The Playgoer: Not even He wants "The One That I Want"

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Not even He wants "The One That I Want"

"The 'Grease' show in America was appalling, just awful. But when it is done right, it can lead to the idea that theater can indeed be cool."

-Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber who, um, was responsible for the "Grease" casting-by-reality show ordeal, "You're the One That I Want." Or at least, he sparked the trend with his UK version for "Sound of Music." Then his former business partner David Ian took over the American version--on which ALW even served as a judge! Then again, the ongoing ALW-Ian spat probably accounts for this dig more than anything.

See Patrick Pacheco's rundown of reactions to the show in the LA Times. Including this counterpoint from Des McAnuff: "reality programs are bottom feeders, and there's a danger of dumbing everything down. If you really don't end up with the most talented people, you could damage the work itself."

And, by the way, have you ever heard of "click tracks"? I hadn't. But it's pretty outrageous. And I ain't talkin' flamenco dancin'...


Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Although I've never heard the term "click tracks" used before, now that I know how it's defined, I can tell you that I've seen it used. A few years back, the London production of Bombay Dreams most certainly used it. The audio was just a little too slickly produced.

Tom said...

Click tracks are used everywhere you need to get a beat where there isn't a practical way to get one, ie a show woth the band in the back or out of sight. They're also how singers mouth along in movies and music videos. (They get clicks in time right before they're supposed to sing.)

Playgoer said...

I actually wasn't surprised click tracks exist, but that they're now used so often. And that artists have become so blasee about them.

My first inkling about them was seeing "Beauty & the Beast" many years ago, and realizing that the whole beast-prince transformation at the end totally depends on a pre-recorded offstage voice that keeps singing while the actor changes and his stunt double does the stage combat.