I’m not a huge fan of musicals. I like musical numbers in shows, but there’s something about the format and structure and plot conventions that usually drive me up the wall. Don’t really know why. That’s just the way it is. Rent? Seriously? Get the hell off my blogging lawn.
One of the few exceptions to this has been Andrew Lloyd Webber’s classic, the Phantom of the Opera, which I saw in my younger, more vulnerable years . Something about the chandelier actually falling and scaring the hell out of everyone sitting right underneath. It’s always kind of offered that glimmer of hope, “I don’t like most musicals but then there was Phantom and that was all right so sure, I’ll go see whatever musical you want to see this weekend, honey.”
Well, apparently “They” won’t even let me have that, because there’s a sequel now. And it’s got most of the same characters but set in Coney Island, New York, so everything is ruined now.
The Phantom is based on the classic novel “Le Fantome de l’Opera” by Gaston Leroux. The sequel, “Phantom: Love Never Dies” is based on… nothing. Although, judging by the title, it could be a “Love actually” or a James Bond remount.
Come on, guys. I mean, the show itself might (might) be okay, but the idea of this - sequelizing a classic musical set in Paris, France by moving it to Coney Island, New York?! - ranks up there with “musical versions of classic movies” and “putting a goddamn exclamation mark at the end of a single word title” in the top ten list of signs your art form is rapidly deteriorating. What’s next, musicals based on video games?
Actually, that’s not a bad idea. Mario Bros. the Musical. Hmmm…
If there’s one silver lining to this whole travesty, it’s the British critics, who take particular delight in skillfully eviscerating new shows with their skillfully British diction. Some zingers courtesy of Yahoo News and something called Newser:
"Where's the menace, the horror, the psychological darkness? For that I recommend a trip to Her Majesty's, not the Adelphi." – Benedict Nightingale, The Times.
"...A death scene so long that it may only re-ignite the euthanasia debate." – Quentin Letts, The Daily Mail
“Phantom of the Opera? More like Bantam of the Opera! You know, that ghastly American publishing house responsible for such dreck as those awful Danielle Steel novels! Ah ha-ha!” – Reginald Cummerbund, The Goat
Okay, so I made the last one up. But my point has been made, which is... I don’t like musicals very much? And thusly, I have wasted your time with this blog post. Hooray for me.
Now, who wants to help with Mario Bros. the Musical?