so i had the chance to speak to hedger & nicholson (think along the lines of an up and coming australian duo similar to pasek and paul), and i would love it if you guys could give this a read!
This is literally the most exciting thing that I’ve ever seen.
The Way Way Back (USA, 2013)
i feel like if i was offered the chance to direct a non-replica wicked it would be the greatest show anyone has ever seen
the last five years is that show that everyone loves but they forget why they love it and then they listen to it one day and BAM
if anyone actually likes the song Nobody Needs to Know they are actually wrong. like how do you even listen to it without being kind of sickened? like fuck jamie.
I love this song. And it’s not because I don’t see Jamie as a total prick in it. Because he is. He cheated on her. No excuses.
The thing that makes me appreciate this song so much though, starts here in this line “Since I have to be in love with someone. Since I need to be in love with someone. Maybe I could be in love with someone like you.”
Which of course is a reference to “Shiksa Goddess” where he says the same thing about Cathy.
And the thing is — I know that feeling. Feeling like you really need to have someone, anyone. And particularly as a writer, feeling like you need to have someone who inspires you. And that’s toxic to a relationship. And I think that’s what truly did them in. Their relationship was loving — yes, but that love came out of need, not want. They, both of them, needed someone. And they just happened to find each other. And then you have Cathy’s jealousy problems and her desire to be independent — which is totally founded. And then Jamie’s problem with getting wrapped up in his success. And then the infidelity.
I don’t admire Jamie in this song, by any definition. But I’m sad for him. I’m sad for him and also for the girl he’s been with. He calls her “kid” so she’s obviously young, maybe impressionable. She probably worships him as a writer. And as he begins to realize what he’s done and tries to deal with the implied consequences, she does too. She starts crying at one point. And his response:
"Hold on. Don’t cry yet. I won’t let you go. All right — the panic recedes. All right — everyone bleeds. All right — I get what I need. And nobody needs to know.”
First of all, he says don’t cry yet which insinuates that at some point she will have reason to cry, just not yet. Previously he’s promised he won’t lie to her, but the whole song is about him lying so I think it’s pretty obvious that that’s a lie in itself. And before he says that he asks her, in what are the rawest most sexual lines in the show, to take him inside her. And this is right after he’s pretty much realized his marriage is fucked. He turns to sex as a comfort — but not just sex. When he says “I get what I need.” I don’t he’s talking exclusively about sex.
I think he’s, again, talking about this ideal relationship that he feels like he needs — his muse. He needs that because his entire career rides upon inspiration. He’s clueless and cruel and completely delusional.
And that’s the point. You realize that Cathy’s and his relationship was doomed from the start. Because he didn’t see her. And to an extent, she didn’t see him. (but that’s a different song and conversation entirely.)
So yeah, Jamie is an ass and he doesn’t have a good excuse for doing what he does — and that’s the point. The song isn’t supposed to endear you to him. It’s supposed to emphasize that this wasn’t a one-sided thing. It wasn’t one person or one act that broke the relationship. It’s suppose to upset you and unsettle you and make you question Jamie’s motivations. The song shows you just how oblivious he is to his own mental state.
"Nobody Needs to Know" is about a lost man putting a band-aid on a bullet wound and believing it’ll hold.
where are you up to in the asoiaf books? i think i know who dies next, want me to tell you?
and i’m up to the first few chapters in a feast for crows :)
'Iowa.' When Kelli O’Hara sings that word, a plain place name becomes a prism of rippling ambivalence.
Portraying an Italian war bride transplanted to the middle of America, Ms. O’Hara finds a breathtaking sweep of feelings within the iteration of those three small syllables. “Iowa,” she sings, in the number that begins the new musical “The Bridges of Madison County,” and you hear both the heady hope of liberation and the hopeless acceptance of captivity.
And suddenly, Madison County starts to seem like a far more exciting place to visit than you might have imagined.
I am happy to say that Ms. O’Hara more than keeps the promises made by her interpretation of that first song, one of many sumptuous pieces that feel as if they had been written specifically for her by the show’s composer, Jason Robert Brown. She also confirms her position as one of the most exquisitely expressive stars in musical theater. Her Francesca, a questioning farmer’s wife who briefly discovers a love with all the answers, brings a rich and varied topography to what might have been strictly flat corn country.
…When you have a central performance as sensitive, probing and operatically rich and lustrous as Ms. O’Hara’s, you won’t find me kvetching too loudly
…Now, Ms. O’Hara is giving us another reason to be grateful for the existence of a critically reviled novel.
…But Mr. Brown also brings layered textures of yearning to his songs for Francesca that make us experience the world through her startled, newly awakened senses. Or at least that’s how we feel when Ms. O’Hara sings, in a voice that courses from flutelike fragility to thundering affirmation and back again.
…But passion, as writers from Sappho to Tolstoy have reminded us, is always as much about its own fiery existence as its object. And when Ms. O’Hara sings, we believe unconditionally in the fire, and why it both exalts and troubles her.
…But then Ms. O’Hara would sing. And the field of corn that is this production’s backdrop would seem to turn into a labyrinthine, richly hued forest where a woman, and an audience, can get lost in ecstasy."
- The New York Times review of Kelli O’Hara in The Bridges of Madison County (x)