Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, January 27, 2014

Broadway goes to the movies,take 97!

Along side the many other new pop culture delights that folks look forward to sampling this year,Broadway plays have their fair share of fans eager to embrace all that the stage has to offer.However,the theater is not immune to following certain Hollywood trends such as adapting previous hits into remakes,especially where musicals are concerned.

 Sometimes, this works out well (I particularly enjoy the musical version of Legally Blonde) and other times, just as badly as any other box office flop(Stephen King's Carrie has not fared well either on stage or that dismal recent remake). I have at least three upcoming Broadway bound-Hollywood based shows on deck for us to examine the possible merits and misses of:

ROCKY: Yes, that Sly Stallone classic is being sent to the stage this season and there will be songs along with the blood(probably not much blood at that). This show was created in 2012 and had a successful run in Hamburg before being brought over to the US. I find it hard to take a musical version of Rocky at all seriously(it sounds so much like a comedy skit) but who knows, it might surprise us all:

THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY: Now,this I wish was a joke yet sadly it's not. The Robert James Waller novel rears it's ugly head into the pop culture wild once again as a musical and does not have the sense to at least use the screenplay of the Clint Eastwood film adaptation,which made this sentimental hogwash much more palatable.

 Granted, my bias is personal as TBOMC is one of the few books that I actually hate(at least I didn't have to pay to read that damn thing,a relative all too willing loaned me a copy that he didn't want back) and is also one of the few films that is actually better than the book. Judging by this love duet from the show "Falling Into You", the Broadway version seems to be soaked in the cloying sap of self centered romance that the book had in annoying abundance:

BULLETS OVER BROADWAY: The 1994 Woody Allen period piece about the dangers of putting a play together seems to be tailor made for an actual Broadway production and I can truly see this working.

Using the original script and incorporating songs from the twenties and thirties, the show is set to star Zach Braff as the hapless playwright David Shayne, with Marin Mazzie as the pretentious diva Helen Sinclair(she of the infamous "don't speak!") and Nick Cordero as mob henchman Creech who gets overly involved in the development of the play.

The only stumbling block I can see is with audiences familiar with the original film doing a lot of compare and contrast between the leads here and their movie star counterparts. Considering that Dianne Wiest won an Oscar for being Helen Sinclair, any actress that follows is going to have a tough row to hoe(not to mention the guys stepping into the shoes of John Cusack and Chazz Palminteri):

 Broadway taking it's musical cues from Hollywood won't end any time soon(not as long as seats are still being filled) but it would be fun if they got a little more adventurous with their choices. After all, with the price of tickets these days,I think audiences would feel it worth their while to check out something like Evil Dead: The Musical somewhere else than Vegas. Come on, I'm not the only one who wants to do the Necronomicon on Broadway!:

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