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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - disney and other tales.docx

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Department
Music
Course Code
Music 2701A/B
Professor
Prof

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Music Theatre 2701: Lecture 3: Disney and Other Tales (BEAUTY & THE BEAST AND WICKED) Show #1 Beauty and the Beast:  Highly successful animated feature  Released 1991  Has elements of a musical  Only animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture Oscar  Won Oscars for best song and best score o Music by Alan Menken o Lyrics by Howard Ashman o Book by Linda Woolverton Critical Reception:  Mostly well received by film AND theatre critics: o Frank Rich – tough critic (theatre critic of NY TIMES) called it “best musical of the year” – not the best animated movie or best movie musical  Seen as the culmination of the “Disney Renaissance” which had begun a few years earlier with The Little Mermaid Belle: Girl Power?  Some critics happy to see a strong, intelligent female character after the lead in Little Mermaid  Other critics feel that the move to a feminist theme is too obvious and heavy – handed: Belle is smart, Gaston is macho and chauvinistic  Little Mermaid – concerned that Ariel was needed to do was to be pretty o Lose her voice to get her man o Critics not happy with character of Ariel  Critics seeing Belle as a strong statement and something different for Disney  Belle is a beautiful character and she still gets her man o Belle is smart  Character of Belle can be a bit of a problematic character b/c Belle is verbally abused by the Beast and despite his behavior to her, she still sees a prince. o Difficult message to little girlsOK to be abused even if you see a prince o LESSON: Don’t be shallow! Moving to Broadway  Movie had to go through changes to become Broadway Musical  Movie Music remained the same  Expanded quite a bit (84 mins) minute movie ) 91 in later release to 2 ½ hour 2-act stage production o Added stuff to it  Music and lyrics by Menken and Ashman  Tim Rice wrote lyrics for new songs  One major difference – Ashman passed away right after the movie was related  Directed b Robert Jess Roth  Choreographed by Matt West  Opened on Broadway 1994, ran for over 5,000 performances, closed in 2007  Mic-musical – musical you get on broadway is same you get on tour or London  Sixth-longest run in Broadway history  Nominated for nine Tony Awards; won only one for costumed by Ann Hould Ward  Great family musical ran for long time  Didn’t win for best score even though score is really popular Music for the Broadway show  Added new solo songs to give more insight into characters: Belle, Beast, and Gaston  Other new numbers: o “Home” for Belle big number at beginning  expanded view on relationship  How much Belle cares for her father o “No Matter What” duet: Belle and Maurice o “Human Again” written for movie, but not in original release  didn’t think it made sense in movie  went in to later version of the movie o “Maison des Lunes” for M. D’Arque, head of the insane asylum  M. D’Arque – one line in movie SONG: BELLE  Sung by Belle, Gaston, Lefou, villagers  Opens the show  Very similar to movie version: Belle is portrayed as dreamy, book-ish, everyone thinks she’s odd because of it, don’t get why she always reads books, she doesn’t notice everyone is looking at her o Doesn’t care that everyone thinks she’s beautiful  Villagers portrayed as simple, content with their mundane lives  Little village is waking up, people starting to sell objects  Belle likes her books o Exciting prize – Gaston can’t get her  Gaston: the town boy (all girls want him except Belle) o Find out he’s a hunter and has been hunting o Thinks of Belle as someone to be hunted o Very shallow – Belle equals best price  Lefou: Gaston’s wingman o Afftects Gaston as a wingman SONG: ME  Sung mainly by Gaston, with Belle interjecting  Marriage proposal: comic song that shows Gaston’s arrogance and why she should marry him  Added for the musical  Shows how he feels about himself and how she feels about him  Wonderfully written  Oozing wonderful arrogance  Gave Gaston more of a caricature SONG: HOME  Sung by Belle  Susan Egan – original Belle  Belle is imprisoned in Beat’s castle and questions what home means to her  She goes to retrieve father in castle  And father has been thrown away in dungeon  Cold, coughing, old didn’t want him to die so she offers to take places and Beast taker her up on this  He says you can have a room b/c you are my guest  Considered himself imprisoned  Questions what it is that she is going to be missing  Been saying how much she doesn’t like her little town  Everyone in the tow is silly and stuck in their own mundane lives but home is where her life is and she would like to be there  Gets audience feeling sympathy for her  Sits too low in a Soprano range o Ending really high for belter  Orchestration: more symphonic sounding o More string instruments  Vocally demanding number  Helps advance the plot as a romantic story SONG: HUMAN AGAIN  Sung by the Enchanted Objects: Cogsworth (Clock, runs household), Lumiere (Candles and hat become bigger, as show goes along, butler), Babette (feather duster, once a housemaid), Madame de la Grande Bouche (large wardrobe who was once opera singer), Mrs. Potts (teapot – house keeper), Chip (Mrs. Potts son – teacup)  Objects become more enchanted as time goes on  Objects hoping Belle can break the spell o Lost hope cause for so many years, no one came to the castle o Beast was loosing humanity as time went on o Optimist and they think Belle might be the one.  First heard in live musical, then added to later releases of movie.  Menken said lyrics very personal for Ashman, who was suffering from effects of AIDS at time of composition  In the writing of this song, objects all hope they’ll pass off the illness and the objects stand straight and stand tall o Ashman hoped this song would be the same for him, but unfortunately passed away  Sung after Belle has been in castle awhile o Belle and beast are not fighting anymore, their connection is growing o Given her the gift of his library SONG: IF I CAN’T LOVE HER  Sung by the Beast  Refrain is harmonically identical to Belle’s song “Home” o Sing “Home” and “If I Can’t Love Her” at same time – identical  Don’t necessarily hear if you’re just going to the show  Comes at end of Act I o Usually Act I finale is supposed to be big song which defines the whole problem of the musical o Place where we get soliloquy type song from major character or song that presents conflict of show  First act ends with Beast saying how much he loves Belle, but he worries she won’t love him back  Connects the two characters – Belle and the Beast o If two characters have a duet in a musical, usually means the characters are going to get together  Musical Motifs: tinkly sound as if there’s bells o Sorcerer’s motifs helps us relate back to beginning where we hear Sorcerer has enchanted the castle  Orchestration in this song VS. Belle’s great song o Much more assertive then Belle’s o Big brass instruments o Both songs start with soft introductions, then a chorus, then another verse, then a part that builds up with a key change right before last refrain. LAST REFRAIN IS BIG – BELTED OUT o Structured identically (Belle’s song and Beast’s song)
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