Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
London, I have my sights set on you.

I'm looking at the listing of current Broadway shows, and here's where it stands:

Revival of a Musical: 5 shows
One-person shows: 6 shows
Revival of a play: 3 shows
New play: 2 shows
New musical: 3 shows
New musicals that have been playing for over a year and therefore aren't so new: 9 shows

Now that's not very good. 17 musicals to 11 plays. Not that all musicals are bad, but most of them are overrated, while the really good ones ("Assassins", "Caroline or Change") close early. Meanwhile, most of the musicals currently playing are the standards we've all grown to know and love and then hate ("Beauty and the Beast", "The Lion King", "Phantom", etc.), and most of the plays are one-person shows (a.k.a. two-hour stand-up routines).

But just when you thought that was bad, here's the lineup for the rest of the season:

Musical adaptation of previous works: 10 shows
Revival of a play: 10 shows
Revival of a musical: 6 shows
One person-show: 3 shows
New play transferred from England: 3 shows
New American play: 3 shows
New musical: 2 shows

Now that's insane. It would have been good news that the incoming plays outnumber the musicals...IF MOST OF THEM WEREN'T FREAKING REVIVALS OR STAND-UP ROUTINES!!! Seriously, are we that hard up for new voices? Are we so desperate that we have to stage no less than two Neil Simon plays (three if you count "Sweet Charity", which he wrote the book for)? Do you need already established source material to get a producer to fund your musical now? And why is that the four new American plays this season (yes, only four out of the sixty-five shows to play this season) are all from well-established writers (John Patrick Shanley, Donald Marguiles, Elaine May and August Wilson)? I know that there are incredible new playwrights out there. I keep losing competitions to them. So why aren't they being represented on the Great White Way?

I've pretty much given up on Broadway. When the best New York audiences are going to get is "Brooklyn Boy", a well-written but exceedingly predictable play, something is rotten in the state of New York. Now I'm looking toward London. True, they have their fair share of cheesy musicals ("Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", anyone?). But they're much more about good drama there. After all, this is the place that gave us Sarah Kane, Michael McDonagh and Caryl Churchill.

I'm convinced that London is the place to go if you want to do well as an up-and-coming playwright nowadays. So that, along with Los Angeles and Orange County, is the place where I'm going to try for a production. Royal Court Theatre, I'm coming after your ass! You said "American Way" showed great promise, so now I'm never gonna leave you alone!

In related news, I'm in a show. But Jeremy, say you, weren't you just rejected for a show yesterday? Why, yes, observant reader. I was feeling down after not getting "This Is Our Youth", and despite a request from the director, I couldn't do "Othello" at Hunger Artists for personal reasons (I would have been working with someone who has long worn out their welcome with me).

So then Ms. Darcy Hogan and Mr. Jason Lythgoe, two very talented local performers, convinced me to go along to an audition of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" that they were doing in La Habra. My original thought was, "Do I really want to do 'Joseph'? I've been doing all of this really amazing theatre for the past six months, and now I'm going for an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical?"

And then I thought, "Fuck, yeah! Why not? I haven't done a musical in a while, especially one with dancing, so why the hell shouldn't I go for 'Joseph'?" I've been in "Joseph" before and it was the most fun show I had ever been in.

Besides, I thought it would be interesting to go from "Assassins" ("What do you do? You do what you have to do. You kill the President!"; died by electric chair), to "The Gog/Magog Project" ("There will be a revolution, and theater will not survive! It is you who have destroyed it, you self-serving sons of bitches who can't abide to hear one thing you don't already agree with!"; died by hanging), to "Madame Guignol's Hellhouse" ("You will accept Jesus as your savior, or I will drown you like a fucking rat!"; died by stabbing) to "Joseph" ("Go, go, go Joseph, you know what they say/Hang on now Joseph, you'll make it some day/Sha la la Joseph, you're doing fine/You and your dreamcoat ahead of your time!"; no deaths).

So I went and auditioned for it last night. One day later, I'm one of the brothers and the Pharoah (who has the show's best song, an Elvis-style recounting of his dreams). So yeah! I'm in "Joseph" again, baby! I'm gonna have fun with that.

Man, I am itching to do a musical!! It's been far too long. I guess I'll have to settle for Othello and what's his face for now...
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