Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Give My Regards

There are a lot of great shows on Broadway I'd like to see right now, and then there are shows that make me want to fill a crop duster with a biological weapon and fly it over the Midwest, because certainly these shows are being created for our brothers and sisters in Peoria.

I saw an ad the other day in the Times that Carneige Hall will host a concert performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "South Pacific" starring Reba McEntire, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Alec Baldwin. Do I need to repeat those names? Reba McEntire, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Alec Baldwin. Wrap you mind around that one.

Then we have Disney's Tarzan opening on Broadway. Now, you may recall that I just saw The Lion King on Broadway and I liked it. Hell, I even like Phil Collins. But anyone who chooses to see this musical over a production of say, Festen, The Drowsy Chaperone, Doubt, Three Days of Rain or Awake and Sing! should be clubbed as they leave the theater. I will make an exception if you have small children in tow.

One of the things I hate most about American culture is the way some yokel stumbles onto a hit formula and mass replicates this formula ad nauseum. We've seen it with "reality tv". We've seen it with any show that includes " ... With the Stars" in its title. And we're seeing it with the Jukebox Musical. The jukebox musical is essentially a plotless excuse to mount a band's greatest hits on stage with chorus line production values. The first modern one was Abba's Momma Mia, of course. Not really my idea of a night out, but to each his own. Then came Billy Joel's Movin' Out. Love the Billy Joel. Love him. Plus Twyla Tharp? I would totally see that. But then came a horrible string of these things featuring the works of Elvis, The Beach Boys, John Lennon, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Johnny Cash (didn't we see that movie already?). Word is that more of these living breathing VH-1 specials are also planned for the work of Bruce Springstien and Bob Dylan. So why was I surprised when I saw a midtown bus drive by with an ad for the new Earth, Wind and Fire jukebox musical Hot Feet? More information of course, on the Earth, Wind and Fire offical web site The Elements VIP Club. Earth, Wind and Fire? Isn't it maybe time to retire this "genre" America? I give up. Call me when tickets for the Gin Blossoms musical go on sale.


Janet said...

My sister and I were talking about this the other day, but we were talking about movies. Like the "superhero craze" after Spiderman became a big hit. (I believe that we are now experiencing a homosexual romance faze... sundance with be one heck of a show this year.) People didn't like Spiderman simply because he had those awesome web-thingys and amazing spider-strength. But you would think, after movies like The Incredible Hulk and Catwoman (*shudder*) came out, that was the formula for cinematic success.

Hollywood, Hollywood... whatever shall we do with you?

Cupcake said...

And let's not forget Law and Order, Law and Order: SVU, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Law and Order: Trial by Jury; CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York and so on.

Also note all of the Harry Potter book wannabes and Lord of the Rings film wannabes.

My kingdom for originality!