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Thursday, January 20

...is my life
While I'm currently having a stab at becoming the owner of an ebay sales empire (I sold a couple of excess CDs), I'm also still using the service to buy things that I consider either cheaper or easier to source via the online auction. The upshot of this is that I'm buying second hand goods from amateur entrepreneurs across the world. I recently dealt with a seller called MetalIsMyLife. Given that it appears that "musicals are my life", it's only fitting that I should by a musical from such a zealously named guy. The musical I bought was Titanic which is a proposed show for a society I'm involved with - it would be months and months away, but I've not heard the score, so I thought I'd do some research.

I was impressed that the U.S. based seller had only sent me the inlay, booklet and CD for this purchase, thus minimising shipping costs of the CD Jewel case. I was impressed, that is, until the disc proved to be cleanly snapped in half during its shipping. It won't play. I was devastated in much the same way that a small child might be on Christmas day when he opens a box to find a new puppy... and then finds that it's dead.

It's only a CD and a cheap one at that. Replacements can be sought.

I continue to consider musicals my life. I rehearsed for Guys and Dolls tonight, which was fun. I've nearly got all the tap moves now. I can't do them at the speed that we're performing the routine, but I could demonstrate each one slowly in isolation if asked. That's a start, I suppose.

I often wondered what happens to the songs that don't make it into musicals. Our first attempt at writing a show - The Time Machine from my collaborator and I - needs a bit of a rewrite. In some of the rewrite, we're probably advised to drop some songs and put some new ones in their place. In The Musical! there were two songs that didn't make it into the final cut. Those songs were dropped because we didn't like them, we couldn't pull them off live and they caused the show to drag on. For similar reasons, probably, the score of Little Shop of Horrors (still high up among the paint cards as my candidate for favourite musical) originally had a few more songs than made it to the stage (considerably more than made it to the film, which had fewer songs in it - right?). What happened to these songs? Well, they were once recorded as demo versions by composer Alan Menken. Then they were packaged on the CD of the Broadway Cast that I saw perform the show nearly a year ago. Of all the aspects of this recording, the extra songs is my most cherished. I can sing you the songs that got away. I sometimes get a catchy tune going round my head from something that was cut from the show.

It doesn't necessarily follow that the songs were cut because they were no good. Perhaps they were good, but not right for the scene, or perhaps they wanted to change the style of the music and the words didn't come with. Or perhaps they had too many songs. It looks to me like some of these songs would simply slow down the pace of the narrative if included. So the songs were dropped... or were they? I've listened to the Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack countless times and only recently have I noticed a couple of sneaky one-liners that hint at the missing songs. In the scene where Seymour allows the dentist to asphyxiate on his own laughing gas, there's a tiny instrumental break before the dentist's first line. This instrumental break is a two bar reprise of the first line of a song called "I found a hobby", which basically expresses the dentist's love of causing things pain. Perhaps this song was to go alongside the main song of the dentist, or maybe it was replaced. Either way, there's a little of its soul left in the show. Similarly, at the end of the finale number - "Don't feed the plants" - Seymour and Audrey sing the worlds "We'll have tomorrow" before the final line of the song. There was also a song called "We'll have tomorrow" in the show at some point, though I can't work out exactly where it happens in the action.

This is, of course, of no great significance. However, writing about it has helped me put these observations behind me. Thanks for reading.

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