re: Green gives KATE Critic’s Pick
Posted by: Chromolume 11:57 pm EDT 03/14/19
In reply to: re: Green gives KATE Critic’s Pick - barna99 10:50 pm EDT 03/14/19

Seems to me that the problem with the opening number is the same damn problem they created in the 1999 revival - that they made the song a literal opening number (complete with that cliche slow/rubato beginning, which does indeed stop the action cold before it's even begun IMO). Porter and the Spewacks tried something a bit unexpected back in 1948, by opening the show with a dialogue scene (the staging of the Shrew curtain call, etc) that was then gloriously topped by "Another Op'nin'" and an extended dance sequence. In 1999, Guare reversed that sequence, very much to the detriment of the show IMO.

At least, for "Too Darn Hot," they've taken all the unfortunate quasi-West Side Story quotes out of the opening of the dance arrangement (as it was in 1999, that is), replaced by some very fun jazzy/slinky solo clarinet playing. But I'm not sure what you mean when you say you hope one day we can see all of "Too Darn Hot" - I tend to think this arrangement is actually longer than the 1948 version.

WHY does Green call "So In Love" a beguine? In the context of the show, and certainly in the current arrangements, it's a straightforward lyrical ballad without a single touch of Latin rhythm. It's always interesting when critics try to impress with musical/dramatic terms they clearly know nothing about...

And BTW - it IS nice to hear new arrangements of "So In Love" that hark back a little to the more grand lyrical tone of the original versions (Lilli's 1948 version, orchestrated by Bennett, and Fred's 1948 reprise, orchestrated by Walker, are absolutely unsurpassed IMO) - the 1999 arrangements were, at least to me, totally jarring in their style. But, like in the 1999 revival, O'Hara and Chase get allowed to interpolate extra high notes near the end of the song (on "till I die") which I absolutely despise - and I tend to think Porter might have also. The song was masterful enough without the extra pandering. Sigh...

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