i just had to post about what has been the single worst piece of "art" i've seen in a very, very long time, perhaps ever: william finn's falsettos at boston's huntington theatre. i went in with a fairly open mind, having heard finn's a new brain on CD which, although not a masterpiece by any standard, had some amusing moments. but as for this show, where to begin? the plot of the first act can be summed up in one sentence: jewish man with son leaves wife for loser gay man and wife marries his shrink. this is exactly the type of navel-gazing, self-indulgent, and mostly plotless musical theater i despise. the scenes are completely incoherent, in themselves and in relation to each other. the characterization is nonexistent. the music is incredibly repetitive, with the exact same vamp throughout. the rhymes are trite and utterly predictable. the ballads are unbearably saccharine. the acting and direction were valiantly passable but did absolutely nothing to save the show. the really scary thing is that apparently this show is popular; it won tony awards in 1992 for best book and best score (granted that was a slow year, but still), and it ran for some 500 performances. i can understand lowbrow stuff being popular, but someone please explain to me how it's possible for this type of vomit-inducing crap to succeed? i take comfort at least in the fact that it seemed the others in the audience, if not puking as much as i, weren't sitting transfixed and breathless; hopefully boston audiences are more discriminating than most.


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