Wednesday, February 21, 2007

BECAUSE WE CAN WALK AND CHEW GUM AT THE SAME TIME: The time has come to start talking about the intersection of AI and Project Broadway. I realize that there's some chance that I'll have a different view after AI Girls' Night Out, but has anyone noticed that in terms of pure singing chops, the Grease crowd is eating AI's lunch (and breakfast and dinner)? I've been trying to figure this one out for a few weeks -- seriously, even The Ones That I Really Don't Want Under Any Circumstances just have it all over these AI folks.

I suspect that some of you will make the argument that a successful AI contestant has to have some kind of special sauce that transcends the typical theatre voice. Maybe, but I'm thinking that more than a few of prospective Dannys and Sandys have a few tricks up their vocal sleeves, not to mention much better developed senses of showmanship and performance. I'm wondering whether the answer lies within theatre culture -- among the (many) pretensions of aspiring theatre people, is there one that insists that AI is for sellouts?

And then I have one other point. When did it become the case that throwing one's arms wide open while singing became acceptable code for "this is a happy song, and so, world, I embrace you!" See Sundance Head and Small Town Sandy for prominent examples of the genre. I don't mind the occasional flinging open of the arms, but doing it for an entire song -- well, that's just lazy.

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