Saturday, July 02, 2005

I'm going to be a curmudgeon

And say that I wish that there were more musicals being planned that were based on original stories, and fewer that were based on, well, pop culture and sometimes even schlock.

I mean, say what you will about the thinness of many of the plots that abound in shows 42nd St. Moon produces, but often they are original, not based on a novel or a movie or, God forbid, a TV show.

I know basing musicals on source material has been around a long time. Rodgers & Hammerstein based almost every single one of their musicals on existing sources.

But then think about works by Sondheim like Into the Woods or Follies or Sunday in the Park. He and his librettists of course, took inspiration from a story or a newspaper article or a biography...and created a new story from that.

What makes me grumble today? Well, my buddy Blogway Baby has blogged about two new musicals that are workshopping in NY right now. One is a musicalized The Color Purple. Granted it does star one of my favorite performers, La Chanze, and at least the source is a Pulitzer winning novel (or will they base it more on the movie?)

The other is, I kid you not, a musicalized Happy Days. Yes, the TV show with Ritchie and Potsie and the Fonz.

Now come on. Really? It's bad enough the movies are revisiting only comic book heroes and nostalgic TV shows, but Broadway?

At least Suzy, Ms. Blogway Baby herself, is workshopping a new musical of her own, Plane Crazy that seems to be birthed from her fertile imagination more than the remote control. And she has a really cute site about it too.

I don't mind a little inspiration. I'm getting tired of imitation though.

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