David and I get to see a lot of free theatre on opening nights due to this cool deal with Actor's Equity here in LA. Last night, we saw Hairspray the musical. I was expecting it to be at least somewhat cool, due to the fact that, hey, it's based on John Waters, what could go wrong?
Well, everything that's annoying about post post-modern musicals, that's what. I'd say it sort of stripped out what is good and campy about a John Waters film and made it into kitsch. Kitsch is different than camp. David and I have noticed a very cruddy trend with current populist musicals, and it's this: Sing a Wacky Song! Wait for the audience to clap, and then Do A LONG Reprise of that Wacky Song! Then while the audience claps again, Do A THIRD Reprise that fades into the next scene! Then, at the end of the show, after the curtain call, Sing The Song Again With Audience Participation and Clap-Along!! In fact, every show we've seen, which is like 7 in the last 6 months, has had a post-curtain audience participation thing.
I mean, what is this, vaudeville? I fully believe there is a time and place for that, but it has been every "musical" we've seen lately, from The Producers (ugh) to White Christmas (double ugh) and now to this. Waaaait a minute. These are all musicals BASED ON MOVIES. What's going on here?
I miss post-modern.
Anyway, we still had a pretty good time, because it was free, and the voices were good and the dancing was extremely energetic. But in general, I'd give it an enthusiastic "meh."
This relates to a conversation I recently had about certain movies in the past year or two.
Someone defended certain films, excused them by saying "they weren't that bad" and "what can you expect?" and "It was okay."
These were strongly voiced DEFENSES of films. I pointed them out, after a few were out.
This is the problem with our entertainment culture.
"Eh, it's not that bad" is not what I want everything to be. We should not want to live in a C- world.
I agree with you, in other words. Don | Homepage | 05.24.06 - 10:22 pm | #