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Musical Mondays Week 58 The Last Five Years

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3 minutes ago, Cakebug Tranch said:

Hey why isn't Jamie's dad wearing a yarmulke at their wedding in Central Park? I know it's clearly a civil ceremony but if the 'Shiksa Goddess' is such a big deal, then surely his father would be wearing the yarmulke at the wedding. Right?

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Is Shiksa Goddess the reason he comes up with the story of Shmule later?  It also seems very detailed, too much to make up on the spot.  Maybe he'd heard it in the past?

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1 minute ago, Cinco DeNio said:

One other note Cakebug made last night was that the walk through Central Park is muddled.  Jamie sings his answers to the questions and Cathy asks them.  Later Cathy sings her questions again or in a different form.

 

On stage it's such a great moment. 'That one's Jerry Seinfeld... that's one's John Lennon, there', and they finally come together, he sings the 'Next Ten Minutes' to her, she responds, and then she asks the questions that he's answering at the beginning, and just like that, their one scene together is done, as the timelines merge and then divide. It's wonderful. In this version it's nonsense.

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1 minute ago, Cinco DeNio said:

Is Shiksa Goddess the reason he comes up with the story of Shmule later?  It also seems very detailed, too much to make up on the spot.  Maybe he'd heard it in the past?

I always saw it as the only real chance we get to see him as a storyteller. The swimming reading that he does isn't from the play, it's an addition, but the Schmule story shows us about the only moment of generosity Jamie gets in the whole show.  It seems like it's carefully planned, but I'm not sure if the story has a source.

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1 minute ago, Cakebug Tranch said:

I always saw it as the only real chance we get to see him as a storyteller. The swimming reading that he does isn't from the play, it's an addition, but the Schmule story shows us about the only moment of generosity Jamie gets in the whole show.  It seems like it's carefully planned, but I'm not sure if the story has a source.

The swimming reading?  That moment in the bookstore?

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6 minutes ago, Cakebug Tranch said:

My personal (second hand) story about the background on this play is this. My wife worked at a theatre in downtown Toronto as an usher, and mentioned to her boss one day that she was going to see 'L5Y'. Her boss laughed and said that a few years prior, when Jason Robert Brown had just hit it big with 'Parade', he was in Toronto with the production and everyone was fawning over him as some kind of genius. As my wife's boss watched the entourage and piles of adoring hangers-on swarm around him at an opening night gala, a woman stood just off to the side, kind of making fun of the to-do. My wife's boss chatted to the woman for a while and has nothing but lovely things to say about her. It wasn't until later that she found out that she was JRB's wife, who was along for the ride after her tortured genius husband had finally struck gold with his first show.  They divorced not long later, mostly because JRB apparently 'outgrew' her as a famous composer (or, more likely, he couldn't 'Resist Temptation'...), and then his next show was all about profiting off the death of their relationship.  It is very interesting that Jamie is such a heel and Cathy is such a cypher in this piece, you're right - I got no real sense that she wanted him to rescue her, but she also doesn't have much else in her life. Her friend Carol-Ann who got pregnant in high school maybe? I guess she lost touch with her.

When I originally looked up this movie and saw the lawsuit attached to it (ex-wife sued because it was too closely related to their real life story) I thought she was going to come off a hell of a lot worse than she did. I still would be pissed if my ex-husband profited off our failing relationship, but it could have been worse I suppose. 

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28 minutes ago, Cakebug Tranch said:

Hey why isn't Jamie's dad wearing a yarmulke at their wedding in Central Park? I know it's clearly a civil ceremony but if the 'Shiksa Goddess' is such a big deal, then surely his father would be wearing the yarmulke at the wedding. Right?

Yeah. When I was watching it, I couldn't figure out why his mom would be so upset she isn't Jewish because I thought Jeremy Jordan wasn't Jewish. I looked it up and he's Jewish on his mother's side only.

So, it's doubly confounding because, even in real life, his Jewish mother married gentile AND his character's mother maybe married a gentile.

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I'm just really dumb apparently...triple post

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Oh I was going to note, yesterday when I looked at this film on Letterboxd, everyone from the board here that I follow there and I all rated it exactly the same, which I thought was fun (like 6 of us in a row all did 2.5).  Though looks like Quasar just broke the 2.5 star streak and put in a 2.0 haha.

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Damn y'all went to two pages quick.

This movie was kinda a mess for me. I loved parts of it, mainly Anna's songs, and then hated everything else. Jaime was the worst and Jeremy wasn't charming enough in the least to make up for his terribleness. And it's so obvious that the movie wants us to go into it thinking this was a two way street cause the tag line is literally, "There are two sides to every love story." That's such bull shit because Anna does nothing wrong this whole movie and like it's her jealousy and bitterness that he gets super successful that causes her to push his dumbass away? Nah, fam. That's lame.

I was hella confused by the timeline until it got pointed out to me what it was supposed to be and then it made sense, but like unless people go in knowing that it's not well set out and that middle part, that according to CakeBug is supposed to be the most heartbreaking climax of this story, turns into a puddle of confusion. 

I honestly hope Cathy moves on and finds someone that actually deserves her soon after this ends cause she was so much better than Jaime.

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27 minutes ago, taylorannephoto said:

was hella confused by the timeline until it got pointed out to me what it was supposed to be and then it made sense, but like unless people go in knowing that it's not well set out and that middle part, that according to CakeBug is supposed to be the most heartbreaking climax of this story, turns into a puddle of confusion. 

I feel like this is a big problem with the movie because its super jarring if you're not aware what's happening. Anna singing mournfully followed immediately by happy-go-lucky Jeremy makes him seem callous almost right off the bat. I haven't seen the stage production but I was aware of this musical before I saw it (a friend of mine was a huge fan and told me a synopsis before the movie came out) and I assume the stage production makes the timeline clearer. 

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7 minutes ago, SaraK said:

I feel like this is a big problem with the movie because its super jarring if you're not aware what's happening. Anna singing mournfully followed immediately by happy-go-lucky Jeremy makes him seem callous almost right off the bat. I haven't seen the stage production but I was aware of this musical before I saw it (a friend of mine was a huge fan and told me a synopsis before the movie came out) and I assume the stage production makes the timeline clearer. 

My thought was we were seeing the end of the relationship then we would see the entire relationship knowing it wasn't a happy ending. When it started going back and forth, I really couldn't figure out what exactly was going on. Had Cinco not told us, I don't know if I would have figured it out.

But you bring up an interesting point that it really sets us up to dislike Jeremy immediately. I'm curious what how we'd feel if his story were backward and hers forward. Or if it were just chronological? He'd still be scum but would I have hated him so early?

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1 hour ago, grudlian. said:

My thought was we were seeing the end of the relationship then we would see the entire relationship knowing it wasn't a happy ending. When it started going back and forth, I really couldn't figure out what exactly was going on. Had Cinco not told us, I don't know if I would have figured it out.

But you bring up an interesting point that it really sets us up to dislike Jeremy immediately. I'm curious what how we'd feel if his story were backward and hers forward. Or if it were just chronological? He'd still be scum but would I have hated him so early?

I totally expected there to be some kind of way in: in the version I saw I think Cathy sang 'I'm still hurting' and there was a projection of the number '2004' on the wall, and then at the end of her song it dialed back: 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, so it was clear that Jamie was in 1999. It led the audience by the hand a little, which I assume is what they were trying to avoid in the movie, but it made it clear. I don't think they used the date thing again for later scenes, but the idea is that they meet in 1999, marry in 2002, divorce in 2004. With this one tiny gesture at the top of the show, the device was set in place.

I don't know if I hate Jamie in 'Shiksa Goddess' - it's more towards 'Moving Too Fast' that he starts to lose me.  In the first song he's supposed to be full of love and life.

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I didn't hate Jamie right off the bat either, but I thought he was a gd weirdo cause he kept bringing up his mom while in the throws of passion lol.

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2 hours ago, taylorannephoto said:

I didn't hate Jamie right off the bat either, but I thought he was a gd weirdo cause he kept bringing up his mom while in the throws of passion lol.

Yeah. I guess I didn't hate him yet. Because we didn't know who ruined their relationship yet. But his weird oedipal song was grossing me out. I think that's what really made me turn on him. 

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I remember when I first saw the play being really sad that they had resorted to having Jamie cheat on Cathy, which immediately turns the viewer on him even more than they already had.  I see the point to the emotional climax in that piece, but there's nothing that says that has to be the reason they split. It just seemed cheap to me.

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8 hours ago, Cakebug Tranch said:

I remember when I first saw the play being really sad that they had resorted to having Jamie cheat on Cathy, which immediately turns the viewer on him even more than they already had.  I see the point to the emotional climax in that piece, but there's nothing that says that has to be the reason they split. It just seemed cheap to me.

Since the story is based on the author's own life, I'm curious if he actually did cheat on her. Even though he's a jerk, I'd have to respect him for not sugar coating it in the play. I'd think it would be too tempting for most people to not make themselves look better in the fictional versions of themselves. 

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So, I promised that I would have thoughts on this and boy do I LOL

So, when I discovered this musical in 2011, two of my best friends--who I had known for like 15 years, who had gotten me back into acting and into writing after giving up on that dream myself, one of whom was a talented writer and respected educator in the small town they lived in and she was an actor who never pursued her dreams--had just gotten divorced because of (her) infidelity. I had observed and watched this happen over about a 6, 9 month period. I had been a (semi) neutral outside observer (I did let him live with me for about a week or 2 while he got everything settled and I knew he was going to file before she did). so listening to this struck a chord for me, helped me kind of understand when one person is successful and another isn't, when they try and help but can't get it quite right, even the loneliness that comes from being X's wife or Y's husband. And maybe it's because I've known these archtypes, I could sympathize with both characters. 

The movie did a serviceable job, I could tell that the director seemingly has a connection to the show and a love for it, but like Micheal Ritchie with The Fantasticks, while there are interesting ideas here, it never quite manages to pull it off. The time jumps just don't work, the muted colors (I've never noticed that either) is too subtle. This is, at least to me, isn't that surprising. I mean this is after all from a director who tends to take a more romantic look at things (for the most part) and directed a year later Beautiful Creatures. (his writing credits are all over the place, but seemingly take a more romantic look at things and I don't see the romantic side of L5Y, to me it's a tragedy) .

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10 hours ago, Cakebug Tranch said:

I remember when I first saw the play being really sad that they had resorted to having Jamie cheat on Cathy, which immediately turns the viewer on him even more than they already had.  I see the point to the emotional climax in that piece, but there's nothing that says that has to be the reason they split. It just seemed cheap to me.

I do wish they had shown more of her being terrible or something to make us not think that it's all on Jamie, which at the point this movie ends - it's totally all on Jamie. Because even before he cheats on her the things that he claims are wrong about her (not giving him enough space, not going to his parties) are all just surface level and absolutely his problems. I can't pin point a single thing that Cathy does to warrant such bitterness from him and that's really frustrating.

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2 hours ago, grudlian. said:

Since the story is based on the author's own life, I'm curious if he actually did cheat on her. Even though he's a jerk, I'd have to respect him for not sugar coating it in the play. I'd think it would be too tempting for most people to not make themselves look better in the fictional versions of themselves. 

That's the thing though, I don't think it does recognize that he's awful.  

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I'm kicking myself for not leaving the forum last night singing "Goodbye Until Tomorrow".

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17 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

That's the thing though, I don't think it does recognize that he's awful.  

I think it does though. Like taylor said above, Cathy does nothing to Jeremy Jordan but be faithful, not give him "space" and not go to his parties. He goes to ONE performance of hers in Ohio and then leaves early to go to another "fucking party". He's just an awful person who can't resist temptation. 

Actually,  I don't even think that it isn't that he can't resist temptation. If you look at a song like Shiska Goddess, it looks like he is the kind of person that doesn't like being told he can't do something. His mother wants him to date a Jewish girl, so he dates any and all kinds of Gentile girls. I don't think success "made" him cheat, I think he would have cheated regardless of his success, sooner or later, because he is told (by society) that he isn't supposed to. that is why I think he is an awful person. 

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32 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

That's the thing though, I don't think it does recognize that he's awful.  

I think the movie, and maybe the author, wants us to sympathize with them both. But I don't think he makes any justification for his actions. So, I certainly put all the blame on him. If this is his version of a sympathetic take on himself, wow, he must have been a monster.

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13 minutes ago, EvRobert said:

Like taylor said above, Cathy does nothing to Jeremy Jordan but be faithful, not give him "space" and not go to his parties. He goes to ONE performance of hers in Ohio and then leaves early to go to another "fucking party". He's just an awful person who can't resist temptation. 

Right, but she still thinks he's awesome at the end.  He's saying goodbye for good, and she's just saying goodbye for now.  It should be the other way around if there was any recognition that his behavior was shitty.  He suffers no consequences.  She loves him more and more, then he breaks up by letter, walks away, and that's that. 

I took all the criticism of him as us being more woke, not because the movie presented him that way.  My read was that it's basically just an out-dated form of romance, the patronizing stuff that we as a society have quickly realized is problematic, but at the time, men (and women) thought was OK.

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