⌚ Thoroughly Modern Millie Play Analysis

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Thoroughly Modern Millie Play Analysis



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The soundtrack of the film version has appeared on a so-called "bootleg" CD label called Xeno. Show Boat boldly portrayed racial issues and was the first racially integrated musical, in that both black and white performers appeared and sang on stage together. Show Boat was structured with two choruses — a black chorus and a white chorus. One commentator noted that "Hammerstein uses the African-American chorus as essentially a Greek chorus , providing clear commentary on the proceedings, whereas the white choruses sing of the not-quite-real.

Show Boat was the first Broadway musical to seriously depict an interracial marriage , as in Ferber's original novel, and to feature a character of mixed race who was " passing " for white. Although the musical comedy Whoopee! The show has generated controversy for the subject matter of interracial marriage, the historical portrayal of blacks working as laborers and servants in the 19th-century South, and the use of the word niggers in the lyrics this is the first word in the opening chorus of the show.

Originally the show opened with the black chorus onstage singing:. In subsequent productions, "niggers" has been changed to "colored folk", to "darkies", and in one choice, "Here we all", as in "Here we all work on the Mississippi. Here we all work while the white folks play. The London revival used "Here we all work on the Mississippi". Many critics believe that Kern and Hammerstein wrote the opening chorus to give a sympathetic voice to an oppressed people, and that they intended its use in an ironic way, as it had so often been used in a derogatory way. They wanted to alert the audience to the realities of racism :. This is a protest song , more ironic than angry perhaps, but a protest nonetheless.

In the singers' hands, the word nigger has a sardonic tone This is a very effective scene These are not caricature roles; they are wise, if uneducated, people capable of seeing and feeling more than some of the white folk around them. The racial situations in the play provoke thoughts of how hard it must have been to be black in the South. In the dialogue, some of the blacks are called "niggers" by the white characters in the story. Contrary to what is sometimes thought, black slavery is not depicted in the play; U. At first, it is shocking to believe they are allowed to use a word that negative at all in a play But in the context in which it is used, it is appropriate due to the impact it makes. It reinforces how much of a derogatory term "nigger" was then and still is today.

The word has not been used in any of the film versions of the musical. In the show, the Sheriff refers to Steve and Julie as having "nigger blood. Likewise, the unsympathetic Pete calls Queenie a "nigger" in the stage version but refers to her as "colored" in the film, and does not use either word in the film. Those who consider Show Boat racially insensitive often note that the dialogue and lyrics of the black characters especially the stevedore Joe and his wife Queenie and choruses use various forms of African American Vernacular English. An example of this is shown in the following text:. Whether or not such language is an accurate reflection of the vernacular of black people in Mississippi at the time, the effect of its usage has offended some critics, who see it as perpetuating racial stereotypes.

The theatre critics and veterans Richard Eyre and Nicholas Wright believe that Show Boat was revolutionary, not only because it was a radical departure from the previous style of plotless revues , but because it was a show by non-black writers that portrayed black people sympathetically rather than condescendingly:. Instead of a line of chorus girls showing their legs in the opening number singing that they were happy, happy, happy, the curtain rose on black dock-hands lifting bales of cotton and singing about the hardness of their lives.

Here was a musical that showed poverty, suffering, bitterness, racial prejudice, a sexual relationship between black and white, a love story which ended unhappily — and of course show business. In "Ol' Man River" the black race was given an anthem to honor its misery that had the authority of an authentic spiritual. Since the musical's premiere, Show Boat has both been condemned as a prejudiced show based on racial caricatures and championed as a breakthrough work that opened the door for public discourse in the arts about racism in America.

Some productions including one planned for June in Connecticut have been cancelled because of objections. After planned performances in by an amateur company in Middlesbrough , England, where "the show would entail white actors 'blacking up' " were "stopped because [they] would be 'distasteful' to ethnic minorities", the critic for a local newspaper declared that the cancellation was "surely taking political correctness too far. It puts a wall around groups within society, dividing people by creating metaphorical ghettos, and prevents mutual understanding".

As attitudes toward race relations have changed, producers and directors have altered some content to make the musical more "politically correct" : " Show Boat , more than many musicals, was subject to cuts and revisions within a handful of years after its first performance, all of which altered the dramatic balance of the play. The Hal Prince revival, originating in Toronto, was deliberately staged to cast attention on racial disparities; throughout the production, African-American actors constantly cleaned up messes, appeared to move the sets even when hydraulics actually moved them , and performed other menial tasks.

A montage in the second act showed time passing using the revolving door of the Palmer House in Chicago, with newspaper headlines being shown in quick succession, and snippets of slow motion to highlight a specific moment, accompanied by brief snippets of Ol' Man River. African-American dancers were seen performing a specific dance, and this would change to a scene showing white dancers performing the same dance. This was meant to illustrate how white performers "appropriated" the music and dancing styles of African Americans. Earlier productions of Show Boat , even the stage original and the film version, did not go this far in social commentary. A critic noted that he included "an absolutely beautiful piece of music cut from the original production and from the movie ["Mis'ry's Comin' Round"] The addition of this number is so successful because it salutes the dignity and the pure talent of the black workers and allows them to shine for a brief moment on the center stage of the showboat".

Many commentators, both black and non-black, view the show as an outdated and stereotypical commentary on race relations that portrays blacks in a negative or inferior position. Douglass K. Daniel of Kansas State University has commented that it is a "racially flawed story", [77] and the African-Canadian writer M. NourbeSe Philip claims:. The affront at the heart of Show Boat is still very alive today.

It begins with the book and its negative and one-dimensional images of Black people and continues on through the colossal and deliberate omission of the Black experience, including the pain of a people traumatized by four centuries of attempted genocide and exploitation. Not to mention the appropriation of Black music for the profit of the very people who oppressed Blacks and Africans. All this continues to offend deeply. The ol' man river of racism continues to run through the history of these productions and is very much part of this Toronto production.

It is part of the overwhelming need of white Americans and white Canadians to convince themselves of our inferiority — that our demands don't represent a challenge to them, their privilege and their superiority. Supporters of the musical believe that the depictions of racism should be regarded not as stereotyping blacks but rather satirizing the common national attitudes that both held those stereotypes and reinforced them through discrimination.

Describing racism doesn't make Show Boat racist. The production is meticulous in honoring the influence of black culture not just in the making of the nation's wealth but, through music, in the making of its modern spirit. That was the point of Edna Ferber's novel. That was the point of the show. That's how Oscar wrote it I think this is about as far from racism as you can get. According to Rabbi Alan Berg, Kern and Hammerstein's score to Show Boat is "a tremendous expression of the ethics of tolerance and compassion". Throughout pre-production and rehearsal, I was committed to eliminate any inadvertent stereotype in the original material, dialogue which may seem "Uncle Tom" today However, I was determined not to rewrite history.

The fact that during the year period depicted in our musical there were lynchings , imprisonment, and forced labor of the blacks in the United States is irrefutable. Indeed, the United States still cannot hold its head high with regard to racism. Oscar Hammerstein's commitment to idealizing and encouraging tolerance theatrically started with his libretto to Show Boat. It can be seen in his later works, many of which were set to music by Richard Rodgers.

Finally, The King and I deals with different cultures' preconceived notions regarding each other and the possibility for cultural inclusiveness in societies. Edna Ferber was taunted for being Jewish ; as a young woman eager to launch her career as a journalist, she was told that the Chicago Tribune did not hire women reporters. Despite her experience of antisemitism and sexism, she idealized America, creating in her novels an American myth where strong women and downtrodden men of any race prevail Characters in Ferber's novels achieve assimilation and acceptance that was periodically denied Ferber herself throughout her life. Whether or not the show is racist, many contend that productions of it should continue as it serves as a history lesson of American race relations.

According to African-American opera singer Phillip Boykin , who played the role of Joe in a tour,. Whenever a show deals with race issues, it gives the audience sweaty palms. I agree with putting it on the stage and making the audience think about it. We see where we came from so we don't repeat it, though we still have a long way to go. A lot of history would disappear if the show was put away forever. An artist must be true to an era. I'm happy with it. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

For other uses, see Show Boat disambiguation. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. June Learn how and when to remove this template message. The New Yorker : — The Complete Book of Light Opera. New York : Appleton-Century-Crofts. Retrieved December 22, Tin Pan Alley Project. Retrieved May 28, The American Musical. Princeton University Press. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 12, New York Times. Retrieved May 15, Retrieved Post-Gazette , August 23, Retrieved January 6, New York: Oxford University Press.

Retrieved May 24, Brooks December 28, Brooks May 20, The New York Times. Back Stage. Oxford University Press. June 30, Abbeville Press. Internet Broadway Database. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 27, Archived from the original on Retrieved November 28, See note No. Music — "Show Boat". In: Samples. February 15, The Times Daily. Retrieved January 5, NourbeSe Showing Grit: Showboating North of the 44th Parallel. Out of print 2nd ed. The Actresses of Italian Origin Notebook. Retrieved January 14, Random House. Retrieved December 31, Fox News. The British Theatre Guide. April 1, American Studies at University of Virginia. The Joe Bob Report. What's New on the Rialto? S2CID Tucson Weekly. Retrieved July 2, Edna Ferber. Our Mrs.

A Peculiar Treasure autobiography. Cimarron film Cimarron film. Saratoga Trunk film Saratoga musical. The Royal Family of Broadway musical. Giant film Giant musical. Gigolo film. Janet Fox. Edna Ferber 's Show Boat Julie Dozier Gaylord Ravenal. Awards for Show Boat. Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical. Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. Authority control.

All begin their journeys into the woods: Jack to sell his beloved cow; Cinderella to seek advice from her mother's grave; Little Red to her grandmother's house; and the Baker, refusing his Wife's help, to find the ingredients "Prologue: Into The Woods". When she gets to her mother's grave, Cinderella repeats her wish to attend the festival and the spirit of her mother gifts her with a gown and golden slippers "Cinderella at the Grave". A Mysterious Man mocks Jack for valuing his cow more than a "sack of beans". Little Red meets a hungry Wolf who distracts her from her path, hatching a plan to eat both her and her grandmother "Hello Little Girl". The Baker, secretly followed by his Wife, meets Jack. Together, they convince Jack that the beans found in the jacket are magic, trade them for the cow and Jack bids Milky White a tearful farewell "I Guess This Is Goodbye".

The Baker feels guilty about their deceit, but his wife reassures him that it will pay off when they get their child "Maybe They're Magic". It is revealed that the Witch has raised Rapunzel in a tall tower, only accessible by climbing Rapunzel's long, golden hair "Our Little World" ; a Prince spies Rapunzel and plans to meet her. When the Baker passes by Little Red's grandmother's house, he finds that the Wolf has eaten them both.

In pursuit of her red cape, he stabs the Wolf and rescues Little Red and her grandmother. When Jack's Mother sees the exchange Jack has made for Milky White, she angrily tosses his beans aside, which grow into an enormous stalk. Cinderella flees the Festival, pursued by another Prince, and the Baker's Wife helps to hide her. Spotting Cinderella's gold slippers, the Baker's Wife chases her and loses Milky White as a clock chimes twelve times "First Midnight". Jack describes his adventure climbing the beanstalk "Giants in the Sky" and gives the Baker gold he stole from the giants to buy back his cow.

The Baker is hesitant about selling so Jack returns up the beanstalk to find more. The Mysterious Man questions what the Baker cares more about, the money or his child, and takes the money. Cinderella's Prince and Rapunzel's Prince lament over their loves "Agony" and the Baker's Wife overhears their talk of a girl with golden hair. The Baker admits they must work together and they hatch a plan to finally seize Cinderella's slipper "It Takes Two". Jack arrives a golden egg as more money for the Baker but Milky White dies as midnight chimes "Second Midnight". The Witch discovers the Prince's visits and demands Rapunzel stay sheltered from the world "Stay with Me".

Rapunzel refuses, and the Witch cuts off her hair, banishing her to a swamp. Jack meets Little Red, now sporting a wolf skin cape and knife. He brags about his adventures in the sky, and mentions a golden harp owned by the Giant. She skeptically goads him into returning to the Giant's home to retrieve it. Cinderella, torn between staying with her Prince or escaping, leaves him one of her slippers, putting the decision into his hands "On the Steps of the Palace" , and trades shoes with the Baker's Wife for the last magic bean, though she throws it away in the process.

The Baker arrives with another cow and they rejoice over having all four objects, however, the Witch discovers that the Baker has covered a cow in flour to make it appear white. The Witch resurrects Milky White and Jack returns with the harp. A great crash is heard, and Jack's mother reports a dead Giant in her backyard, though no one pays attention. The Witch instructs the Baker to feed the objects to Milky White, though no milk is produced. The Witch learns that the hair is Rapunzel's and will not work because she had touched it. When the Mysterious Man proposes using corn silk instead, Milky White produces the potion and the Witch drinks it, making her young and beautiful once again.

She also reveals that the Mysterious Man is the Baker's father, though he dies as soon as she drinks the potion. Cinderella's Prince seeks the girl who fits the slipper and the desperate stepsisters mutilate their feet, though the Prince sees through it, eventually seeing Cinderella and realizing that she us the one "Careful My Toe". Rapunzel is found by her Prince and as the Witch attempts to curse her, she realizes that in exchange for her beauty, she has lost her powers.

At Cinderella's wedding, her stepsisters are blinded by birds, and the Baker's Wife, now pregnant, thanks Cinderella for her help. Congratulating themselves on living happily "Ever After" , the characters fail to notice another beanstalk growing. The Narrator continues, "Once Upon a Time Everyone still has wishes: The Baker and his Wife face new frustrations with their infant son; newly rich Jack misses the kingdom in the sky; Cinderella is bored with life in the palace "So Happy" ; but all are still relatively content.

With a tremendous crash, a Giant's foot destroys the Witch's garden, and damages the Baker's home. The Baker travels to the palace, but his warning is ignored by the Prince's Steward. Returning home, he finds Little Red on her way to Granny's; he and his Wife escort her. Jack decides to slay the Giant and Cinderella investigates her mother's disturbed grave. Everyone returns to the woods, but now "the skies are strange, the winds are strong" "Into the Woods" Reprise. Rapunzel, driven mad, also flees to the woods. The Witch brings news that the Giant destroyed the village and the Baker's house. The Giantess — widow of the Giant who Jack killed — appears, seeking revenge. As a sacrifice, the group offer up the Narrator, who is killed. Jack's mother defends her son, angering the Giantess, and the Steward silences Jack's mother, inadvertently killing her.

The Royal Family flee despite the Baker's pleas to stay and fight. The Witch vows to find Jack and give him to the Giantess, and the Baker and his Wife split up to find him first. The Baker finds and convinces Cinderella to join their group. The Baker's Wife reflects on her adventure and tryst with the Prince "Moments in the Woods" , but stumbles into the path of the Giantess and is killed. Chastising their inability to accept the consequences of their own actions, the Witch throws away the rest of her beans, thus regaining her powers so that she can vanish, abandoning the group "Last Midnight". Grief-stricken, the Baker flees, but is convinced by his father's spirit to face his responsibilities "No More". He returns and lays out a plan to kill the Giantess. Cinderella stays behind with the Baker's child and confronts her Prince over his infidelity; he explains his feelings of unfulfillment and that he was only raised to be charming, but not sincere, and she asks him to leave, which he reluctantly does.

Little Red discovers her grandmother has been killed by the Giantess, as the Baker tells Jack that his mother is dead. Jack vows to kill the Steward but the Baker dissuades and comforts him, while Cinderella comforts Little Red. The four together slay the Giantess. The other characters — including the Royal Family, most of whom have starved to death, and the Princes with their new paramours Sleeping Beauty and Snow White — return to share one last set of morals. The survivors band together, the Baker, Cinderella, Jack and Little Red decide to live together, and the spirit of the Baker's Wife comforts her mourning husband, encouraging him to tell their child their story.

The Baker begins to tell his son the tale, while the Witch and the rest of the characters, dead and alive, offer a final lesson: "Careful the things you say: Children will listen" "Finale". The show evolved, and the most notable change was the addition of the song " No One Is Alone " in the middle of the run. Peters left the show after almost five months due to a prior commitment to film the movie Slaves of New York. The show was filmed professionally with seven cameras on the set of the Martin Beck Theater in front of an audience with certain elements changed from its standard production only slightly for the recording in order to better fit the screen rather than the stage such as the lighting, minor costume differences, and others.

There were also pick up shots not filmed in front of an audience for various purposes. This video has since been released on Tape and DVD and on occasion, remastered and re-released. Tenth Anniversary benefit performances were held on November 9, , at The Broadway Theatre New York , with most of the original cast. This concert featured the duet "Our Little World," written for the first London production of the show.

On November 9, , most of the original cast reunited for two reunion concerts and discussion in Costa Mesa, California. Mo Rocca hosted the reunion and interviewed Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine as well as each cast member. The set was almost completely reconstructed, and there were certain changes to the script, changing certain story elements. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from June to July 16, , with the reviewer for The Washington Post writing: "his lovely score — poised between melody and dissonance — is the perfect measure of our tenuous condition. The songs invariably follow the characters' thinking patterns, as they weigh their options and digest their experience.

Needless to say, that doesn't make for traditional show-stoppers. But it does make for vivacity of another kind. And Sondheim's lyrics I think you'll find these cast members alert and engaging. The original West End production opened on September 25, at the Phoenix Theatre and closed on February 23, after performances. The song "Our Little World" was added. The overall feel of the show was a lot darker than that of the original Broadway production.

Critic Michael Billington wrote, "But the evening's triumph belongs also to director Richard Jones, set designer Richard Hudson and costume designer Sue Blane who evoke exactly the right mood of haunted theatricality. Old-fashioned footlights give the faces a sinister glow. The woods themselves are a semi-circular, black-and-silver screen punctuated with nine doors and a crazy clock: they achieve exactly the 'agreeable terror' of Gustave Dore's children's illustrations.

And the effects are terrific: doors open to reveal the rotating magnified eyeball or the admonitory finger of the predatory giant. A new intimate production of the show opened billed as the first London revival at the Donmar Warehouse on 16 November , closing on 13 February This revival was directed by John Crowley and designed by his brother, Bob Crowley. Thompson won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance, while the production itself was nominated for Outstanding Musical Production. This production was directed and choreographed with the same principal cast that later ran on Broadway.

The Broadway revival, directed by James Lapine and choreographed by John Carrafa , began previews on April 13, and opened April 30, at the Broadhurst Theatre , closing on December 29 after a run of 18 previews and regular performances. Judi Dench provided the pre-recorded voice of the Giant. Lapine revised the script slightly for this production, with a cameo appearance of the Three Little Pigs restored from the earlier San Diego production. This production featured scenic design by Douglas W. The production itself, directed by Will Tuckett , was met with mixed reviews; although there were clear stand out performances.

The production completely sold out three weeks before opening. As this was an 'opera' production, the show and its performers were overlooked for the 'musical' nominations in the Olivier Awards. Gareth Valentine was the Musical Director. Whilst the book remained mostly unchanged, the subtext of the plot was dramatically altered by casting the role of the Narrator as a young school boy lost in the woods following a family argument — a device used to further illustrate the musical's themes of parenting and adolescence. The production opened to wide critical acclaim, much of the press commenting on the effectiveness of the open air setting.

The Telegraph reviewer, for example, wrote: "It is an inspired idea to stage this show in the magical, sylvan surroundings of Regent's Park, and designer Soutra Gilmour has come up with a marvellously rickety, adventure playground of a set, all ladders, stairs and elevated walkways, with Rapunzel discovered high up in a tree. The production was recorded in its entirety, available to download and watch from Digital Theatre.

Performances were originally to run from July 24 delayed from July 23 due to the weather to August 25, , but the show was extended till September 1, John Lee Beatty , [and] rises over 50 feet in the air, with a series of tree-covered catwalks and pathways. In February and in May , reports of a possible Broadway transfer surfaced with the production's principal actors in negotiations to reprise their roles. For its annual fully staged musical event, the Hollywood Bowl produced a limited run of Into the Woods from July 26—28, , directed and choreographed by Robert Longbottom. Tituss Burgess starred as The Witch, the first male actor to do so. Louis, Missouri running from July 21 through 28 The musical has been adapted into a child-friendly version for use by schools and young companies, with the second act completely removed, as well as almost half the material from the first.

The show is shortened from the original 2 and a half hours to fit in a minute range, and the music transposed into keys that more easily fit young voices. In most productions of Into the Woods , including the original Broadway production, several parts are doubled. Cinderella's Prince and the Wolf, who share the characteristic of being unable to control their appetites, are usually played by the same actor. Similarly, so are the Narrator and the Mysterious Man, who share the characteristic of commenting on the story while avoiding any personal involvement or responsibility.

Granny and Cinderella's Mother, who are both matriarchal characters in the story, are also typically played by the same person, who also gives voice to the nurturing but later murderous Giant's Wife. The show covers multiple themes: growing up, parents and children, accepting responsibility, morality, and finally, wish fulfillment and its consequences. Almost everything that goes wrong—which is to say, almost everything that can—arises from a failure of parental or filial duty, despite the best intentions. The witch isn't just a scowling old hag, but a key symbol of moral ambivalence.

James Lapine said that the most unpleasant person the Witch would have the truest things to say and the "nicer" people would be less honest. The score is also notable in Sondheim's output, because of its intricate reworking and development of small musical motifs. In particular, the opening words, "I wish", are set to the interval of a rising major second and this small unit is both repeated and developed throughout the show, just as Lapine's book explores the consequences of self-interest and "wishing". The dialogue in the show is characterized by the heavy use of syncopated speech.

In many instances, the characters' lines are delivered with a fixed beat that follows natural speech rhythms, but is also purposely composed in eighth, sixteenth, and quarter note rhythms as part of a spoken song. Sondheim drew on parts of his troubled childhood when writing the show. In , he told Time Magazine that the "father uncomfortable with babies [was] his father, and [the] mother who regrets having had children [was] his mother. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the musical play.

For other uses, see Into the Woods disambiguation. Main article: Into the Woods film. October 14, The Stephen Sondheim Reference Guide. Archived from the original on March 5, Retrieved January 11, Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 9, Until then, the Witch is being played by Betsy Joslyn.

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