I read a review of the musical (London run) recently that said they thought the townsfolk were fleshed out unnecessarily. It was enough in the film for (say) Ned to be annoying without having to give him a dead wife. But that's what I really loved about the musical. The only character who can possibly have any linear character development is Phil, but by giving songs to other characters and by slowly revealing things about them, we sort of got the feeling of having seen character growth even where we know there isn't any. As Phil comes to know Punxsutawney and its residents, so do we. Much more satisfying than the movie for me. I can see where people who don't like Playing Nancy as a part of the show are coming from, but for me it's one of the things that really elevates the musical from "pretty good" to "hey they've actually THOUGHT about this". Also if they *hadn't* shared out the work the way they did, Andy Karl might not have survived the run, and that would have been a DAMN shame.
Exactly. I keep hoping that the people who don't get it the first time will have the penny drop later, because I feel like they've only seen half the show. It's like they're *this close* to getting it....
Yes, I said in the London thread I saw people came bouncing back into their seats after the interval and then straight into Playing Nancy, which kinda guilted the audience out for having such a good time at Nancy's expense.
I got the idea behind the song and I liked that they were trying to give the side characters more depth. But the song as an act two opener just felt out of place to me, almost like a complete stand alone. It's probably down to me not paying enough attention to the character in act one but I had no emotional connection to Nancy at the start of act two. Which is why her solo did nothing for me in the context of the story (despite it being a lovely song).
I'm planning to watch the show again on Broadway in June and I'm hoping the song will work better for me on repeat viewing.
It's probably down to me not paying enough attention to the character in act one but I had no emotional connection to Nancy at the start of act two.
I think that's sort of the point - that we have no emotional connection to her going into the song. Every time I saw it people were laughing at the first couple of lines of the song, because she's kind of a joke figure, and then it gradually moves from being funny into being sincere and truthful and tragic, and hopefully by the end of the song you've connected with her. And then she disappears and becomes part of the background again - which is what the song is about. Only now (hopefully) you're looking out for her in scenes. It's the sort of thing you can do in theatre and not in film, because in film the camera is always directing your gaze whereas a theatre audience can decide where to look.
I think they're trying to establish a theme with "Being Nancy", more or less tying into the "seeing you for the first time", as the finale goes. Though we're more or less familiar with Nancy at this point in Act I, this moment in Act II really makes the audience check themselves, and to reevaluate our own prejudices and assumptions. The reason why people feel a bit off about it is because it makes us reconsider our own judgement on Nancy that we've formed in the earlier act.
Post by danieljohnson14 on Mar 20, 2017 20:32:49 GMT
I really loved that song too, but when applauding I did turn to my friend say "huh?". It felt like a really random Act II opener. I kinda wish they had it somewhere more in context. But that being said, it was beautifully sung and is a beautiful song!
Last Edit: Mar 20, 2017 20:33:42 GMT by danieljohnson14
It amazes me that every musical theatre performer in New York isn't already belting out "Playing Nancy" on Youtube. I'd have put money on that being a stand-out hit number.
TBH they're by far more original there. There are nightly gigs at 54 Below that are so full of original material, trunk songs, or anything from back catalogs. Versus London performers who are still performing "On My Own" and "The Wizard And I" at every. single. concert.
Looked online to see some photos of when it was here to compare them and Rita's coat and hoodie colours seem to have been swapped, here she had a blue coat and purple/redish hoodie and on Broadway it's the other way round (also possibly different colour jeans, definitely different shoes, but that's all going a bit far isn't it and being stupidly picky). Phil's definitely a different scarf though!
To me the photos just seem darker, which yes, could either the lighting or the photographs, but the costumes in general seem about the same as over here. Still got the pink and blue blizzard people, the man in the red,...