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re: it's not presented as Rudin's opinion, but as fact
Last Edit: Chazwaza 03:04 am EDT 03/14/19
Posted by: Chazwaza 02:58 am EDT 03/14/19
In reply to: re: it's not presented as Rudin's opinion, but as fact - ryhog 12:22 am EDT 03/14/19

I do definitely agree to that! :)

And i also definitely disagree with him. While it CAN be safely said to be widely considered ONE OF the many best, I'd say easily in the top... 20? ... maybe even top 10... i do not think anyone who knows musical theater at all, especially musicals since 1960, can say that it is, or is widely considered to be, THE best role ever written for an actor in all of broadway musical theater history. It's a VERY difficult role to do, especially since Preston for whom it feels written for and inevitably tied to, but that's because it requires a specific kind of charm and a ton of it, but the role is fairly one-note in its emotion (and what it requires vocally). It also benefits from being in a basically perfect and beloved musical comedy, but also it's not only the lead of that show but the biggest male part by a long long shot. Guys & Dolls is probably a better show, but you have both Sky and Nathan, for example... so neither can really top the list of greatest male role ever.
Finch in How to Succeed I'd describe in a similar way... both are incredible male roles, but besides their specific kind of charm that is employed and played with in variation through the entire show, they have pretty singular goals and one or two, maybe three, notes on the emotional scale. Unlike, say, Sweeney Todd or Teyve or King Arthur or Henry Higgins or Ben Stone (though, like G&D, Ben splits with Buddy as male lead), or Guido, or the Leading Player (not written specifically for a man, of course), or Porgy, or George in Sunday, or the Baker, or the Emcee, or Molina in Kiss of the Spider Woman (again, splitting with Valentin), or Billy Bigelow, or Pseudolus or Don Quioxte or Marvin or or Hedwig, or Jean Val Jean... now of course an actor able to succeed as Sweeney, let's say, might not reallllly pull off a triumph as Harold Hill because, though I think ST is a greater role, it doesn't require that one special and often impossible factor needed to be an indelible Harold Hill. Though I'm sure are actors who can do both. I have no doubt there are actors who could succeed in most of the roles I listed in one career.
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