Not Another Musical

I hate musicals! I have spent a good deal of my life looking down my nose at them and it gets worse the older I get. I've always had a problem with jumping and singing on stage and looking into someone's eyes and singing instead of talking. It's something I can't take seriously.

Of course there are exceptions, but they are so very few they hardly count and it's rather their music I hear on a record than going to see them.

What annoys me is every film, every book adapted into a sing-and-jump version for stage. "Les Miserables", for example, based on the great Victor Hugo epic,  is one of the things that leaves me wondering and pondering: why? What for?

What annoys me even more is the acting and the assuming chorus. This is not the chorus of ancient Greek Drama - these interesting background characters doing the pathetic "shocked whispering" when something happens. No, it/s simply dreadful.

On the other hand, musicals seem to attract the audience and sell.

They dominate the East End UK theatres and they are sold out. The lady who produced "ABBA The Musical" made 4 million pounds in a single year and dreadful things like "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang",  "Mamma Mia" and "Fame" are running for years now.

Maybe I am losing out on the opportunity of my lifetime and will produce a musical. After all, I do not have to love it!

What about "Waiting for Godot", only, that he shows up at the end (we need a happy end with an even happier song) A film maybe, like "Naked Lunch", or "Ulysses" by James Joyce, combined with lots of river dancing next to Molly's repertory? Kafka's Trial would also appear in a completely new light as well, once it is brightened up with songs and dancing.

No, no it has to be Greek drama. "Ajax" by Sophocles (oh, lets break into song instead of going to war) or rather "Electra" by Euripides.

I can already hear the new smashing hit "O sable night, nurse of the golden stars", the introductory words of Electra, or just think of the duet of Orestes and Electra "Stay, poor maid; fear no violence from me hehee heeheee" and she responding "O Phoebus Apollo I beseech thee spare my li-hi-hife!"

Marvelous! And changing a bit the scenery, the time, the costumes... another hit and another violation of theatre.

O tempora, o mores!

©2004 Andrea Kapsaski

For more commentary and articles by Andrea Kapsaski, check the Archives.


Andrea Kapsaski is a Ph.D scholar, translator,
theatre and film producer, and a hell of a cook.


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