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C. Strouse wrote the music for the play & L. Adams wrote the words. Initially, these two wanted to make Broadway musical adapted from the motion picture of 1950. Nevertheless, in the final version, which made back in 1970, and later, everything revolves not around girl named Eve, a newcomer in the theater business, but around Margo. But still, the orbit of her egocentrism is too fast and deadly strictly made unstable by the same Eve, which is not nice and fluffy but evil and cunning person wishing to get the best place in the sun by any means.
Musical could not be delivered for a long time, because company that owns the rights to it, Twentieth Century Fox, refused to sell the film’s rights to the story, and even the name was not allowed to be used. But the creators were going-forward guys and decided that they still can make a musical, if take only the basis of the movie, not itself as a whole, if purchasing the rights to the sources. However, they had to redo all the words and all the characters that were involved in film, but in 1969, under the leadership of director Lawrence Kasha, the play has gone on developing actively and the then Lauren Bacall was involved to star, taking the role of Margo. This role, as she explained, was absolutely identical to what was happening in her life, and she penetrated it at 100%, so she could feel herself organically with this immediately.
A new book has been developed, for which A. Green & B. Comden were invited. They moved the story 20 years forward, to the year of 1970, present time, and developed new characters, replacing them with not only occupation, but even with gender and orientation. Despite the fact that after this big studio changed its mind and gave the rights to the plot to musical’s staging in the form in which they possessed it, the creators did not take this chance, because at that time they’ve developed literally new production and it was impossible to rewrite.
Book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Lyrics by Lee Adams
Music by Charles Strouse
Margo Channing. Around her, as around the pivot, the whole plot revolves. It is a character that is typical for Broadway and for the theater’s world in general – superlative theater actress, who is very smart, talented, charming, beautiful, and in general is in her heydays. In few words, at the top. Not wanting to even think about that someday will be the sunset. She is now bathed in the glory and admiration of all around, being the most powerful person in her environment.
The musical tells about show business and that scene should be a place where a true actor feels as comfortable as possible. As one of the participants of the world of the theater told, the scene – is a place where the real actor wants to die. Margot, according to the scenario, rushes to the stage where the actors rehearse their upcoming performance, and arranges small brawl, because her shortcomings are as big as her pluses. She is unbalanced, narcissistic, self-centered, but at the same time, is afraid that her future husband, who plays the role of the director of this show inside of the show going on stage, the balanced and nice person, will not take her as wife because of age – in fact she is already 40.
Eve Harrington plays a comely and selfless girl (at the beginning), the exact opposite of Margo, whom she admires, because once upon a time Margo saved her from the endless melancholy and unwillingness to live, by showing that life can be bright and emotional. As it turns out later, Eve is not so nice, but very heavy, because she with time captures with her charm all close people to Margo. The latter, in retaliation sharpens the teeth and claws on Eve and shows all her furious nature.
The second act reveals the true soul of Eve gradually, as she is seeking the replacement of Margo on scene, and all the critics admired her acting. She admires herself and it turns out that she is very arrogant person. She charms the producer and the stage assistant, and even tries to openly steal the groom of Margo, the director of the play. In the song One Halloween, she further reveals herself when singing, with a line that no one cares how you reached the top when you're already there.
Producer discovers that the past of Eve was not so tragic as she told everyone and so she much be in his bed only, instead of being jumped to other influential people’s beds in the theater to go on top, threatening her that otherwise she will not play in the theater at all. Eve agrees and Margo finally understands the transience of life and the zero price of public admire.
We are not in doubt that according to the same principle film of Farelli brothers There’s Something About Mary with Cameron Diaz in the lead role has been named. Everyone went crazy with the beautiful and smiley girl so much that around her a vortex of events formed – just as in this play. Margo was eventually put on the first place – a long-standing and well-known actress who, as in the movie named Showgirls by Paul Verhoeven of 1995, starring Elizabeth Berkley (the film failed to gain profitable revenues against its expenditures). Showgirls in bright, expressive and very seductive manner tells about a girl who has achieved tops of fame after replaced in the most brazen manner much more vivid and experienced actress who was on top of the world in a dance show on Las Vegas. This musical contains, in fact, the same storyline – we have someone experienced and grown wise and she weakens the vital grip letting the newcomer slipped through into her life (in astronomical terms – it is just the blink) and so the latter captures all the world of the person, forcing her out and firmly pushing her off the pedestal of greatness to which she has elevated herself.
The plot is quite interesting and eternal as the world – old and experienced person is going through the onslaught of the young, who eventually takes her place of life, work and achieves this much more quickly than was obtained by an experienced one. This is generally called the circle of life and the wheel of incessant roundabout where you have to step aside someday to make way for progress in the face of new people or new technologies (new technologies are the basis for changes to a small gray man in the musical named Adding Machine, who has been fired from his job due to the technological progress). It happens everywhere, and this cannot be avoided. Stability only is on the cemetery and this is the harsh truth of life you’d better getting used to. Precisely this global idea is embodied in this play, which is done against the backdrop of the theater and antagonists are the old and the young actresses. Last gradually enters the circle of life of Margo and eventually fully incorporates all her surroundings.
The story began to be developed in the distant 1946 as radio show. Then the next stage was the film adaptation and, starting from it, there was built completely independent musical that came out even more vibrant and colorful than the movie itself. Critics praised film, and it had a huge box office success – surely, as it told about what is close to everyone. The film was phenomenally successful in terms of awards – there were 14 Oscar nominations and 6 wins received out of them. The movie was filmed in 1950, and a musical – 20 years later. Musical lasted for 896 performances, which at that time was truly stunning number. Now, nobody will be surprised of even the figure of 3000 ones, which at least five musicals have crossed. In London, the show took another 382 plays, since November of 1972.