Category Archives: Theater

VICTOR HUGO AT THE BARRICADES (SPOILER ALERT).

VICTOR HUGO AT THE BARRICADES (SPOILER ALERT). Les Miserables is a great musical. Several of the great scenes take place at a barricade that some students have erected in the uprising of 1832. The musical and Hugo’s book are sympathetic … Continue reading

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ACTORS INTONING.

ACTORS INTONING.. I posted here about how Mary Jane and I each liked Mel Gibson’s performance as Hamlet because he avoided the “intoning” of Shakespeare’s lines that we each associate with John Gielgud—a style which always seemed to be focused … Continue reading

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HOW TRUMP PLAYED “THE HEEL”.

HOW TRUMP PLAYED “THE HEEL”. Reeves quotes the wikipedia entry which describes the “heel” role: “…heels are often portrayed as behaving in an immoral manner by breaking rules… Others… exhibit unlikeable, appalling and deliberately offensive and demoralizing personality traits such … Continue reading

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HOW THE MEDIA PLAYED THE FOIL TO TRUMP’S “HEEL” CHARACTER.

HOW THE MEDIA PLAYED THE FOIL TO TRUMP’S “HEEL” CHARACTER. This article by Elspeth Reeve on the New Republic site in August, 2015 (after the first Republican Presidential debate) shows how the media—and I— misunderstood what role Trump was playing. … Continue reading

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SOME RHYMING FLOURISHES IN HAMILTON.

SOME RHYMING FLOURISHES IN HAMILTON. Eastwood and Hinton point out Hamilton’s use of multisyllabic rhymes, which they characterize as “one of rapper Rakim’s signature sounds”. Here is the example from Hamilton that they give: “Now for a strong central democracy … Continue reading

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THE INFLUENCE OF RAP ON BROADWAY MUSICALS.

THE INFLUENCE OF RAP ON BROADWAY MUSICALS. Rap over a period of years has educated an audience for the complexities of Hamilton. This article from 2013 (before Hamilton opened) by Jaime Weinman in Maclean’s reported on critics and lyricists who … Continue reading

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AN ABUNDANCE OF INTERNAL RHYMES.

AN ABUNDANCE OF INTERNAL RHYMES. The frequent use of off rhymes differentiates rap and hip-hop from traditional Broadway lyrics, which avoided off rhyme and insisted on perfect rhyme. One reason that off rhymes are used so much in rap is … Continue reading

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PERFECT RHYME PURISTS.

PERFECT RHYME PURISTS. There are traditionalists on Broadway who feel strongly that perfect rhymes are the only way to go. Stephen Sondheim, who writes brilliant lyrics, says that: “using near-rhymes is like juggling clumsily.” The quote comes from this interview … Continue reading

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ANALYZING THE POETRY OF HAMILTON.

ANALYZING THE POETRY OF HAMILTON. We have seen several plays by David Ives which demonstrate the power of clever rhymed couplets to delight and amuse and to make every bit of dialogue interesting. . This article by Joel Eastwood and … Continue reading

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THE POWER OF RAP.

THE POWER OF RAP. About a month ago we saw a program on PBS about the musical Hamilton. The scenes we saw showed that it deserves all the praise it has gotten. I was surprised at the power of rap … Continue reading

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