Oh, For Crying Out Loud!
My friend and I always take mental note when we hear about a new, possibly awful stage show in the works, so we can try to one-up each other with the ridiculous news. And recently we have accrued the following list:
A Fish Called Wanda, the musical
The Addams Family, the musical
A musical about Bruce Lee (as far as I know it is not a musical remake of one of his movies, specifically)
Desperately Seeking Susan, the musical (last year - but just heard about it)
Spiderman, the musical
STOP IT, you guys. I'm serious. Look, I know that we want to revitalize theatre and appeal to a larger audience, but why on earth would we pay $125 to see something we can basically rent for $3??? We already know the plot. Sure, the songs and dance routines will be new, but we already know the goddam story. Do you honestly believe we are that simple-minded?
Maybe we are since people are obviously patronizing all the others.
I know I've railed against this before, but this situation deserves a kick in the nads on a regular basis. And maybe I am being to harsh - but I don't think so. I have some very talented friends who write plays and their stuff deserves to be seen by an audience who won't be all like, "Oh, I've never heard of that show - how will I know I want to see it if I haven't seen it yet?"
Furthermore, A Fish Called Wanda is a fantastic film. John Cleese's expressions break my heart every time I watch. His is a wonderful character arc: changing from uptight, to being skeptical but hopeful and intrigued, to feeling guilty and shameful, until he ultimately sort of sets himself free - and we see those wheels turn in close-up, without any jazz hands or Broadway pop-belts. (And so it is sort of shocking to me that he's the guy writing this show.) People always think of it as a funny film where a man eats a goldfish and K-K-Kenny has a funny stutter, but it's also film about a man's personal re-awakening and struggle to do the right thing.
And it's a film about a woman who is aroused by foreign accents, and that speaks to my heart (Hmm - another point in the pro-London column?).
Kidding aside - film is film for a reason (which is something I am beginning to discover first-hand, and it's a wonderfully eye-opening learning process), and theatre is theatre for a reason.
And I'm not saying that never the twain shall meet, I'm just saying lay off for a little bit, you know? Let's see more amazing new work and less rehashed, "Now In Musical Form!" baloney.
PS - Saw the waterfalls from my train this morning. Very cool.