Stop it with all the singing


Groundhog Day – The Musical. It’s going to be a thing and it’s going to be at the Old Vic. Personally I hope that the groundhog itself gets at least one big number, because otherwise, well, it wouldn’t be fair would it?

For whatever reason, it seems like whenever a thing gets any success the next apparently logical step is to make a musical out of it. At least with Groundhog Day it’s kind of logical – it was a film with a plot and characters and that, which is the basic ingredients (along with singing and music) for a musical. Other things, like ABBA and The Spice Girls, aren’t films (are you keeping up?) somehow they shoehorned a plot into them…oh wait, they didn’t.

The Spice Girls musical closed fairly quickly and that ABBA one, Mamma Mia! is easily one of the worst films I’ve ever not watched all of. It’s not as bad as most Nicolas Cage movies, so I wasn’t even entertained enough by the over acted reactions to dial tones to watch until the end. Meryl Streep was bloody awful and I felt like the whole premise – who’s the Daddy, isn’t this jolly – was really ill-judged and totally inappropriate. I mean, if your Mum was all like, yeah maybe it’s him, I definitely boned him once or twice but I was like completely off my nut that whole time, so who knows, it could be anyone with a willy in a 20 mile radius, but never mind let’s have a sing song…you might be a bit more upset, perhaps. Or a bit more, you know, a product of the care system. Of course Streep is all lovely and middle class so her youthful slaggery is colourful and bohemian, rather than a drain on the welfare state and a reason for your child to be taken away from you.

However, chuck a load of ABBA hits over the top of that, badly sung in a whimsical manner, and that, for some reason, is a recipe for success. Recipe for sucks, more like, ahahaha. Sorry. Anyway, yep, it was toss, but box office gold standard toss, so now it seems like they’re trying the same thing with everything else. Even David Bowie is having a go with “Lazarus”, a musical based on The Man Who Fell to Earth, a 1963 novel that was adapted into a film starring Bowie in 1976. The new musical is being created by Bowie, playwright Enda Walsh and director Ivo van Hove. Personally, I find characters bursting into song for no reason ludicrous. Joss Whedon managed such a ridiculous idea perfectly in the amazing musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – “Once More with Feeling”, with a Demon casting a spell on them that meant their innermost feelings were revealed in very well choreographed musical numbers. It’s a great episode and one of the only musicals that I actually like. Cabaret is awesome, but the songs are all on stage at the club, so you know, it makes sense, them singing, rather than Madonna flinging a bag around and running up and down stairs while pretending to be a dignified Eva Peron. No. So many nos. I can’t be doing with it. Unless they’re funny, like Dr Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, another of Whedon’s genius creations, or Sweeney Todd then in general musicals are pants. Of course, this is just my personal taste and I’m sure many people think they’re great, but I can’t help think that they just ruin a good story with unnecessary warbling. Sometimes they even ruin a shite story, if that’s even possible.

If you liked this…good. Follow me on Twitter @SallyWJones if you like.

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