December 2009 Archives

I kind of do:


The same Kennedy Center Honors also featured a tribute to Mel Brooks, with musical numbers from basically everything he ever wrote. Except for Young Frankenstein The Musical, of course.


On Your Published Play Being Performed

A few months ago I get a "Google Alert" e-mail for the words "Oedipus for Kids", which is the title of a musical I wrote that was published earlier this year. A surprising e-mail at that, because it was the e-mail that alerted me that the premiere international production of "Oedipus" was to be performed in Windsor, Ontario. With the first performance starting about... Oh, 5 hours after I received the e-mail.

I'd gone to see Oe4K productions in the past, and I might have gone to see this one; there is no out-of-body experience like watching people you've never met perform songs and dialogue you'd written in a Cosi on 23rd street. Yet two things were keeping me from going:
  • The very very short notice, which is Internet-speak for very very high airfare.
  • Secondarily, how cold I remember Canada being. Because in a few hours I was headed to a friend's aunt's summer house for the weekend. So: hysterical songs in a gut-busting musical that will make you laugh until your ears bleed brain juice? Or the beach? The choice was pretty clear.
There isn't a blame game here. My publisher is a play publisher. And unfortunately, like anything else involving theater, the move into the digital age comes slow. So the custom content-management system with a massive DB-backend that does auto-messaging to opt-in authors when their works are performed? A little too expensive for the theater world, sad but accurate.

And what about the alternative? I might be interested to hear about how your version of Oedipus For Kids' "Sphinxy" puppet had an eyeball that popped out when he contracted the plague. But while I'd love an e-mail from a prospective production, I can't imagine that, say, Jason Robert Brown's response to an "I'm doing Last Five Years" e-mail is more than a "Great, you're production ten billion and seven".

But what I then learned is that even if there was this author-alert system, it isn't that simple. The theater licensing world gets something known as a "Window Shopper", which is somebody who requests a quote, or even a full out license with materials and the like, but at the end may not actually perform the show and could even switch shows entire just a few short weeks beforehand. So I could have received an e-mail, immediately booked my flight nice and early, and then contacted the theater company the week before to let them know that the author was going to show up.

And then promptly received an e-mail back saying, "What? You're not Jason Robert Brown."

A different Ragtime revival logo

| 7 Comments
Back in September, the NYTimes posted a feature on the ad campaign evolution for this year's Ragtime Revival. I was looking at it today and found this aborted design:

Am I the only one who likes it much better than the one they ended up going with?

Cast set for 'Rain'

I hereby declare a moratorium on any play being allowed to have the word "Rain" in its title for the next 40 years. Especially if there's ever a chance Variety is going to report on it:

Addams Family, Too Expensive

| 6 Comments
Is anybody else complaining yet that Addams Family tickets are too expensive?

Do I get to be the first?

South Pacific Abridged

Some Enchanted Evening
You Will See A Musical
Yes, You Will See A Musical
That Just Feels Really Old...

Broadway Abridged Album - Contest Winners

Submissions have closed for the #bwayabridged contest, so I'd like to congratulate the two people who I thought did the best job abridging a show in less than 125 characters:

SOUND OF MUSIC: The family that sings together gets chased by Nazis through the Alps.
MAMMA MIA: Rousing ABBA-scored game of Who's Your Daddy, followed by 1/2hr of encores in jumpsuits stolen from Brady Bunch movie.

Congrats, @PBCrook and Colleen, each of you wins a copy of Broadway Abridged Volume One: Even More Musicals, available to both of you for free, or to everybody else for purchase either on a track-by-track or full-album basis.

Speaking of losers, here are the rest of the entries!
  • AVENUE Q: R-rated "Sesame Street" for college grads, complete with puppet sex! (@michaelmarcus)
  • CAROUSEL: Deadbeat dads who beat their wives always get a second chance--with music! (@PBCrook)
  • COMPANY: Scene: Raul Esparza "I'm lonely and happy!" Friends: "We're psycopaths!" Curtain Falls. (@amgreenberg)
  • DAMN YANKEES: Faust with pinstripes and jazz hands. (@kevinddaly)
  • DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES: Michael Crawford wishes to be type cast forever as a lame vampire. Upstaged by gay vamp son. (@Kalroythx)
  • EVITA: What's new, Buenos Aires? Oh, me? I'm dying, but don't cry for me, Argentina. It's cool. (@LaNouvelleVogue)
  • FINIANS RAINBOW: Cheyenne Jackson in tight jeans. Terri White steals show. (@rowijo)
  • GLORY DAYS: Four guys and a bleacher. (@PataphysicalSci)
  • GOD OF CARNAGE: 2 families fight over whose fam is better. Woman barfs. Props Destroyed. Mobile breaks. Neither wins. (Pam)
  • GODSPELL: Extras from RENT put on a show: the New Testament set to music. About as entertaining as it sounds. (@michaelmarcus)
  • JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING…: Slavery, imprisonment, despair, harems, divination and goat slaughter. FOR KIDS! (@sarahcryst)
  • LITTLE MERMAID: They closed Beauty & the Beast for this? (@rowijo)
  • LITTLE SHOP : They're poor & they sing about it, they make kids scared of the dentist then they're dead & they sing about it. (@JustEllen6:)
  • MEMPHIS: Hairspray did it better. (@butterflyblob)
  • MY FAIR LADY: Professor teaches guttersnipe proper English. She’s pissed when he takes all the credit. But they stay friends. (Cassandra)
  • NEXT TO NORMAL: Just because you're mentally unstable doesn't mean you have to sing like a theremin. (@TheDrowsyKaye)
  • RAGTIME: While there was an abundance of gazebos, 0% Negroes. However, 100% of it was Ragtime. (@TheDrowsyKaye)
  • RENT: You're a tool if you make an artist pay their bills. (@Tiggy_Mae)
  • SHREK: Chris Sieber, Sutton Foster, Brian d'Arcy James, Dan Breaker loses a bet. Forced to play Halloween 4ever (@tapeworthy)
  • SPRING AWAKENING: S&M, rape, abortion &general German weirdness: set to Duncan Sheik, it's totes romantic. (@maybeimamazed0)
  • STARLIGHT EXPRESS: A charming family fable featuring a cheerful red caboose who occasionally channels Heath Ledger's Joker. (@threads_of_gold)
  • SWEENEY TODD: Musical about murdering people & then eating their corpses...but it's Sondheim, so at least the music's good. (Cassandra)
  • THE BOY FROM OZ: Not a short-lived prequel to THE WIZARD OF OZ. (@pavementchaser)
  • THE LION KING: Disney presents Hamlet, with a warm and fuzzy twist. (@pavementchaser)
  • THRILL ME: Boy meets boy. Boy wants gay sex from other, heterosexual boy. Boys murder child. (@Kalroythx)
  • TITANIC: No moon. No water. It sinks. The end. (William)
  • WICKED: Idina Menzel: I'm green and I scream myself hoarse! Kristen Chenoweth: I am upstaging you. End. (@kevinywong)
  • XANADU: Jukebox musical: muse inspires artist to create rollerdisco. Set in '80s. But it's really funny. Seriously. (Cassandra)

Wishful Drinking Abridged

The contest deadline is closed. Sorry I don't have the winners picked yet; give me a day or so. In the meanwhile, perhaps I can give you an entry from the Broadway Abridged Shorts Archives:

RECENT BLOG ENTRIES

Who wants to go to a Sting concert with Bill Irwin?
I kind of do: The same Kennedy Center Honors also featured a tribute to Mel Brooks, with musical numbers from…
On Your Published Play Being Performed
A few months ago I get a "Google Alert" e-mail for the words "Oedipus for Kids", which is the title…
A different Ragtime revival logo
Back in September, the NYTimes posted a feature on the ad campaign evolution for this year's Ragtime Revival. I was…
Cast set for 'Rain'
I hereby declare a moratorium on any play being allowed to have the word "Rain" in its title for the…

ITBA

RECENT COMMENTS

BROADWAY ABRIDGED LIVE! (THE CD)


Volume 1: Even More Musicals comedy album available for sale on iTunes/Amazon.