History SeinfeldIsUnfunny / Theatre

28th Jul '17 1:57:12 PM GrammarNavi
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-->I once overheard someone commenting on KennethBranagh's adaptation of ''Henry V'': ''"I liked it, but Creator/WilliamShakespeare is so full of clichés."''

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-->I once overheard someone commenting on KennethBranagh's Creator/KennethBranagh's adaptation of ''Henry V'': ''"I liked it, but Creator/WilliamShakespeare is so full of clichés."''
12th Dec '16 9:29:32 AM fearlessnikki
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* ''Theatre/OneTouchOfVenus'' looks quite tame these days but it was incredibly raunchy when it came out; the very idea of a scantily-clad LoveGoddess running around respectable 1940s America. The protagonist trying to hide Venus from his friends and co-workers seems like standard CringeComedy but was scandalously raunchy - Marlene Dietrich even turned the role down because she found the material too risque. The musical satirised the strict prudish attitudes of the day - something which is a little lost on a modern audience. Likewise in the [[Film/OneTouchOfVenus film adaptation]] Ava Gardner's costume was brimming with sex appeal even if it just looks like a long dress these days (and she even got a scandalous ModestyBedsheet!)
28th Jul '16 1:55:53 PM Jhonny
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* The plot of Lessing's Nathan the Wise can come off as a bit cliched and formulaic and its ring parable has been cited so often few people know where it is actually from. The fact that it is still used as required reading in German language high schools probably doesn't help, either.

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* The plot of Lessing's Nathan the Wise can come off as a bit cliched and formulaic and its ring parable has been cited so often few people know where it is actually from. The fact that it is still used as required reading in German language high schools probably doesn't help, either. Also the implication of the Ring Parable - namely that out of Judaism, Islam and Christianity all are equally likely to be true (or false) and it's not entirely clear any of them is actually true was revolutionary at the time but is yawnworthy today - at least in Germany where around a third of the population belongs to no church whatsoever.
28th Jul '16 1:53:34 PM Jhonny
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* The plot of Lessing's Nathan the Wise can come off as a bit cliched and formulaic and its ring parable has been cited so often few people know where it is actually from. The fact that it is still used as required reading in German language high schools probably doesn't help, either.
28th Jul '16 12:05:06 PM TheRedRedKroovy
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:: ''HenryV'' is particularly susceptible to this, as it's been mined, deconstructed, or outright stolen from for basically every war movie ever made.
** In fact, it's a common joke amongst theater folks: a woman (for some reason, it's always a woman) sees ''{{Hamlet}}'' for the first time and complains, "I don't know why people make such a big deal about it. It's just a bunch of quotes strung together."
* ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' has been praised as "the crowning achievement of Elizabethan drama" so many times that it's now easy to forget what a unique play it was in its day, and how revolutionary its approach to drama was compared to other plays of the Elizabethan era. At the time, it was a pretty damn big deal for a play to consciously fall so far on the "Character" end of the SlidingScaleOfPlotVersusCharacters, spending just as much time examining its title character--his obsession with death, his crushing emotional uncertainty, his relationships with his family, etc.--as it spent on the revenge story at the heart of the plot. Hell, the fact that we even ''have'' a SlidingScaleOfPlotVersusCharacters is arguably thanks to ''Hamlet'''s influence.
* ''Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}'': Broadway musicals like this one may seem quaint, dated, and silly now, but compared to the typical showgirl fare of the time, their integration of music, dance, and plot, as well as their darker themes, were ground-breaking. Both ''Show Boat'' and ''Oklahoma!'' were written by the same librettist, Oscar Hammerstein II. Whichever show one chooses to credit, Hammerstein was instrumental in this development of a kind of musical based more on narrative and character than entertaining numbers. And without Hammerstein there would certainly have been no Stephen Sondheim, who took that development even further. Sondheim has pointed this trope out as well (''Allegro'' is another, less well known, Rodgers and Hammerstein show): "People don't understand how experimental ''Show Boat'' and ''Oklahoma!'' felt at the time they were done. Oscar is not about the 'lark that is learning to pray' -- that's easy to make fun of. He's about ''Allegro''."

to:

:: ''HenryV'' ** ''Theatre/HenryV'' is particularly susceptible to this, as it's been mined, deconstructed, or outright stolen from for basically every war movie ever made.
** In fact, it's a common joke amongst theater folks: a woman (for some reason, it's always a woman) sees ''{{Hamlet}}'' for the first time and complains, "I don't know why people make such a big deal about it. It's just a bunch of quotes strung together."
*
''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' has been praised as "the crowning achievement of Elizabethan drama" so many times that it's now easy to forget what a unique play it was in its day, and how revolutionary its approach to drama was compared to other plays of the Elizabethan era. At the time, it was a pretty damn big deal for a play to consciously fall so far on the "Character" end of the SlidingScaleOfPlotVersusCharacters, spending just as much time examining its title character--his obsession with death, his crushing emotional uncertainty, his relationships with his family, etc.--as it spent on the revenge story at the heart of the plot. Hell, the fact that we even ''have'' a SlidingScaleOfPlotVersusCharacters is arguably thanks to ''Hamlet'''s influence.
influence. Nowadays, it's a common joke amongst theater folks: a woman (for some reason, it's always a woman) sees ''Hamlet'' for the first time and complains, "I don't know why people make such a big deal about it. It's just a bunch of quotes strung together."
* ''Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}'': Broadway musicals like this one may seem quaint, dated, and silly now, but compared to the typical showgirl fare of the time, their integration of music, dance, and plot, as well as their darker themes, were ground-breaking. Both ''Show Boat'' and ''Oklahoma!'' were written by the same librettist, Oscar Hammerstein II. Whichever show one chooses to credit, Hammerstein was instrumental in this development of a kind of musical based more on narrative and character than entertaining numbers. And without Hammerstein there would certainly have been no Stephen Sondheim, who took that development even further. Sondheim has pointed this trope out as well (''Allegro'' is another, less well known, Rodgers and Hammerstein show): "People well:
-->People
don't understand how experimental ''Show Boat'' and ''Oklahoma!'' felt at the time they were done. Oscar is not about the 'lark that is learning to pray' -- that's easy to make fun of. He's about ''Allegro''."''Allegro''[[note]]Another, less well known, Rodgers and Hammerstein show[[/note]].



* ''Bürgerliches Trauerspiel'' (''Bourgeois Tragedy''). During the Age of Enlightenment this sub-genre of drama arose, in which virtuous commoners were shown as victims of the machinations and depravities of aristocratic villains, which at the time was considered daring and subversive, sometimes even seditious and revolutionary. Some of them are still performed today, most notably Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's ''Emilia Galotti'' (1772) and Friedrich Schiller's ''Kabale und Liebe'' (1784), but are often now seen as dated and quaint. This is not an entirely new trend, as the bourgeois values propounded in "bürgerliche Trauerspiele" became subject to criticism themselves, which in the 19th century led to the writing of Realist dramas with bourgeois villains.

to:

* ''Bürgerliches Trauerspiel'' (''Bourgeois Tragedy''). ([[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourgeois_tragedy "Bourgeois Tragedy"]]). During the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century, this sub-genre of drama arose, arose in which virtuous commoners were shown as victims of the machinations and depravities of aristocratic villains, which at villains. At the time time, this was considered daring and subversive, sometimes even seditious and revolutionary. Some of them are still performed today, most notably Gotthold Ephraim Lessing's ''Emilia Galotti'' (1772) and Friedrich Schiller's ''Kabale und Liebe'' (1784), but are often now seen as dated and quaint. This is not an entirely new trend, as the bourgeois values propounded in "bürgerliche Trauerspiele" became subject to criticism themselves, which in the 19th century led to the writing of Realist dramas with bourgeois villains.



* Could be called "The Problem With Chekhov." In Chekhov's day, naturalistic theater about people's real emotional lives was a strange and radical notion. Now it's what almost every play is about, and it's hard to understand why Chekhov's work was so powerful at the time. In fact, Chekhov plays themselves can sometimes seem as stolid and old-fasioned as the works he was rebelling against at the time.
* [[Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe Goethe]] and Schiller, thanks to being the quintessential German writers and often mentioned in one breath (they were HeterosexualLifePartners for most of their careers) can come of as extremely stuffy with their plays a bit formulaic and in the case of Goethe's Theatre/{{Faust}} the same problem as with Hamlet above: Just a bunch of quotes strung together.[[note]]If you hear a famous turn of phrase in German and have to guess where it's from you have a better than even chance it ultimately comes from Luther's translation of the bible or Goethe's Faust[[/note]] However, back in the day when plays like [[Theatre/TheRobbers Die Räuber]] (Schiller) or Götz von Berlichingen (Goethe) were first performed, they were downright ''revolutionary''. Some of this revolutionary zeal could be seen centuries later, when the line "Geben Sie Gedankenfreiheit" (give freedom of thought) from Schiller's Don Carlos was met with roaring applause during a performance in the GDR because most of the audience could not help but notice its appropriateness for their oppressive regime.
* The "first" plays to break the Aristotelian unity of place, action and time described in ''Literature/{{Poetics}}''. [[note]]Even some classical Greek drama, mostly be Creator/{{Euripides}}, actually broke this convention, Aristotle was wrong on this if it is interpreted as a descriptive text, whether he was right on it as a prescriptive text is for the audience to judge.[[/note]] Aristotle was regarded as pretty much right about everything for most of the medieval period and the Renaissance had a fondness for everything Greco-Roman. Going against that took guts. Today plays set in different places over several days containing numerous plots and subplots are par for the course on the stages of the world.
** This was a far bigger deal in Continental Europe, especially in France. In England, during the Elizabethan Age, Aristotle and classical Greek texts were not as dominating an influence as Roman drama by Seneca and Latin texts. So Creator/WilliamShakespeare happily violated the unities, likely because he didn't even know about it to start with. The most learned and informed dramatist, Ben Jonson, gently ribbed his friend in the First Folio for his "little Latin and less Greek" and his comedies and dramas were the most formal and classically structured.
** Shakespeare was unpopular in France until the Romantic era for his violation of classical unities, with Creator/{{Voltaire}} dismissing him on these grounds. It took the critic Creator/SamuelJohnson to first defend Shakespeare's approach as valid and argue that the unities are more guidelines than actual rules. In Germany, the Sturm-und-Drang avant-garde saw Shakespeare as a modern writer on these grounds and admired his bold original spirit. In France, Creator/VictorHugo a huge Shakespeare-buff wrote a play called ''Hernani'' that was a scandal in its day because it violated the "classical unities", which had underpinned France's GoldenAge of Cornielle, Moliere and Racine.

to:

* Could be called "The Problem With Chekhov." In Chekhov's Creator/AntonChekhov's day, naturalistic theater about people's real emotional lives was a strange and radical notion. Now it's what almost every play is about, and it's hard to understand why Chekhov's work was so powerful at the time. In fact, Chekhov plays themselves can sometimes seem as stolid and old-fasioned as the works he was rebelling against at the time.
* [[Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe Goethe]] and Schiller, thanks to being the quintessential German writers and often mentioned in one breath (they were HeterosexualLifePartners for most of their careers) careers), can come of as extremely stuffy now, with their plays a bit formulaic and in the case of Goethe's Theatre/{{Faust}} ''Theatre/{{Faust}}'' the same problem as with Hamlet ''Hamlet'' above: Just just a bunch of quotes strung together.[[note]]If together. If you hear a famous turn of phrase in German and have to guess where it's from from, you have a better than even chance it ultimately comes from Martin Luther's translation of the bible Literature/TheBible or Goethe's Faust[[/note]] ''Faust''. However, back in the day when plays like [[Theatre/TheRobbers ''[[Theatre/TheRobbers Die Räuber]] Räuber]]'' (Schiller) or Götz ''Götz von Berlichingen Berlichingen'' (Goethe) were first performed, they were downright ''revolutionary''. Some of this revolutionary zeal could be seen centuries later, when the line "Geben Sie Gedankenfreiheit" (give freedom of thought) from Schiller's Don Carlos ''Don Carlos'' was met with roaring applause during a performance in [[UsefulNotes/EastGermany the GDR GDR]] because most of the audience could not help but notice its appropriateness for their oppressive regime.
* The "first" plays to break the Aristotelian unity of place, action action, and time described in ''Literature/{{Poetics}}''. [[note]]Even some classical Greek drama, mostly be Creator/{{Euripides}}, actually broke this convention, Aristotle was wrong on this if it is interpreted as a descriptive text, whether he was right on it as a prescriptive text is for the audience to judge.[[/note]] Aristotle was regarded as pretty much right about everything for most of the medieval period period, and the Renaissance too had a fondness for everything Greco-Roman. Going against that took guts. Today Today, plays set in different places over several days containing numerous plots and subplots are par for the course on the stages of the world.
** This was a far bigger deal in Continental Europe, especially in France. In England, during the Elizabethan Age, Aristotle and classical Greek texts were not as dominating an influence as Roman drama by Seneca and Latin texts. So Creator/WilliamShakespeare happily violated the unities, likely because he didn't even know about it to start with. The most learned and informed dramatist, Ben Jonson, gently ribbed his friend in the First Folio for his "little Latin and less Greek" Greek", and his comedies and dramas were the most formal and classically structured.
** Shakespeare was unpopular in France until the Romantic era for his violation of classical unities, with Creator/{{Voltaire}} dismissing him on these grounds. It took the critic Creator/SamuelJohnson to first defend Shakespeare's approach as valid and argue that the unities are more guidelines than actual rules. In Germany, the Sturm-und-Drang avant-garde saw Shakespeare as a modern writer on these grounds and admired his bold original spirit. In France, Creator/VictorHugo Creator/VictorHugo, a huge Shakespeare-buff Shakespeare buff, wrote a play called ''Hernani'' that was a scandal in its day because it violated the "classical unities", which had underpinned France's GoldenAge of Cornielle, Moliere Moliere, and Racine.
3rd May '16 12:12:21 PM Jhonny
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** This was a far bigger deal in Continental Europe, especially in France. In England, during the Elizabethan Age, Aristotle and classical Greek texts were not as dominating an influence as Roman drama by Seneca and Latin texts. So Creator/WilliamShakespeare happily violated the unities, likely because he didn't even know about it to start with. The most learned and informed dramatist, Ben Jonson, gently ribbed his friend in the First Folio for his "little Latin and Greek" and his comedies and dramas were the most formal and classically structured.

to:

** This was a far bigger deal in Continental Europe, especially in France. In England, during the Elizabethan Age, Aristotle and classical Greek texts were not as dominating an influence as Roman drama by Seneca and Latin texts. So Creator/WilliamShakespeare happily violated the unities, likely because he didn't even know about it to start with. The most learned and informed dramatist, Ben Jonson, gently ribbed his friend in the First Folio for his "little Latin and less Greek" and his comedies and dramas were the most formal and classically structured.
3rd May '16 12:09:19 PM Jhonny
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* Goethe and Schiller, thanks to being the quintessential German writers and often mentioned in one breath (they were HeterosexualLifePartners for most of their careers) can come of as extremely stuffy with their plays a bit formulaic and in the case of Goethe's Theatre/{{Faust}} the same problem as with Hamlet above: Just a bunch of quotes strung together.[[note]]If you hear a famous turn of phrase in German and have to guess where it's from you have a better than even chance it ultimately comes from Luther's translation of the bible or Goethe's Faust[[/note]] However, back in the day when plays like [[Theatre/TheRobbers Die Räuber]] (Schiller) or Götz von Berlichingen (Goethe) were first performed, they were downright ''revolutionary''. Some of this revolutionary zeal could be seen centuries later, when the line "Geben Sie Gedankenfreiheit" (give freedom of thought) from Schiller's Don Carlos was met with roaring applause during a performance in the GDR because most of the audience could not help but notice its appropriateness for their oppressive regime.

to:

* Goethe [[Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe Goethe]] and Schiller, thanks to being the quintessential German writers and often mentioned in one breath (they were HeterosexualLifePartners for most of their careers) can come of as extremely stuffy with their plays a bit formulaic and in the case of Goethe's Theatre/{{Faust}} the same problem as with Hamlet above: Just a bunch of quotes strung together.[[note]]If you hear a famous turn of phrase in German and have to guess where it's from you have a better than even chance it ultimately comes from Luther's translation of the bible or Goethe's Faust[[/note]] However, back in the day when plays like [[Theatre/TheRobbers Die Räuber]] (Schiller) or Götz von Berlichingen (Goethe) were first performed, they were downright ''revolutionary''. Some of this revolutionary zeal could be seen centuries later, when the line "Geben Sie Gedankenfreiheit" (give freedom of thought) from Schiller's Don Carlos was met with roaring applause during a performance in the GDR because most of the audience could not help but notice its appropriateness for their oppressive regime.
3rd May '16 12:08:25 PM Jhonny
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* Goethe and Schiller, thanks to being the quintessential German writers and often mentioned in one breath (they were HeterosexualLifePartners for most of their careers) can come of as extremely stuffy with their plays a bit formulaic and in the case of Goethe's Theatre/{{Faust]] the same problem as with Hamlet above: Just a bunch of quotes strung together.[[note]]If you hear a famous turn of phrase in German and have to guess where it's from you have a better than even chance it ultimately comes from Luther's translation of the bible or Goethe's Faust[[/note]] However, back in the day when plays like [[Theatre/TheRobbers Die Räuber]] (Schiller) or Götz von Berlichingen (Goethe) were first performed, they were downright ''revolutionary''. Some of this revolutionary zeal could be seen centuries later, when the line "Geben Sie Gedankenfreiheit" (give freedom of thought) from Schiller's Don Carlos was met with roaring applause during a performance in the GDR because most of the audience could not help but notice its appropriateness for their oppressive regime.

to:

* Goethe and Schiller, thanks to being the quintessential German writers and often mentioned in one breath (they were HeterosexualLifePartners for most of their careers) can come of as extremely stuffy with their plays a bit formulaic and in the case of Goethe's Theatre/{{Faust]] Theatre/{{Faust}} the same problem as with Hamlet above: Just a bunch of quotes strung together.[[note]]If you hear a famous turn of phrase in German and have to guess where it's from you have a better than even chance it ultimately comes from Luther's translation of the bible or Goethe's Faust[[/note]] However, back in the day when plays like [[Theatre/TheRobbers Die Räuber]] (Schiller) or Götz von Berlichingen (Goethe) were first performed, they were downright ''revolutionary''. Some of this revolutionary zeal could be seen centuries later, when the line "Geben Sie Gedankenfreiheit" (give freedom of thought) from Schiller's Don Carlos was met with roaring applause during a performance in the GDR because most of the audience could not help but notice its appropriateness for their oppressive regime.
3rd May '16 12:07:56 PM Jhonny
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* Goethe and Schiller, thanks to being the quintessential German writers and often mentioned in one breath (they were HeterosexualLifePartners for most of their careers) can come of as extremely stuffy with their plays a bit formulaic and in the case of Goethe's Faust the same problem as with Hamlet above: Just a bunch of quotes strung together. However, back in the day when plays like [[Theatre/TheRobbers Die Räuber]] (Schiller) or Götz von Berlichingen (Goethe) were first performed, they were downright ''revolutionary''. Some of this revolutionary zeal could be seen centuries later, when the line "Geben Sie Gedankenfreiheit" (give freedom of thought) from Schiller's Don Carlos was met with roaring applause during a performance in the GDR because most of the audience could not help but notice its appropriateness for their oppressive regime.

to:

* Goethe and Schiller, thanks to being the quintessential German writers and often mentioned in one breath (they were HeterosexualLifePartners for most of their careers) can come of as extremely stuffy with their plays a bit formulaic and in the case of Goethe's Faust Theatre/{{Faust]] the same problem as with Hamlet above: Just a bunch of quotes strung together. together.[[note]]If you hear a famous turn of phrase in German and have to guess where it's from you have a better than even chance it ultimately comes from Luther's translation of the bible or Goethe's Faust[[/note]] However, back in the day when plays like [[Theatre/TheRobbers Die Räuber]] (Schiller) or Götz von Berlichingen (Goethe) were first performed, they were downright ''revolutionary''. Some of this revolutionary zeal could be seen centuries later, when the line "Geben Sie Gedankenfreiheit" (give freedom of thought) from Schiller's Don Carlos was met with roaring applause during a performance in the GDR because most of the audience could not help but notice its appropriateness for their oppressive regime.
3rd May '16 12:04:45 PM Jhonny
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* The "first" plays to break the Aristotelian unity of place, action and time described in ''Literature/{{Poetics}}''. [[note]]Even some classical Greek drama, mostly be Creator/{{Euripides}}, actually broke this convention, Aristotle was wrong on this if it is interpreted as a descriptive text, whether he was right on it as a prescriptive text is for the audience to judge[[/note]]. Aristotle was regarded as pretty much right about everything for most of the medieval period and the Renaissance had a fondness for everything Greco-Roman. Going against that took guts. Today plays set in different places over several days containing numerous plots and subplots are par for the course on the stages of the world.

to:

* The "first" plays to break the Aristotelian unity of place, action and time described in ''Literature/{{Poetics}}''. [[note]]Even some classical Greek drama, mostly be Creator/{{Euripides}}, actually broke this convention, Aristotle was wrong on this if it is interpreted as a descriptive text, whether he was right on it as a prescriptive text is for the audience to judge[[/note]]. judge.[[/note]] Aristotle was regarded as pretty much right about everything for most of the medieval period and the Renaissance had a fondness for everything Greco-Roman. Going against that took guts. Today plays set in different places over several days containing numerous plots and subplots are par for the course on the stages of the world.
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