Friday, August 04, 2006

The RevGal Friday Five: "That's Entertainment"

Describe the last play or musical you saw. (At least provide the what, when, where, and why). What was your opinion of it?

It's funny: I love theatre, and I love musicals -- I quite frequently break into show tunes, which is pretty scary if you've ever heard my voice -- but it's been ages since I've been to a real stage show. I want to say that the last one I went to was a small-town (not my small town) community-theater presentation of The Fantasticks -- a musical I'm not all that fond of anyway -- and it wasn't very good.

All time favorite play? Musical?

Wow. I have to go with the Bard -- Macbeth for drama, A Midsummer Night's Dream for comedy. It's hard to pick just one musical; I love an oldie but goodie, Anything Goes, for the music and dancing. Showboat; Cabaret; Oklahoma; Camelot; Damn Yankees; West Side Story; The Sound of Music; Godspell; Cats; Rent; Avenue Q. (No real thematic pattern here, is there?)

The Producers, The Philadelphia Story, Hairspray, The Wedding Singer…all were movies before they were musicals (okay “The Philadelphia Story” was a play and then a movie, and they changed its name when it became a musical, but whatever). What non-musical movie do you think should next get the musical treatment?

How about Snakes on a Plane? Just kidding. Honestly, I'm not all that into movies-into-musicals.

Favorite song from a musical? Why?

"Anything Goes" -- it's just fun to sing. It almost makes me want to dance, too, which is another scary proposition. (I bet you wanted me to pick something from Godspell, didn't you? Well, my favorite song from Godspell is "On the Willows." There you go.)

The most recent trend in Broadway musical revues is to construct a show around the oeuvre of a particular super-group or composer, where existing songs are woven together with some kind of through story. The most successful of these(Jersey Boys (The Four Seasons), Mamma Mia (ABBA), Movin’ Out (Billy Joel) have made a mint, but many (All Shook Up (Elvis), Hot Feet (Earth, Wind and Fire)) have bombed. What great pop/rock singer/composer or super-group should be the next to be featured, and what might the story-line be for such a show?

Constant readers know of my strange, twisted and frankly unexplicable, even to me, fondness for the "reality" television program Rock Star. If you made a musical comedy out of this, it would combine elements of A Chorus Line, The Producers, The Full just might work. The story line would be: A mostly washed-up, dissipated self-parody of a formerly popular rock-and-roll band tries to revive its vanishing fortunes by making a comeback with a new lead singer. Contestants include: a resentful, "I could have been a contender" bass player from another down-at-its-heels rock-and-roll band -- a person so obscure that no one recognizes him as a veteran; a ringer planted by a villainous individual or group that tries to work the show to serve its own evil agenda; a famous performer of another artistic genre who has made much publicly of "wanting to grow as an artist" and "wanting to change direction," who really sucks at being a rock-and-roll singer but doesn't quite understand that; and,of course, the pure-hearted, kick-fanny amateur hero or heroine just looking for a chance to make it big.


Kate said...

From Godspell, I think I would go for "By My Side." It's so short and beautiful and I never want it to end.

Scooper said...

And I would pick "Day by Day," if I were to pick one from Godspell.

But here are so many other great tunes. "You gotta have heart," from Damn Yankees, "Walk through the storm with your head held high," from Carousel (I think). "You have to be carefully taught," from South Pacific...

But let me pose another question. What is your favorite song from Handel's Messiah?

Mine is "And the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible," because, I started losing people close to me from an early age.

A guy I know who had a sex-addiction picked, "And He shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." Kind of poignant.