Friday, June 08, 2007

Why don't I live in the UK?

Yet another reason why the UK is superior--better theatre reality television.* I recently discovered that the BBC's How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria, a reality show talent competition to find a Maria to star in the West End's The Sound of Music, has been followed up by Any Dream Will Do, in which Andrew Lloyd Webber and co. are searching for a new Joseph for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. My study breaks have become watching clips from the show. Thank goodness for YouTube, otherwise I would be deprived of reality television at its finest.

I saw a highly entertaining revival of Joseph on the West End in 2003, so I'm not sure it's begging to be revived again, but, and mock if you like, I'm just going to say it right now, I love Joseph. I love Andrew Lloyd Weber's eclectic score, plus it's always been my favorite Torah story. I'm still on the fence about this new casting method, although I got sucked into Grease You're the One That I Want. But if any musical was made to be cast this way, it's Joseph. The character is sort of a pop idol anyway (and he's usually played by one).

Obviously, I can't watch full episodes, but from what I've seen on YouTube, this show is much better produced than its American counterpart and the competitors are much more talented. They have more chances to showcase their talents, having to perform in trios, duets, as a group, solo, and facing various acting challenges. Also the singoffs are much more elaborate and intense. The competitors perform a whole song rather than little snippets as they did on Grease. It does seem cruel to have the losers sing "Close Every Door To Me" when they give back their coats, but that's reality television for you.

There are only three boys left in the competition--Lewis, Lee, and Keith. I'm rooting for Lee who has the best voice and stage presence. Keith has also given some knockout performances (and I'm not just saying that because he's Scottish), but he looks too young for the role and would make a better Benjamin. Come to think of it, since there were originally twelve in the competition, they should cast everyone else as the brothers. Anyway, you can bet I'll be checking for the results of the final, which is this Saturday.

Here's a clip of my favorite, Lee, singing "Paint it Black." This wasn't necessarily his best performance, but I like the bit at the beginning with the guys speaking in their charming accents:

*I realize my blog has been very theatre heavy of late. I'm spending most of my time writing about rock and pop music for my capstone, so I like to change it up a bit here.

1 comment:

Liney said...

Hey Linda, it's Caroline. I hope your thesis is shaping up nicely and you're enjoying what you can of your summer. Just thought I'd say hello!