Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Paint your Wagon

Well we went and saw the stage version of "Paint Your Wagon" last night and it was pretty bad. See growing up we only had to cassette tapes: The "Paint Your Wagon Soundtrack" and "The Greatest Hits of Peter, Paul and Mary". (Would any of my family members like to chime in and confirm or deny that? Those two are all I can remember.) So I know the music from the movie pretty well. As a result I'm not your average audience member, but even my wife, who presumably had a much broader exposure to music while growing up, thought it was a horrible adaptation. (She wrote up a pretty scathing review of her own, perhaps I'll get her permission and post it.)

It would be difficult (in the space and time I have available) to list all the things that were wrong with it. But just to hit a couple of the high points: None of the songs they added were any good. Only one of the songs that appeared both places was as good in the stage version as it was in the movie ("I Talk to the Trees") the rest were poorly performed, and oftentimes shoe-horned into the new plot in a really awkward fashion. Oh, did I mention that there was a completely new plot? To put it in terms of the movie Clint Eastwood was gone, Lee Marvin had a daughter and they introduced an oiled-down latino beefcake to create a romeo and juliet story set against the turbulent storm of immigration reform.

I was ready to leave at the intermission and go get some ice cream, but the other couple we were with seemed to be in to the play somewhat, so we stayed till the end. Which is fine. Obviously I'm glad that whatever venom I choose to direct at the play is based on a full and complete viewing. I would hate to have an asterix next to my review *this review is only based on the first half of the play.

Nine Days and still going strong


Anonymous Ed said...

Sturgeon's Law applies _so_ well to the fine arts.

In my family, it was endless tapes of the "Three Kingsmen" and "Peter, Paul and Mary." I feel your pain, bro.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous sti said...

Be glad your parents didn't grow up during the disco era. You might have been subjected to endless listenings of "Fly Robin Fly."

8:42 PM  
Anonymous hallamigo said...

I'd never heard "Fly, Robin, Fly" before until I looked it up online. Yikes, that was just awful.

9:10 PM  

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