USA Today has their Fall stage preview in today’s issue and it’s always interesting to see what the mainstream press picks up on in terms of theater. First off, like everything else in culture these days, it’s all about the celebrities! There’s also a feel good tale about young boys catching their first big break. But most disturbing to me is all of the “The Musical” suffixes out there. As you may have seen, “Menopause: The Musical” was recently in C’Ville. On Broadway this fall we’ll have “Billy Elliot: The Musical,” “Tale of Two Cities: The Musical,” and most scary of all, “Shrek: The Musical.”
Sure, you can’t judge just from the suffix (and from what I hear from the Steingold sisters, “Two Cities” is very “Les Miz”-like, which frankly works just fine for me), but still, I think we’re almost in a post-post ironic stage with the whole “The Musical” thing. “Springtime for Hitler” signaled the first wave decades ago. Now, with both “Batman: The Musical” and “Spiderman: The Musical” having been talked about, it seems that “Apocalypse Now: The Musical” or “Post-Nasal Drip: The Musical” wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow. Will we ever get back to the day when a musical can just have a name – like “Spring Awakening” for instance – and not be weighted down by the suffix?
And speaking of all that, it’s not just the theater that’s into the whole recycling thing. Here’s a review of the new opera, “The Fly,” which is currently playing out in L.A. What I wanted to know is how did they avoid a headline like “Fly generated a buzz”?