HELLO AGAIN film adaptation

Started by valmont, Jul 16, 2017, 04:08 pm

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valmont

As you may know, Michael John LaChiusa's musical HELLO AGAIN, based on Schnitzler's La Ronde, has been adapted into a film.  It is currently seeking a distributor and making the festival circuit.  I had the good fortune to see it in Kansas City last month.  I thought I'd share some impressions.

The big news, which you've probably already seen, is that a song has been added for Audra McDonald.  It's a techno-pop pastiche with auto-tune applied to Audra's voice (sacrilege!).  The scene between the writer and the actress has been transformed into a scene between a music producer and a singer.  In the following scene, Audra's character is the mistress of the senator, who is now female, perfectly portrayed by Martha Plimpton.

Most of the singing is thoroughly legit, which is very refreshing.

The most dramatic change -- at least, I assume it's an addition; I only know the show from the recording --
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A framing device has been added in which Martha Plimpton visits a peep-show.  The performer there is a man in a mask.  He doesn't strip.  Instead he talks to her like a therapist.  We learn she is searching for something or someone -- it's all very vague.  He gives her some strange psychedelic drug that looks like a Jolly Rancher.  The implication is that the whole film that follows is her trip.  The whore in the first scene is revealed, at the end of the film, to have been a man, the same man who is the performer at the peep-show, to whom Plimpton returns in the final scene in which she sings "The Bed Was Not My Own".

If anyone has seen the show, let me know whether this framing device is in the libretto. I felt it didn't really work, but I was content to pretend it didn't exist.  The rest of the film was quite beautiful.
I was born to ask "why was I born?"

Chris L

Quote from: valmont on Jul 16, 2017, 04:08 pmIf anyone has seen the show, let me know whether this framing device is in the libretto. I felt it didn't really work, but I was content to pretend it didn't exist.  The rest of the film was quite beautiful.

We saw James Esposito's production at the Chromolume Theater and the framing device certainly wasn't in it, if that's what you're asking.
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