Tuesday, February 07, 2012
But what's really endemic here - and what undermines the series - is an illogical quality that strips the project of any authenticity and charm. Case in point: A singer/dancer (Megan Hilty), hoping to play Marilyn in the show, and a troupe of chorus boys perform a number titled "The National Pastime" (one of several original songs written for the series by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman) in an empty, sprawling rehearsal hall.
The number should be as spartan as the setting, accompanied perhaps by only a tinkling piano. But instead, when the performers open their mouths to sing, out come pre-recorded voices, replete with full orchestral backing.
It should have been performed "live" and with the all usual rough edges. Rather, what could have been natural and organic - and even original - is presented as a foregone "showstopper," calculated to knock us out.
True, this sequence subsequently morphs into a full-dress, dramatically-lit performance on a stage, but the moments in the studio, with the dancers only in tights, would have been so much more refreshing done "live."
What we get instead is ... "fake."