Wednesday, January 31, 2007

More On "Spring Awakening"

Others are waking up to the growing audience for the Duncan Sheik-Steven Sater musical "Spring Awakening." (I did my second feature on the show last Sunday.) I'll take issue with one comment by Sheik. He says,
"When Paul Simon did The Capeman, he got beat up by the theater community, because he wanted to do things in a different way," Sheik says. "That's what we wanted, so I was worried at first that there might be some kind of backlash. It's great that people were ready for something new, that the community embraced a progressive approach."
That's certainly how Paul Simon and the people behind "Capeman" feel, but it just isn't so. Broadway was THRILLED when Paul Simon decided to create an original musical. They would have loved for the show to succeed. Unfortunately, Simon put a choreographer in charge of directing who had never directed before and then didn't even give him his reins. From the very first previews, the show was clearly stillborn, despite some great songs by Simon. Frankly, everyone on Broadway is usually rooting for every musical to succeed because success breeds success. I know "Capeman" felt beleagured, but the reaction was to the show they made, not to the IDEA of Simon "coming in" to make a musical. It's the same feeling everyone behind a flop musical has -- they think everyone had it in for their show.

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