Sunday, July 14, 2013

177 Quiz Answer

Here’s this week’s quiz answer.
Show Boat is a 1927 musical with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. The show features the lives of the performers, stagehands, and dock workers on the Cotton Blossom, a Mississippi River show boat, over forty years, from 1887 to 1927. Its themes include racial prejudice and tragic love.
(Also for Three Word Wednesday and ABC Wednesday: "A" is for "Al")

Here’s this week’s Berownial quiz question.
I wrote the following, hoping it might suggest a famous musical.  Your assignment, assuming you accept it, is: name the musical.

 
“I came as soon as I heard the news.  You’ve decided not to invest in our production?”

“I thought you’d be dropping around.”

“You understand, Al, without your financial backing, this show hasn’t much of a chance to be produced!”

“That’s the great thing about being a backer.  I can always back out.  I just got a copy of the completed script.  I couldn’t believe it.  This is a ‘musical’?  A show full of dancing girls, comedians, great scenery, beautiful music?  But you traverse the whole theatrical spectrum with a few ‘extras’ – such as poverty, suffering, misery, miscegenation, racism?  You folks wrote this?  You’re out of your minds!”

“But Al, you haven’t grasped the main point.  This is 1927!  It’s a different century!   We're through with pretense.  It’s time Broadway began to deal with real life, with reality.  With this production we’re going to create something that will be a watershed in theatrical history.  They’ll be talking about our show a hundred years from now.”

“Right, still trying to recover the dough they invested in it!  Look, I recognize good theatre.  You may well have a fine play here, the one that’s serious and a kind of tragedy.  But that’s a different show.  You’re trying to insert it into a typical ‘Follies’ type of musical revue.  It’s a terrible idea.”    

“But it’s not as though there are solid, etched-in-stone rules for musicals.  If there are, it’s high time they were broken.”

“You don’t break the rules if they are what sells tickets, decade after decade.  You have to assign gorgeous dancing girls, for the tired businessman in the audience, along with beautiful love songs for his wife’s enjoyment.  Everyone’s happy.”

“And we’ve got all that.  Look at the creative crew, the greatest names in the business!”

“You don’t have to tell me – music by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein!  No bones about it, it’s a show that couldn’t possibly fail and yet you’re doing all you can to make it do just that.  Your opening scenes don’t show happy-happy folks singing and dancing.  Instead, you have bitter, depressed people doing tough, back-breaking work and complaining angrily about it.  You don’t want the audience to leave the theatre feeling good; you want ‘em to feel miserable.”

“No, Al.  Today’s audiences are more sophisticated, more grown-up.”

“Okay, let’s talk about grown up.  Do you realize that if you perform this in certain parts of the South today they might very well toss the whole cast in the lockup?”

“Luckily, we’ll be here up north, on Broadway.”

(Also submitted to Sunday Scribblings.)

38 comments:

Helen said...

"Show Boat"

Kathe W. said...

Fiddler on the Roof???

kaykuala said...

Wonder if it's Show Boat, Berowne!

Hank

Berowne said...

Helen and kaykuala have started us off, both with the right answer.

Altonian said...

Surely this can only be 'Showboat', can't it? I have another idea, if this one fails.

Other Mary said...

You remind me weekly that I am an uncultured Philistine, and I really need to get out more!

Kathe W. said...

ahahahah is it Showboat?

Bee's Blog said...

Showboat - I hope!

Little Nell said...

This has to be Showboat.

Heidi said...

Show Boat?

Berowne said...

We now have a nice little lineup of courageous folk who've come up with the correct answer: Heidi, Little Nell, Bee's Blog, Kathe W and Altonian.

naturgesetz said...

It sounds like "Show Boat" to me.

oldegg said...

My guess is 'Show Boat' with 'Ol' Man River' playing a principal role.

Berowne said...

Naturgesetz and oldegg have also stepped up with the correct answer.

phil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frankie Jay said...

Was going to say Porgy and Bess but wrong era and think that was Gershwin, so will go Showboat.

Berowne said...

Frankie Jay has just joined our happy crew with the right answer.

Kutamun said...

Cordon bleu, Mademoiselle ?

izzy said...

Absolutely love musicals but I have no idea.

Helena said...

For some reason Funny Girl keeps coming to mind! Over 20 years now since I last saw it and don't have a foggy one on wrote the songs for the film/musical. I know. I'm wrong. Aren't I??

Berowne said...

'Fraid so. :-)

Leslie: said...

Show Boat?

Roger Owen Green said...

I'm so confused by the hyperlink, which is clearly for Show Boat - I didn't click on it, but my cursor saw it - making it a dead giveaway! (Unless it's not...)

Reader Wil said...

I feel that I have to learn a lot more than I already did. But I am afraid I forget names and facts of new things. My children say it's normal for an eighty years old person.
Anyway I always like your stories! Have a great week.
It's finally summer over here.
Wil, ABCW Team

Meryl said...

My guess is ShowBoat - which I recently saw...timeless.

Hildred said...

Ole Man River - great songs and a little more sophisticated, as you say.

Berowne said...

Some more "winners" wirh rhe correct answer: Leslie, Roger Owen Green, Meryl and Hildrd.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

The first run of Cats, which was actually called Kitties back then?

uberrhund said...

Showboat!

Lady In Read said...

initially thought it was 'West Side Story' but then aspects did not fit..and though I have not seen it myself, finally guessed it must be Show Boat..

Berowne said...

Uberrhund and Lady in Read are the latest to check in with the right answer.

Sheilagh Lee said...

ShowBoat

Ramesh Sood said...

I read it with interest..and true, that I couldn't relate because I can't even attempt a reply to your quiz being ignorant...hope you won't mind..

And do visit me for my 3WW..

http://rameshsood.blogspot.in/2013/07/let-me-assign-myself-just-this-one-goal.html

RS:)

Berowne said...

Sheilagh Lee is the latest to join our merry band with the right answer.

Kay L. Davies said...

I'm a day late and a dollar short here, Berowne. My first thought was Les Miserables, but then I thought about Fiddler, so I would have been right if I'd gone with my second thought.
I'm afraid I don't know Al, however.
K

Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil said...

Man, I had an off week and missed a good one! Would have waxed trivial about how Lena Horne was denied the part and Ava Gardner was "darkened up" and the amazing original cast with Paul Robeson, who took so much flak from Black Americafor singing "like de Negros" when of course he was operatically trained...

gautami tripathy said...

Show boat?!!

in the shadows, let it be

Aurora Hylton said...

Oh dear, my brain is far too blurry to even try. It's a very entertaining bit, though.

 
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