The Greatest Showman
We went to see this musical yesterday. It was a great show, man! But the greatest? No.
Last year’s La La Land definitely had more impact. The difference is probably the result of the passage of time: it’s been almost 170 years since the events the story told.
There’s no denying that Hugh Jackman is a charismatic performer. And Phineas Tyler Barnum must have been charismatic, too, but he was no looker.
So, to have anyone suggest that he could attract the romantic attention of “The Swedish Nightingale” is another example of those self-promoting stunts that Barnum was known for.
The Swedish Nightingale
According to Wikipedia, Jenny Lind was a good singer. And she attracted a lot of romantic attention herself. Hans Christian Anderson even wrote stories with her in mind, but when she wasn’t interested in him in that way, she became his “Snow Queen”. (That makes her relevant to the kiddies as Elsa in Disney’s “Frozen”.)
By bringing her to the United States for a “World Tour”, Barnum made her famous. As has been pointed out, by Gordon Lightfoot in his song “A Lesson in Love”, they needed each other, professionally, if not emotionally.
In this day and age of #metoo and #timesup, relationships between promoters and artistes have always been tricky to navigate. None of it is new, but then show business has always had a nasty reputation, even as far back as Greek and Roman times.
Can we hope that “reel” life has ‘turned a corner’? I like to think so.