Jeremy's Ramblings, Babblings, and Other Pretentious Bullshit.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Hey, Broadway. C'mere. No, come here, I want to show you something. I promise it'll be cool. Yeah, come here. A little closer. A liiiiitle clooooser...
Yeah, that was me slapping you in the face. And here's why. Read these two paragraphs that I just read on playbill.com:
"The acclaimed TV series 'Designing Women,' which concerned four women who run an Atlanta design firm, may be turned into a Broadway play.
FOX News reports that Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, who created the situation comedy, is at work writing a play based on the Emmy-nominated series. Dixie Carter, Delta Burke, Annie Potts and Jean Smart, who were the show's original co-stars, are all said to be interested in reprising their roles on The Great White Way."
Now, Broadway, I've put up with a lot from you lately. I put up with your revivals of tired over-produced shows ("Steel Magnolias", "Twelve Angry Men", "On Golden Pond", "The Odd Couple", "A Streetcar Named Desire", "Barefoot in the Park", "Sweet Charity", "The Pajama Game" and "The Glass Menagerie"...and that's just in the last two years!), I put up with your jukebox musicals featuring flimsy plots strung along by poorly arranged renditions of aritsts's canons (John Lennon, Frankie Valli, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and The Beach Boys...and that's just in the last two years!), and I put up with your laughable adaptations of film or literature ("Dracula", "Little Women", "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", "The Woman in White", "The Color Purple", "A Tale of Two Cities", "The Wedding Singer" and "Tarzan"...and that's just in the last two years!).
In recent years, you have provided the stage debuts of P. Diddy and Alicia Silverstone. You made God an Elvis impersonator and John Lennon a collage of minorities and genders. You rewrote the lyrics to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" to fit a story about vampires. You musicalized John Travolta, Kevin Bacon and Adam Sandler films. You turned Luke Skywalker into a gay dance teacher. You let Harvey Fierstein and Rosie O'Donnell play a married couple. You made such great actors as Al Pacino, Denzel Washington, John C. Reilly and Alfred Molina look undignified. For fuck's sake, you gave Suzanne Somers a one-woman show!
I always endured the torture of hearing about millions upon millions of dollars being poured into these productions because of the great work that you did in presenting original works like John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt", Martin McDonagh's "The Pillowman", Michael Frayn's "Democracy" and William Finn's "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee", as well as inventive revivals of "Glengarry Glen Ross" and "Sweeney Todd" (which, sadly, is all I could come up with in the last two years).
But now you have gone too far. You are adapting a Delta Burke television sitcom for Broadway? Why? Tell me one good reason why. Tell me what this show could possibly do that the syndicated reruns could not. Tell me why thousands of theatregoers, when given over thirty shows to choose from (and that's not counting the shows that are playing off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway) would want to pay $75 to see a two-hour sitcom episode. Tell me why you think the one-liners and flimsy plotlines will make a successful leap from small screen to big stage. Tell me why!
And hey, since you're adapting anything and everything for the stage now, might I suggest the following ideas:
"Fear Factor! The Musical"
"Rock the Casbahs! The Clash Musical"
"Super Mario Brothers! The Musical"
"Space Mountain! The Musical"
"Entertainment Weekly! The Musical"
"Pop Tarts! The Musical"
"NyQuil! The Musical"
Go on, Broadway, adapt cold medicine into a feel-good family-friendly laugh riot! After all, you are supposed to be the theatrical mecca in all of North and South America, and instead you're now a joke. There are musical adaptations of "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Star Wars" on the Internet that are making fun of you. And the funny part is that they are as good, if not better, than most of the crap that you produce for real.
For Pete's sake, Broadway, people are watching! Get your shit together!
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