Monday, November 21, 2005

don't go out into the rain, you'll drown

My sister gave Sarah the Wicked soundtrack this weekend. I love it. I've listened to it several times and already have favorite songs. It's really beautiful and Kristin Chenowyth is one of my favorite Broadway singers. So as I'm looking up some things about the musical, I run across the ineveitable critics. A lot were positive. Of course they were, it's a fun show.

Some were down right idiots. Not because they don't like the musical. I perfectly understand people having different tastes. They could even say it's not to their taste giving no reasons and I'd be ok with that. It's the smug elitists who judge the entire work as bad because it's popular that drive me nuts. Just because a lot of people like it, it stinks.

Since when did "art" become defined as "something which only a very few can understand?" Who decides this anyway? Have you ever noticed that the more the general public deride certain inexplicable artistic efforts, the more the art critics scream about how good it is? How it perfectly sums up the artists total understanding of humanity and general detestation for civilzation as we know it at the same time? Smear paint on a beloved painting? art. Take photos that make most people cringe and sick to their stomachs? art. Play music that grinds in the ear drum? art.

if all Art has to be is something everyone hates, then Ross Geller is a music genius.

if Art can not be something that millions of people love than Starry Night is crap.

There are ways to judge music. Principals by which we judge visual pieces. Counting the seats sold in the theater and at the gallery has never been on the list.

I think the thing that bugs me the most about these elitists that apply their "everyone has to hate it" principle to Muscial Theater is that it completely disregards the entire history of musicals. Musicals evolved out of Vaudville. Yes, Vaudville, the entertainment for the masses. Musicals have historically been popular entertainment, loved by large numbers of the
American public. So to say a musical is bad simply because it sells seats just completely contradicts everything Broadway has ever represented. It boggles my mind.

Can we please start judging music and art by it's own merits and stop counting tickets? Can't it be ok for me as the average individual who hates wearing black and dislikes sticking my nose in the air to like something?

Go back to your Wagner. Leave my Broadway alone.


Carin said...

Amy very well said. I could never understand that line of thinking.

Cathy said...

I agree. Bring on the fun and frivolity. I love the Broadway musicals that leave me feeling good about life at the end. I have listened to songs from Rent and I like only a few of them but the Wicked sound track has me singing and dancing around the house. Dancing Through Life is my favorite although it is hard to pick one. Popular was the first one I ever heard so I am rather partial to that one. There is one corny line in the For Good one that cracks me up but otherwise they are pretty funny and I love the ones that foreshadow something or relate to the original movie. I hope Sarah enjoys it as well.

THM said...

I agree with you, except that I think that numbers of tickets sold should count, but they should count in favor of it, not against it.

Becky said...

Ahh..the reason I pay very little attention to reviews. I love the music from Wicked, and some day I'd like to actually SEE it, too. I don't care what the critics think. If I loved it, that's what's important to me. :)

Oh and "Popular" is now stuck in my head! LOL

Helena said...

You got something against Wagner? Hmmmm? (Just kidding... I don't think I know any Wagner, except the "Kill the Rabbit" bit.)