Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Song Bursts

Frank J. Oteri at New Music Box, asks “Can Ordinary People Burst into Song?”   Over the last six weeks he has been interviewing John Kander:

Kander's first blockbuster, Cabaret (1966), happened after the ascent of rock, but in that score and in his subsequent output he has remained firmly rooted in earlier traditions. It works because the plots of his shows typically take place in other eras and locales, so it doesn't seem in any way unnatural for the characters to sing in earlier styles. But it is in no way an artistic volte-face from the present. According to him, rather, a convincing musical theatre work or opera needs to be at some kind of geographical or generational remove from the audience because, as he correctly points out, "Ordinary people during their ordinary day do not suddenly burst into song."

Well, they do in Glee.