Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, April 24, 2006

Lestat On Broadway:will it suck more than blood?

This week,Lestat the musical opens on Broadway and if advance word is to be believed,this show could sink faster than the Titanic. The plot combines the first two of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles(Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat) which means,yes Virginia,we get to see Claudia sing"I Want More" and then later,turn into a crispy fry in the sun. Not sure what kind of dance number that'll be that won't make the audience bust out laughing there.

Also,Lestat sings a song entitled"Sail Me Away" as he is perched on a ship's helm. Look,I read the books and know that there's quite alot of boat travel but how do you expect me to buy that Lestat would give a big coming to America number,Yentl style? Other song titles include"Crimson Kiss","Make Me As You Are" and "The Thirst". Yep,a bunch of toe tapping tunes to hum all the way home!

One of the major probelms here is that it's hard to mix horror and music together without adding some whimsey to even things out. Would you really be scared of a vampire coming towards you in the dark,singing and dancing as he did so? It doesn't have to be as campy as say,a Little Shop of Horrors or a Rocky Horror Picture show,but it can be done. Just look at what Joss Whedon accomplished in the "Once More,With Feeling" episode of Buffy. One of his inspirations was the Brian DePalma cult classic,Phantom of the Paradise,which still holds up well today.

Part of the success of POTP is Paul Williams,who not only wrote all the music and songs but starred as the main villian,Swan. Williams has a delightfully dark edge in his work which the likes of Elton John don't match up. Elton John and Bernie Taupin work well together,no questions about that,but that's fine if you need a songwriting team for a Disney animated singalong not a uberGoth vampire series. Anne Rice has given her approval to this project(she's in the promotional photos,anyway)which means that they'll be taking her words as seriously as she does. Have we not learned from such mistakes as Carrie:The Musical,Dance of the Vampires and letting Sebastian Bach star in Jekyll & Hyde?

I haven't seen many Broadway shows(did catch "Cats" twice)and wouldn't mind seeing this sucker just for the hell of it. However,those ticket prices are abit too rich for my blood so I would probaly be better off renting Queen of the Damned for some laughs or just watching Once Bitten again. Lauren Hutton may look goofy biting off Jim Carrey's buttons but atleast she doesn't sing while doing it.

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