SETH DECONSTRUCTS: Musical Theatre Buttons


Hi everyone! First of all, it looks a little bit like I’m starring in Runaways. Anybody? Eighties reference? Back in the day? Work! So today I’m gonna discuss not specifically buttons, but the end the
ends of songs, like the last eight bars you know like the beginnings of songs like
have amazing vamps you know like What about the actual ends? I’m gonna
discuss this kind of further when I get more into it, but first I want
to just discuss bizarre endings so this is Guys and Dolls, by the way this is an amazing show, but the lack of a button I find fascinating. If I were a bell, you know ‘ding-don’ ‘da da da da do do da bum’ give me a
button, it doesn’t, it sort of ends and then there’s this weird like the strings just hold a cord and the audience is like is it over? OK, so this is the
bizarre ending of a song I want to discuss, here we go Is it over? So that makes me cray cray. Here’s another one this is the Chess concept album which I totally love, this is Elaine Paige and it was a pop album so they had a fade-out so the first time I played what it was, you know it was a concept album, meaning it hadn’t been
staged yet they were just kind of introducing these songs to the world and
the song fades out because you notice by the people from ABBA or ABBA,
and it’s a natural pop beta so first listen to this and then we’ll discuss
this so this is the original version of Nobody’s on Nobody’s Side So then it came to Broadway and I was like oh my god I cannot wait to hear what amazing
ending they came up with for Nobody’s on Nobody’s Side because like a it’s fade-out but I
cannot wait to hear the amazing sassafras Broadway ending. And then
they came up with this they slowed it down. So remember I thought it’s gonna be
this crazy incredible ending they just took the last four bars like let’s just
kind of ritard it, rit-ard and then just sort of like hold the last note. OK, so
this is the amazing ending I’m hoping when it comes back to Broadway we’re gonna revisit this. Anybody listening? Bjorn, Benny? Anybody three ears? Here we go So when I did the Chess concert, on a
side note, of course I couldn’t think of a better ending so I just slowed it down too, but at least I told Julia Murney I’m like just rip the hell out of it, sort of disguise the fact there’s no actual amazing ending, so this
is from the Chess concert with Julia for the actress fund with Josh Groban. Here we go. OK, so that’s just bizarre endings Now I’m gonna show you sassy brassy Now what I’m trying to describe is this, when a composer writes it cuz here’s the thing a composer, let’s say writes the song, and
it could just end like this, this is Bells are Ringing it could have been anything so I don’t know if the composer thinks of these endings, it depends on the piece, if the composer thinks of it, or if the orchestrator or the
arranger but my point is I’m not talking about the melody and the lyrics I’m
talking about the actual ending of the song so like the the the orchestral part
of the last eight bars of a song once the melody is over, so like I said it could have been Instead it’s this really cool brass, sassy brassy ending which is used a couple throughout Broadway so this is the first time you hear it So this is the first sassy brassy ending so there are kind of three in a row that are similar I love this, here we go Sassy brassy! Now second sassy brassy I’m going to play you is from Broadway Baby, which weirdly is like the
same key It’s the same thing on The only difference is it ends on the four instead of ‘bells are ringing’ Sondheim goes but it’s the same it’s the same sassy brassy ending as Bells are Ringing, here we go, so is is the next sassy brassy OK so what I’m trying to get across is
like the melody is over, show the the ending the last eight bars really helps
increase or decrease the applause that’s why I was thinking like with I Were A Bell, it’s just sort of like do I applaud? Is it a secret
am I intruding on a private conversation? whereas like ‘Bom Bom Bom Bom Bom’ that’s amazing the next thing which is so
similar, the sassy brassy, is on Broadway right now it’s the amazing
ending of ‘Dolly will never go away again’ it’s the same thing it’s such a perfect Broadway
ending, here we go, but like I said it’s they’re all so similar, it gets so amazing so they decided to use a blue note
and you know a blue note is a blue note is a flatted third ‘one two three’ so instead of going they go to a blue note, they go to the flatted third, so it goes so you hear it one more time, it’s so effective OK, so that’s a sassy brassy ending, weirdly all three
of the same and I love it so now the other kind ending I love, well they are a
couple of them, but this thing called sassy syncopation, so it’s amazing
offbeats, like I said you can end it any
way you want this is the end of ‘Tonight Quintet’ but instead, it’s this really amazing sassy syncopation syncopation music you’re on the offbeat, so instead of going you know ‘bum bum bum bum’ it’s going ‘one and two and bum bum’ and these amazing endings totally increase the applause you’re going to get because
it’s so exciting to listen to listen how thrilling this ending is, sassy syncopation I call it OK same sassy syncopation, by the way
finally this move comes in handy, and the end of ‘The Music and the Mirror’ it’s the same listen it’s “The Music and the Mirror’ mirror the original Donna McKechnie, same sassy syncopation, here we go same thing as ‘Tonight’ now I want to talk about the terrifying half, I call it the terrifying half step it’s actually it’s very similar to, Stephen
Schwartz does it a lot and let’s say your piece in this key, you do a weird half step right before and he does it in Pippin in ‘Extraordinary’ but it’s not really terrifying so I’m not
gonna actually play it, but just you know it’s like this but it’s not a scary piece so I’m not gonna play it the most amazing half step right now on Broadway
I’m obsessed with is the end of ‘Face to Face’ from War Paint, first of all they
sound crazy, but I actually got the music yet again, it’s impossible to play, but
I’m just dying to sort of deconstruct how amazing it is, so they’re going they could have just gone ‘standing face
to face’ as you’re holding what’s so cool what’s so cool is you’re holding this last note but
what the orchestra is doing underneath it is upping what the applause is gonna be
because it’s so exciting so I’m dying to play this for you and then half-step up it is such a crazily, thrilling ending I’m obsessed with it OK listen to it and then I’m gonna deconstruct it one more time but how much more boring would it have
been if ‘standing face to face’ and just some kind of ‘da da da bum’ instead
they’re holding it and you have you have to look like seven measures of crazy
music, listen to this I’m obsessed with it and FYI the best way to listen to this is to do the quote on quote choreography it’s not really choreography, but if the two of them are standing, you have to watch the Tony’s, so
they’re rivals they’re standing opposite each other and they’re
singing ‘only we could stand face to face’ but they’re not in the same,
it’s very Danny and Sandy in ‘Summer Nights’ but it’s a much scarier version, so it’s
Danny and Sandy like we don’t see each other and then at the very very end they
actually look at each other are they looking at each other? Is it all
imaginary? And then they look out like was that a dream? it so goes perfectly
the music so every time you listen to this you have to do the staging that I
saw the Tony Awards, I also saw it live on Broadway but it is riveting, OK here we
go yes listen to it and do the staging you’re standing face out, you look at your rival is she really there? Sandy,
I thought you went back to Australia! and then look straight out here we go Oh my god, I love it! Thank you, namaste

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