Everything: The Musical

January 22, 2010

It was bound to happen sooner or later: A Spice Girls jukebox musical. Really, they should just stage Spice World. That movie is a gem – an underrated tribute to Hard Day’s Night, and so shamelessly silly and fun that it would make a considerably better musical than Mamma Mia or (ugh) We Will Rock You.

For a less silly and more interesting piece of theatre, someone has been working on a multimedia stage adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s creepy and amazing novel The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. This could be a great thing. Murakami’s books read like David Lynch movies play, but the creep factor (for me, anyway) comes from the matter-of-factness of his prose coupled with sometimes horrifying surreal events. There’s a bit of a noir detective tone to The WInd-Up Bird Chronicle, as well as a lot of crazy dream stuff that I have no idea how they’ll stage. For example, there are several key scenes that take place in total pitch black darkness, and the dark is part of the dramatic and metaphorical power of the scenes. The photos on the site seem to indicate a lot of shadow puppetry-type stuff, which could be very evocative, or it could just look cheesy. Either way, I wish I was in New York this week to see it.

Instead, I’m here in Toronto where I am secretly excited to go see this production of the baffling flop High Fidelity: The Musical. I love flop musicals anyway, but High Fidelity strikes me as a particularly odd choice for musical adaptation. Just because music is significant to the plot of a book and movie, does not mean it will make a good musical. Aesthetically, High Fidelity (both the book and the movie) is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of musicals. It’s about cynical uncommited hipster slackers – can you imagine how horrified any of the characters in High Fidelity would be if they realized they were in a musical? They get hives just saying the word “musical”. It’s such a poorly thought out choice for musical adaptation, that it’s gotta be worth seeing!

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