Located on a small expansion shelf about midway between the Third and Fourth Circles, Musical Hell is presided over by Diva, a minor demon charged with passing judgement on the worst musicals ever committed to film. (She still hasn't figured out if this is their punishment or hers.) Take a seat on the bench and have your earplugs ready, because court is now in session.

New videos posted on the first Monday of the month. Other viewpoints, news, and general ramblings posted when they crop up.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Random Crap for a Memorial Weekend

No seriously, Australia, this is, a joke, right? I mean, you saw all these musicals based on movies coming down the pike, and started joking about what this would lead to, and someone (probably named Bruce) said “Picture it--An Officer and a Gentlemen, the Musical!” Then you all had a good laugh, and somebody made a parody trailer of it, complete with a big-voiced guy singing the title, and you decided to pull a fast one on the rest of the theatre world. It is a joke, right? Please say it's a joke.

Okay, I get that getting creative with the time period is pretty much a given with Shakespeare these days, and that's okay—he was playing a little fast and loose with the setting as it was. But do we really need to extend the practice to musicals? The Paper Mill Playhouse's Depression-era take on The Music Man just...doesn't look right. I like the cozy, nostalgic feel the early 20th century small-town setting provides. Besides, how can you sing about the Wells Fargo Truck?

Despite relatively few shows firing my interest in recent history, I've never put much stock in the whole “musical are in dire straits” gloom-and-doom philosophy—probably because people have been spouting it for about as long as I can remember. That said, there's always room for improvement, and this article featuring several writers, composers, and producers discussing how that can be done has some excellent points in it—particularly the oft-stated assertion of the need to find source material that fits the medium. (Do you seriously look at Catch Me if You Can and say “Yes, these characters need to sing!” I didn't think so.)

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