Thursday, March 5, 2009

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Have You Never Been Impeached?

My life is full of planned projects that may or may not yield results. I suppose most everyone's is, but let's take some time to focus on me, shall we? Besides the film school stuff (two docs, an F2, an F3, thesis), besides the new drafts I should write (two), besides the screenplays I have in mind (three right now, and one beginning to work its way into an idea), there's one project in particular that I'm gravitating towards.

Hint: It's nothing to do with movies.

Hint 2: Okay, it does, but only insofar as adapting one goes.

Hint 3: Song and dance.


Yes, it is my dream to jump on the bandwagon and write a musical based upon a film. Now, friends and I have discussed this before. Will the success of the new Priscilla, Queen of the Desert musical inspire me to begin To Wong Foo: The Musical? Is it time to transfer Bullets Over Broadway to the stage? Should Ben and I finally get to work on Henry Fielding's Tom Jones, featuring songs made popular by Tom Jones? Eh, maybe.

But the one that really intrigues me. The one that gets my brain a-going. The one that makes me go, "YES! It is time!"

Oh, hell yes. So far, we have stage adaptations of cult classics, Razzie winners, and The Wedding Singer, but why oh why has no one written a musical based on a biopic yet? It just means combining two amazing things. Look, Broadway loves musical bios (The Sound of Music) as much as it loves a good movie musical (not the MGM kind). Hell, they love Nixon.

Tony AND Oscar noms? Frost/Nixon, you slut!

So all three elements are in place. They are tried and true formulas. This is just the next logical step. And you know who would agree? Richard Nixon. Don't believe me? See for yourself:

Aw yeah.

What is Nixon if not a theatre piece filmed for the cinemas? The acting, the music, the set design, the lighting, all of it screams "STAGE ME!" Even Oliver Stone decided to approach it as a Shakespearean melodrama. The beats are there; all one needs is to set the sequences to music, throw in a dance number...

Wait, it's already there? Now that's just eerie...

The only question is this: shall it be a musical or an opera? Because as a musical, it could be quite a diversion, even a treat. But as an opera with music by Philip Glass? Whew. The mind reels.

Although I did once have the idea of just basing some songs after ones that have already met with public approval:

"A place where nobody dared to go
The scandal we came to know
They call it Watergate..."
Too much?

What about you? Sound like a plan? What biopic would you like to see done as a musical, and how?


Anonymous said...

So as we all know Nixon: the musical is a fantastic idea... I'm just going off your docudrama comment here, and I know it's simply a documentary, but Grey Gardens made the leap to stage with much approval from theatre goers. That being said, I think Nixon could be the ultimate musical if done right... if done right. That is a very scary undertaking, but one I hope you are prepared for. Because I'd give almost anything to see it happen.


Walter L. Hollmann said...

I completely forgot Grey Gardens, thanks for reminding me! *Sigh* Can you imagine if the HBO version with Drew Barrymore was a musical? That would be....well, actually, considering her singig, that would be middling.

V said...

I swear, if i die and you have never made this....I will have a codicil in my will that null and voids you received ANY comics, except for really awful ones like Racer X or Jack Chick pamphlets.

Well, actually, I'll need the Jack Chick ones.

Anonymous said...

I thought you had already started working on To Wong Foo: The Musical? That's really what I need. As for a musical biopic I'm hoping for, I think there should be one for Mata Hari. Dutch prostitute/spy who gets executed by firing squad? Sounds like the next Les Mis to me!