Friday, October 16, 2009

Quote of the Day: "Bye Bye Birdie" Edition

I don't know what it is about a bomb that really brings out the creativity in journalists and critics. While there are a plethora of gems that I could cite from the universal evisceration received by Roundabout's dead-on-arrival revival of Bye Bye Birdie, I'll let you enjoy finding those on your own. But reading Harry Haun's account of the opening night festivities on, I encountered this insightful passage with director-choreographer Robert Longbottom. Here the auteur-in-training talks about some of the touches that make this revival unique:

'Longbottom has made quite a few alterations in the original text. "The first act wasn't touched, not a word of it," he quickly pointed out. "The second act—I wasn't crazy about the way one thing flowed to the next. Nor were Charles and Lee, so we all put our heads together and looked for ways to make it a little more cinematic. "We found a better place to put 'Kids,' and I got rid of the Shriner's Ballet, which I had no interest in doing. It was [the original director] Gower Champion's number. It had nothing to do with the plot. It forwarded the plot nowhere. I didn't really want my leading lady on her knees underneath a table, actually. Which is exactly what that was. I didn't quite get that. I'm sure it was fabulous, but it wasn't for me."'

Just sayin'...

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