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Paint your wagon, a musical play in two acts…

Paint your wagon, a musical play in two acts (edition 1952)

by Frederick Loewe, Alan Jay Lerner

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(Vocal Selections). 10 selections from Lerner and Loewe's musical tale of the California gold fields. Includes: Best Things * The First Thing You Know * Gold Fever * Gospel of No Name City * I Still See Elisa * I Talk to the Trees * I'm on My Way * Million Mi.Away Behind the Door * They Call the Wind Maria * Wand'rin' Star.… (more)
Title:Paint your wagon, a musical play in two acts
Authors:Frederick Loewe
Other authors:Alan Jay Lerner
Info:New York, Coward-McCann [1952]
Collections:Your library
Tags:Music Theater, u, libretto

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Paint Your Wagon: A Musical Play in Two Acts by Alan Jay Lerner



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Growing up on a farm outside a small Wisconsin town, I never had much exposure to Broadway musicals. But, due to the fact that it featured Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin and was set during the California Gold Rush, the movie version of Paint Your Wagon was in regular rotation on a local TV station's Saturday afternoon Western matinee, an annual event at least. Due to that, even today, I have probably seen Paint Your Wagon more than any other musical in my life, though Jesus Christ Superstar and Rent may be slowly catching up. Paint Your Wagon probably launched a lifelong love of Broadway musicals that eventually became a way of bonding with my musical-loving daughter (thanks, Disney and Barbie!), and culminated last year with a daddy/daughter trip to New York City where I actually saw three Broadway musicals on Broadway for the first time in my life: Avenue Q, Come From Away, and Wicked. (All were amazing, by the way.)

So imagine my joy when I came across this original edition of the Broadway script for $1 at a library book sale a few days ago.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Broadway play bears hardly any resemblance to the film.

The stage version is less raunchy and rowdy and has several characters that Hollywood saw fit to ditch, including the star-crossed Romeo and Juliet pair whose relationship takes up a major section of the storyline. The film added the character of Pardner and the whole polygamous marriage between him and the Mormon wife who is auctioned off to the highest bidder. The Broadway version is a little more melancholy and doesn't feature a big action set piece at the end that destroys much of the town. And yet, I find it almost as enjoyable as the movie and found myself singing out loud the songs that I was familiar with because they had made it into both productions.

Bonus: Lerner's introduction to this 1952 book is an apparently timeless rant about Broadway's over-reliance on adaptations, the overuse of the same small pool of composers and lyricists, and over-priced tickets that cause a vicious circle of audiences only wanting to attend shows with which they have brand familiarity. The more things change, eh? ( )
  villemezbrown | Jul 28, 2018 |
  kutheatre | Jun 7, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alan Jay Lernerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lerner, Alan Jaymain authorall editionsconfirmed
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