worst broadway
July 16, 2008 10:27 PM   Subscribe

What are the worst on or off Broadway shows playing currently?
posted by sharksandwich to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Isn't Cats still playing somewhere?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:58 PM on July 16, 2008

I found August: Osage County to be monumentally overrated.
posted by Bromius at 11:00 PM on July 16, 2008

Haven't seen it myself, but here's TimeOut's review of Young Frankenstein, The Musical:

"Despite rumbling thunder throughout the sound design of Young Frankenstein, lightning does not strike twice for Mel Brooks, who contributed music, lyrics and half the book to this bloated, astonishingly unfunny megadud. In adapting the 1974 horror spoof, Brooks lost its campy-gothic charm and added only tired jokes and weak, forgettable pastiche tunes. The game, uneven cast can’t carry the grade-C material, which might pass muster for $35 Off Broadway, but at the Hilton? It’s not alive! Not alive!"
posted by miss lynnster at 11:18 PM on July 16, 2008

Which reminds me, when, oh when, is someone going to revive Mirsky's Worst of the Web?
posted by telstar at 2:00 AM on July 17, 2008

If you're a Monty Python fan, I'd argue that Spamalot is about as bad as it gets. The "jazz-hands and loud asides" style of comedy that pervades Broadway is completely at odds with the subtle absurdity of the source material. When I went to see it, the audience was divided into two camps: the vast majority who'd never seen the movie and loved every second of what they were seeing, and a handful of sour nerds like myself.
posted by saladin at 4:21 AM on July 17, 2008

Haven't seen it myself, but here's TimeOut's review of Young Frankenstein, The Musical


I'd argue that Spamalot is about as bad as it gets.

Awww..... I like Young Frankenstein the Musical! At least the music. I have it on my iPod and enjoy it. :) And Spamalot has some really good songs as well!

I think that is the problem. There are so many plays out there and so many different tastes that you probably aren't going to find a concensus. Its like saying, "What is the worst band?". That being said, and I consider myself I bit of a musical fanatic so it pains me to say any, but for me the worst are "Sweet Charity", "Oklahoma", and "Thoroughly Modern Millie". Also, as much as I love David Hyde Pierce, "Curtains" is pretty terrible as well. :(
posted by gwenlister at 4:30 AM on July 17, 2008

It only counts for 'playing currently' for a few more days, but the Lord of the Rings musical was hilariously bad. Even kids in the audience who only knew the story from the movies thought it was lame. LotR is an example of 'paint by numbers' musicals that pretty much swipe anything that's popular and work it in, somehow. The Lion King has giant puppets? Puppet Shelob and Nazgul! Stomp has people bouncing around? Orcs on pogosticks! Les Mis has a rotating stage? Us too! And it rises!

If Miss Saigon was having a comeback right now, I'd half expect Gandalf to be fighting the Balrog from the back of a giant helicopter. Or the hobbits could be having Rent-style Issues.

Wicked was also pretty bad. I'm not sure about the source material or anything, but yeesh. Characters could be made to anything so long as they were told so on song. The moment the song ended, though, they'd change their minds, perhaps with another song.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:15 AM on July 17, 2008

I found August: Osage County to be monumentally overrated.

While these answers are bound to be incredibly subjective, the play that won the 2008 Pulitzer for drama is probably not what the poster is looking for.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 7:15 AM on July 17, 2008

I glanced over the boards at Talkin' Broadway, and here are some things that I think might be generally (YMMV, of course) be considered some of the "worst" things open right now:

Little Mermaid
Young Frankenstein

My First Time

This is summer, traditional end of season/vacation for most seasonal companies, so the pickin's are slim right now. Plus a lot of Broadway shows that are holding on hoping for a burst of Tony-inspired glory (even from an award or being featured on the telecast) close right after they don't get it. I suggest you come back sometime in the fall if you are looking for bad theatre, as there will probably be many choices for you.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:20 AM on July 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Mary Poppins. Blech.
posted by HotPatatta at 8:20 AM on July 17, 2008

It might help if you defined what you mean by bad -

There's bad book (as written the show is bad) and there's bad production (good show, but a hot mess on stage) and then there's bad acting.

The other thing is there's bad and there's overrated. I'll seen plenty of overrated shows that were acceptable, but not all that they had been hyped to be.
posted by 26.2 at 8:29 AM on July 17, 2008

I saw Mamma Mia in London back in 2000 and, aside from the shoehorning of Abba songs, found the story to be indistinguishable from a very special episode of My Two Dads.
posted by blueberry at 10:40 AM on July 17, 2008

I really wish you were asking this question a few years ago or as "the worst Broadway musicals you've ever seen." Because I haven't been to New York in a few years but, MAN... I still remember one of the big musical numbers from "Titanic The Musical."

"Look at the BOOOAAAT! Isn't it BIIIIGGGG?"

Oooh, and the first run of "The Scarlet Pimpernel!" And "By Jeeves, The Musical!" Ohhhh, and in London... Shaun Cassidy and Jerry Hall in "Bus Stop!"

Sometimes bad theatre is just so much more uniquely memorable than the good...

As for Spamalot, I saw it early and it was *okay* but I can only imagine it's gotten worse with Clay Aiken.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:08 AM on July 17, 2008

« Older What can I do with mono?   |   Mr. All-knowing Super-hacker/psychologist Mefite... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.