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.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Musical Hell Review: The Ten Commandments

The French bring us yet another epic, overblown pop opera this month, and none other than Madmartigan himself is starring!  Enjoy my look at The Ten Commandments!


  1. 1) Oh, Val Kilmer. It seemed like he was channeling David Hasselhoff. I know he can sing - I've seen Top Secret - but he really didn't seem to be trying very hard.
    2) Loved the Dalek reference, because that's what I was thinking.
    3) Bonus points for the Alien From LA reference because it's my favorite experiment ever.
    4) What do you think of the way everybody in musicals wears microphones these days? I'm an old man and I remember when you had to project from the diaphragm.

    1. I think that like any other technical wizardry, microphones are a tool and can be a useful element in the overall sound design or a crutch, depending on who uses them and how. I admit I'm kind of sad I'll never really have the opportunity to hear a Merman or an Andrews belting it to the back row under their own power, but body mikes aren't going anywhere and railing against them isn't going to change that.

      That said, I consider obtrusive evidence of microphones--of which there are numerous examples in this production--to be annoying and distracting, unless they're a part of the production's overall design aesthetic (see: Rent, Spring Awakening, many productions of Jesus Christ Superstar). Wires dangling down backs and mikes dropping down foreheads like lumps of candle wax are the theatrical equivalent of the boom mike entering the shot: an intrusion of the technical process of the creation that takes you out of the story.