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|Movies vs. stage versions of musicals
Written by Kathi
(12/28/2012 10:03 p.m.)
Karen 2L mentioned in a post below that she liked the movie version of Les Miz better than the stage version, even though she normally likes the stage versions better.
What do other people think? How do stage versions of musicals compare with their movie counterparts?
I agree with Karen in general, but I can think of two particular exceptions. I loved the stage version of Les Miz and didn't think the movie could be better, but I thought it was, if not better, at least more emotional. I usually tear up at some point during the stage version, but with the movie, I didn't just tear up, I had tears streaming down my face over and over. (In fact reading reviews that bring back particular moments can still make me tear up.) I haven't figured out why the movie was so much more emotional, but it was.
Another musical I thought was better as a movie than on stage was Chicago. The stage version was more a series of vignettes, while the movie was a smoother narrative. Also, I thought the choreography of the movie supported the story and themes better. The clearest example that I remember is the choreography for "We Both Reached for the Gun." In the stage version I saw (a revival in London a few years ago), the reporters were dancing with each other, which didn't really make any sense. In the movie, Billy Flynn was controlling the reporters like marionettes, and Roxy was a ventriloquist's dummy, which fit in to exactly what was going on in that scene.
Do you have any other examples of movie musicals that were better than stage versions, or the other way around?
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