Rehearsal Only Number
If we see the rehearsal of a song or scene, we rarely see the finished product.


(permanent link) added: 2012-01-20 23:42:37 sponsor: randomsurfer (last reply: 2014-06-11 15:25:24)

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In The Musical Musical or a Hey Lets Put On A Show show, in order to space out the musical numbers we will often see a "rehearsal" of a song (or scene, if it's a straight play). This rehearsal will more often than not be 100% perfect; if it isn't perfect it will probably be spectacularly bad. Chances are we won't see that particular number in the scenes showing the finished production (if indeed there are any), because we've already seen it. Exceptions may be made in the case of rehearsals which go wrong.

This goes double if the song in question is a Specialty Number which has no bearing on the plot of the musical. One is led to wonder how it would fit in to the show they're supposedly doing.

Sort of an inversion of Unspoken Plan Guarantee: in that, we don't see the rehearsal, just the final product.

Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • Lucky Star only shows the rehearsal version (which goes perfectly) of the title's theme song. The final episode ends as the curtain is about to go up on the real thing.
  • The K-On! manga is always tossing in scenes of the girls practicing here and there, while the actual performances tend to last maybe two pages if that. The anime on the other hand depicts the concerts in full, though usually for about one song. Generally speaking, the show series has nowhere near as many concerts as it has practice.

Film
  • White Christmas: We see a rehearsal for the "Choreography" and "Minstrel" numbers, but we never see it in a show.
  • Love Happy, The Marx Brothers final film. The plot involves a group of young actors putting on a musical and we see the rehearsal for "Who Stole That Jam?" in which a mother beats up her three infant children (played by dolls) while asking the title question. This is supposed to be funny.
  • An early scene in the film version of Kiss Me Kate has Ann Miller's character doing a runthrough of "Too Darn Hot" in order to convince the producers not to cut it. They're convinced, but it doesn't appear in the final product.
  • Michael Jackson's This Is It is only rehearsal footage of Michael Jackson's final tour - since he died before the tour actually happened.
  • The coronation in The King's Speech: we see Bertie and Lionel in the cathedral rehearsing, but we don't see the coronation itself, except for a small bit where they're watching the newsreel footage.

Live Action TV
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show, "Too Many Stars." During rehearsal for the Parents' Council's school fundraiser we see a "full dress rehearsal" for the show (in Rob's living room!) which consists solely of a jazzy Bob Fosse-esque number starring Rob, Laura, and another neighbor, Anita. How this is supposed to fit into a musical about a young woman in an 1849 Medicine Show is anybody's guess. We never see the show, but in The Stinger they come home from the performance still in costume.
  • Head of the Class: Two in the episode where they're performing Hair:
    • We see a "rehearsal" for the song "What a Piece of Work is Man." It's only the first chorus and they just stand around while singing it; sure enough, when they show scenes of the play as performed it's not included.
    • There's a short rehearsal of "Oh, Donna!" by an actor replacing the one originally cast, which is also not shown in the finished product (by which time the original actor comes back to the production).
  • This happens in all three High School Musical movies. The third movie is particularly noticeable.
  • The Partridge Family: Sometimes we see a rehearsal in the family garage, and Once an Episode we see a performance on stage. We almost never see the same song being performed in both types of scenes.
  • All of Glee, ever. Even though the show is constantly focused on preparing for a competition, they only rehearse songs guaranteed not to be used for real.

Music Video
  • OK Go's video for "A Million Ways" is footage of them rehearsing the dance moves they'd planned for the music video, but it got spread around via email and became in Internet Sensation as it was.

Theater
  • Noises Off is one of the few examples where we see the finished product. The first act is a terrible rehearsal, Act two is backstage during the same scene in the middle of the run, and act three is the same scene again, very late in the run.
  • Played straight and averted in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Musical of The Phantom of the Opera - we only see the rehearsal of the opening number of the opera Hannibal, but while Christine sings "Think of Me" (from the same Show Within a Show) the scene changes from the rehearsal to her debut (basically an on-stage Dissolve). The other two operas performed we are actually seeing the performances.
  • Say, Darling, the "play about a musical" adapted from a novel by Richard Bissell about the making of a Broadway musical, focused mostly on audition and rehearsal scenes and skips over the opening performance, much like the novel does. This provided a good excuse for the original production to use piano accompaniment rather than a full theatre orchestra, though an Orchestral Version was recorded and used in some performances.

Western Animation
  • The South Park episode "Broadway Bro Down" is about Randy trying to write a stage play (with ulterior motives, as is typical of the series). The episode has a full musical number during rehearsal, though the reason why the musical number isn't seen again is because Randy gets a change of heart later and stops the play from reaching completion.
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