Special Sub-Topic: Many Musicals Started Out as Something Else
|In "Green Grow the Lilacs," the unbalanced farmhand who loved Laurey was named Jeeter. In the play's musical version, "Oklahoma!", he was named Jud. Why was the name changed?|
The play "Tobacco Road" also had a character called Jeeter. "Tobacco Road" had a main character called Jeeter--who was a villainous, unruly character.
Rodger and Hammerstein didn't want their audiences to confuse their show's farmhand character (who was a different type of character) with the character in "Tobacco Road," so they renamed him Jud.
|What major plot development from "A Raisin in the Sun" was dropped in its musical version, "Raisin"?|
Ruth's pregnancy. For reasons I cannot determine, Ruth's pregnancy and her considering an abortion are not part of the storyline in the musical "Raisin."
|At the end of the musical "Show Boat," all of the major characters are still alive. What characters are still alive at the end of its source novel of the same name?|
Magnolia, Ellie, Kim. In the novel, Cap'n Andy passes away when Kim is a toddler. Gaylord dies after deserting Magnolia. Parthy passes away just before the end of the novel.
So, the only major characters left are Magnolia, Ellie, and Kim. Magnolia would be somewhere in her 60s and Ellie would be in her 70s at this point.
|What startling realization does Lili make in the musical "Carnival" much later than she does in its source, the film "Lili"?|
The puppets had Paul's voices and were various components of his personality. It is not until the end of "Carnival" that Lili discovers that her friends the puppets are just extensions of various personality components of Paul, the puppeteer, who she hates.
In the film "Lili", she comes to this realization much earlier. In a dream-like ballet sequence about three-fourths into the movie, she dances with a life-size version of each puppet and each one turns into Paul.
|Charity, the leading character of "Sweet Charity," is a taxi dancer. In its source, the Italian film "Le Notti di Cabiria," what is the female lead's occupation?|
Prostitute. Cabiria, the female lead of "Le Notti de Cabiria," was a prostitute. In the stage musical "Sweet Charity," the female lead's occupation was changed to taxi-dancer to soften the character and make her more sympathetic.
However, it was heavily implied in "Sweet Charity" that the taxi-dancers did prostitute themselves with some of their clients at the Fan-Dango ballroom.
|In the play "Twentieth Century", the looney pretend millionaire who says he will back Oscar Jaffee's religious play is a man named Matthew Clark. In the play's musical version, this character is now a woman named Letitia Primrose. Why the change in the character's sex?|
There were very few women in the original play. The play "Twentieth Century" had only two female major characters--Lily and her maid. It was decided to make the religious fanatic a woman so the musical version would have more female characters. Imogene Coca was signed for Letitia AFTER this decision had been made.
|What MAJOR character from the movie "All About Eve" is nowhere to be found in its musical version, "Applause"?|
The critic - Addison deWitt. Initially, 20th Century Fox refused to give rights to the screenplay of "All About Eve" for a musical version. Thus, the creators could only use situations and characters found in the short story the movie was based on, "The Wisdom of Eve."
As the character of Mr. deWitt was NOT in the short story, he could not be in the musical version, "Applause."
Later, 20th Century Fox did allow the artists involved in creating "Applause" rights to the screenplay, but it was too late to include the Addison deWitt character--his involvement in the story had been turned over to the Producer, Howard Benedict.
|In "Pygmalion," there is a scene where Mrs. Higgins entertains some callers at an "at-home." With minor changes in dialog, this scene becomes the basis of what scene in its musical version, "My Fair Lady"?|
The Ascot scene. With minor changes in dialog, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe were able to transform the somewhat commonplace scene at Mrs. Higgins' "at home" into the breath-taking "Ascot" scene--complete with Cecil Beaton's gorgeous costumes!
|The straight play "Merrily We Roll Along" unfolds backwards from 1930 into 1916. What time frame does the ORIGINAL Broadway production of the musical version of the same name occupy?|
1980 into 1955. The key phrase in the question is "Original Broadway Production." Many productions of the musical now end with the main characters witnessing the launch of "Sputnik" in 1957, but the original Broadway production of the musical ended with a graduation ceremony in 1955.
Incidentally, the straight play also ends with a graduation ceremony. Initially, the musical also opened with a graduation, but that scene is usually dropped in subsequent production as well.
|Although uncredited, many theatre historians and literary critics maintain that the musical "Brigadoon" is based on what short story?|
Germelshausen. Immediately after "Brigadoon" opened on Broadway, drama critic George Jean Nathan declared that Alan Jay Lerner, the author of its Book, had plagiarized the story from another source.
He stated that the story of "Brigadoon" was 90% identical to "Germelshausen", a short story written in German by Friedrich Gerstäcker in the 19th Century. An examination of the two reveals only three differences between "Brigadoon" and "Germelshausen"--
1. The former takes place in Scotland; the latter in Germany
2. In the former, the hero discovers the secret of the town by comparing dates on a family Bible; in the latter; it is by examining dates on tombstones
3. The former ends happily, with the lovers reunited; the latter ends unhappily, with the lovers doomed to be apart forever.
Mr. Lerner stated he had NO knowledge of "Germelshausen"--that it was just coincidence that the two stories were so close in plot and characters.
Nonetheless, some works on musical theatre state that "Germelshausen" is the uncredited source of "Brigadoon", and many German Lit Professors when they teach the German short story refer to it as "Brigadoon."
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