Friday, September 17, 2010

Musical 'Meh'

Since I've been going on and on about Top Girls almost ad nauseum, I thought I'd talk about musical theatre tonight, for a change.

Of course, the big Broadway news this year is the on-again-off-again-on-again Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, directed by The Lion King director, Julie Taymor, with music and lyrics by U2's Bono and The Edge.

With production costs estimated to be well over $100M, SM:TOD will have to run for thirty years before it sees a profit. My friend Michael thinks this is a brilliant idea for a show and can't wait to see it. I think it's the dumbest concept for a musical since Carrie White (and we all know how well that turned out - poor Betty Buckley had to play a man in her next show to wash the stink off of her career). Now I love Taymor (especially her films) and I used to love U2, but I just don't see this working, especially after seeing this clip of Taymor's, Bono's and the Edge's recent appearance on "Good Morning America:"

Pop-up book sets? And what the hell is "Swiss Miss?" You can't tell me that Stan Lee actually approved that ridiculous costume. And here's Reeve Carney (Peter Parker/Spider-Man) singing one of the show's songs, "Boy Falls From the Sky:"

Not exactly something you'll be humming on your way out of the theatre, is it? 

But never fear. News from i09 is on the way to save the day... or is it? The Sci-Fi maniacs are reporting that Spidey will have some mammoth competition when the musical King Kong - Live On Stage opens in 2013. Construction on the animatronic ape is already underway in Australia, courtesy of the folks who brought us Walking with Dinosaurs. No word on who'll be starring yet, but you can bet they won't be monkeying around with this one (sorry - couldn't help myself).

Finally (via) out of Germany comes Hope! The Musical. A musical biography of our 44th President, Hope! The Musical is the story of the meteoric rise of Barack Huessin Obama, his wife Michelle and his rivals: Hillary Clinton, John McCain and Sarah Palin. The show is apparently huge in Europe and plans are underway for a US tour. Sung in English and German, the clip below looks to me like a combination of Hair, Rent, and Stomp as produced by Simon Cowell and the DNC:

Honestly, with shows like this in our future, I'm almost glad I stopped doing musicals a while back. 

More, anon.

1 comment:

Stephen said...

There is nothing wrong with spectacle, but Spider is shaing up to possibly be the biggest & most expensive flop of all time... but I understand that mr. Bono has deep pockets, so it might not matter. Personally, I enjoy a really dazzling failure of a musical- Carrie comes to mind.
Check out- Not Since Carrie: Forty Years of Broadway Musical Flops by Ken Mandelbaum