this scene, it seemed uncomfortably comic. With all that"s going on, why are these idiots singing about happy shit? But the more we ran it, the clearer it became.
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Each character in the present has actually a different response to the zombie apocalypse. Barbra retreats inside herself. Ben suits up for battle. Harry desires to barricade himself in the basement. Helen"s trying to decide whether Harry or Ben has the ideal concept. But Tom and Judy are nearly completely passive, being ordered around by everybody else. And their songs reinpressure all that. "This House, This Place" is a song about not acting. "We"ll Be Alright" is thematically around denying reality and plot-wise about being helpless. Even on its surface, it"s about simply being together. Not doing anything. So a lot of the lyric is around what they don"tdesire.Coming earlier to my original allude aobtain, it"s certainly true that eincredibly time Tom and Judy sing the words, "We"ll be alappropriate," context has changed and so interpretation has actually changed. As the risk increases in the brief dialogue scenes, their are afraid and their desperate need to cling to each various other gets more and more frantic, panicked, despairing, and also this repeated line gets even more and also more complicated. And because of this, the scene takes on much more emotional weight, as we go via these emotions via them. New Line can not blow up a fuel pump onstage, so the phase authors readjusted the purpose of this scene. In the film, this is a scene about activity and pyrotechnics; in the musical, this is a scene around character, about these 2 innocent, doomed children who love and also need each other deeply.And in a nutshell, that"s the difference between the movie and also the phase musical. The story onphase still has several suspense and also scares, however it also has actually an extra powerful emotional quotient. Because that"s what musicals perform best–emovement.We"ve got our display up on its feet and also running. Now we"ll take the time to job-related on all the subtle stuff. When all is shelp and also done, this display (like a lot of of our shows) is initially and also always around solid, truthful acting. We"re asking the audience to buy into a zombie apocalypse. Truth and authentic eactivity from our actors will acquire the audience there.The adundertaking continues.Long Live the Musical!Scott