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In The Zone . .Emotional Chaos . ..Number 9. . .September 11


Emotional Chaos
Weekly Column by Brian Codagnone

December 4, 2003


People frequently come up to me on the street and ask, "Say, what's new on Broadway this season?" Invariable I respond, "How the hell should I know? Get away from me, you strange person, before I beat you senseless with this Kielbasa!" But, given the frequency of the question and the price of Kielbasa these days, I thought I'd look into it. I'm here to report that The Great White Way is as meaty, beaty, big and bouncy as ever. Let's look at some of the blockbusters lighting up the theatre scene:

The hottest new musical of the season is Pluck!, which Andrew Lloyd Webber hopes will do for chickens what "Cats" did for felines. Starring a bunch of unknowns who aren't at ALL of questionable sexual orientation. Get that RIGHT out of your mind.

"Crocodile Dundee" star Paul Hogan is back in "The Wombat King", also starring Linda Kozlowski, Olivia Newton-John and Yahoo Serious as "Sedgwick".

And don't miss the musical version of "Apollo 13" starring Nathan Lane, Mandy Patinkin and Matthew Broderick as the ill fated crew, Mark Hamill as Ken Mattingly and Glenn Close as Gene Kranz. The show features such memorable tunes as "Rocket to the Moon", Blow my Hatch" and "Maneuvering Thrusters On!"

"The Man From Glad", based on the TV commercials from the 1960s, opened to rave reviews. With Hugh Jackman in the title role and Bebe Newirth as "Mrs. Everyhousewife", "Glad" should do for plastic wrap what "Sweeney Todd" did for pot pies. Although "Mr. Clean" with Joel Grey was less than successful last year, musicals based on old TV commercials continue to do a brisk box office.

In the wake of the success of "Riverdance", we have "Beyond the Pale", the all albino step dancing troupe, and although the Richard Nixon bioplay "Sunset at Yorba Linda" has closed after a successful five year run, fans of our 37th president will enjoy "I, Nixon" with Derek Jacobi in the title role, Ian McKellan as Bob Haldeman, Patrick Stewart as John Ehrlichman, Hugh Grant as John Dean and the late John Gielgud as John Mitchell. Although the part of Spiro Agnew hasn't been cast, the Broadway rumor mill says the smart money is on either Robin Williams or Gary Coleman.

You can't go wrong with Shakespeare, especially with such luminaries as Jackie Mason, Farrah Fawcett and Rosie O'Donnell on board. All three can be seen in the new production of "Romeo and Juliet", while Charles Nelson Reilly and Harvey Fierstein appear in "Much ado about nothing".

Of course, it wasn't all success on Broadway this season. The blockbuster musical "Ishtar!", based on the Warren Beatty/Dustin Hoffman movie was the most expensive flop since "Schindler's List on Ice", and "An Evening with Gilbert Gottfried" closed after one rehearsal.

I've been thinking of pitching the idea of an existential, nude version of "The Sound of Music". Existential musicals are hot right now (look at "The Non-Producers"). I mean, wasn't The Sound of Music ALWAYS a metaphor for man's struggle against totalitarianism and a parallel to the rise of Nazi Germany? Or was that "The Music Man"? Anyway, by changing the names of all the characters to "Horst", replacing the Rodgers and Hammerstein score with Kraftwerk and having all the actors naked on a totally black set covered with broken glass, I think I captured the essence of what the writer MEANT to say! Here's an excerpt:

The scene: a blackened room, somewhere in Austria in the late 1930s.

Horst 1: "I'm Horst, the new governess. Fate has brought me here for reasons only the fathomless mind of God can OW!! I've cut myself! There's glass everywhere!"

Horst 2: "Life is pain. Pain is life. All this glass glitters like the broken dreams of the Bourgeois."

Hortst 1: "We'd better not sit down, then!"

Horst 2: "Glass is my bed. I bleed, I cry, I seek medical attention... only through pain can we know we're alive!"

Horst 3 (to the hypnotic thrum of "Kraftwerk"): "Alive. Alive. The hills are alive! Alive. Alive. The hills are alive!"

Horst 2: I must join the Austrian Navy. I can do nothing else. Free will is a cruel illusion."

Horst 3: "Alive. Alive. The hills are alive! Alive. Alive. The hills are alive!"

Horst 2: "Take care of the children, Horst, Horst, Horst, Horst, Horst and especially my darling little Horst!"

Horst 1: "As much as anyone can care in a pointless universe."

The children, Horst, Horst, Horst, Horst, Horst and little Horst come on stage and join Horst 3 in singing "Alive. Alive. The hills are alive! Alive. Alive. The hills are alive!"

I can see it now! It would make a perfect vanity piece for Julia Roberts and Keanu Reeves! I'll have my people call your people...



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Surf Our Site

Home ... Misfits . Rafferty .. . S1019 .. . Star Crossed....
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Ginger & Shadow. ..Writer's Block.. ..Cool Links . ..More Cool Links .
Oddities ..Link To Us... Guest Comics . Online Store..
In The Zone. ..Number 9. . .September 11