December 22, 2004

It's Cul-chah, Man, Cul-Chah

INDCent Bill pops Philip Kennicott's take down of the new movie version of Phantom of the Opera in the WaPo. Specifically, Bill ranks on Kennicott's apparently snobbery-blinded assessment of Emmy Rossum's singing qualities. I believe Bill's instincts are probably right, even though neither he nor I have seen the movie.

Frankly, I don't intend to, either. Andrew Lloyd Weber gives me the guts-ache. I got dragged to see a stage version of Phantom at the Kennedy Center years ago and thought it the shlockiest thing I'd ever had to endure. But it's one thing to trash a piece simply because you don't like it. It's something else entirely to trash (as here) a performance because you don't understand it.

Posted by Robert at December 22, 2004 11:43 AM

thought it the shlockiest thing I'd ever had to endure

You and Kennicott are kindred spirits in a way.

Personally, I don't find it much more schlocky or over-the-top than the classical operas. I mean, the wigs? The grand sets? The hyperbolic vocals and acting? Other than utilizing more English and heavy synthesizers, what's the fundamental difference?

It's all over-the-top eye and ear candy.

Posted by: Bill from INDC at December 22, 2004 11:51 AM

As it happens, I don't like most opera either for these very reasons and, probably unlike Kennicott, don't think Puccini any more worth sitting through that Weber. (The primary (but not sole) exception to this distate is my fondness for Mozart, of course, whose genius as reflected in Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro and Cosi Fan Tutte is practically beyond words to describe. Even there, however, I find his more serious operas like Idomineo and La Clemenza di Tito to be rather tedious.)

But at least with a number of classical composers such as Wagner and Verdi, for example, underneath all the over-the-top eye and ear candy is some decent music, in some cases extremely sophisticated and beautiful. By comparison, ALW is all fluff and nothing else. So says I.

Posted by: Robert the LB at December 22, 2004 12:11 PM

Weber wrote some great melodies. "The Music of the Night" and "All I Ask of You" are very simple (in terms of construction), yet very, very pretty, emotive pieces of music. Orchestral sophistication is not a pre-requisite for quality.


One day I'll have you kidnapped and locked for three days in a room with an incessant loop of Snoop Dogg interspersed with the Phantom soundtrack.

Posted by: Bill from INDC at December 22, 2004 12:28 PM

Dude, that's sick!

Posted by: Robert the LB at December 22, 2004 12:47 PM

I'll be outing INDC Will on my site shortly. Only a certifiable A&F homo would voluntarily go to an Andrew Lloyd Weber musical.

I bet he's seen CATS more than 3x. AND Riverdance!

It's bourgeois queens like him what gives decent fags like me a bad rep.

Posted by: jeff at December 23, 2004 01:49 AM

I hate Cats. Phantom has some good songs.

And it's not Weber, but does liking Les Miserables make me gay too? Because my condo is an absolute wreck right now, and I keep waiting for that "Queer Eye" instinct to kick in. No dice.

Posted by: Bill from INDC at December 23, 2004 12:21 PM
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