From WhatsOnStage.com: “According to the Sunday Mirror, plans are under way to create a stage musical based on JK Rowling’s seven best-selling novels. Casting agents are now searching for a young star to create the role of Harry on stage; at 18, [Daniel] Radcliffe is too old--and no doubt unavailable... A 'theatre insider' told the newspaper: 'The difficulty is condensing the seven books into a manageable show. They are exploring various ideas. One possibility is to tell the whole story. Another is to just take a single plot. The plan is for spectacular flying scenes, live Quidditch and big showdowns with Voldermort.' A composer and creative team is also still being sought for the musical, which is tipped to premiere in the West End in 2008.”
As much as I'm a musical theater freak, I can't imagine Voldemort, Hagrid or--God forbid--Dobby the Elf breaking into song. Can you?
How about Peter Parker, Mary Jane, Auntie May, Doc Ock, et al?
From Playbill.com: “A musical version of the famed comic strip and now hit film series is in the works. Variety reports that Tony Adams, co-producer of the stage musical 'Victor/Victoria,' and Marvel Comics are planning to bring the comic book tale to the stage. The industry paper says that Neil Jordan--of 'The Crying Game' fame--would pen the book with a score by U2's Bono and the Edge. Julie Taymor, who received a Tony Award for her direction of the international hit 'The Lion King,' looks likely to direct. No casting or dates have been announced for the project.”
Bono doing a Broadway score. Eentresting. (Suggested songs for the Green Goblin: “It Ain't Easy Bein' Green.” Or “Mean Green Mother from Outer Space.” Or, uhurm, “Evergreen,” with Willem Dafoe dressed as a Barbra Streisand impersonator.)
Meanwhile, the lavish “Lord of the Rings” mega-musical? It ran up a tab of $25 million, making it the most expensive production in West End history, but the good press was paltry. The Toronto Star had earlier billed it “Bored of the Rings.” In London it became “a saga of short people burdened by power jewelry” (Variety), “Overblown, over-orchestrated and now over here” (The Sun, referring to the show's origins in Toronto), and a show that “cannot muster a single memorable tune” (The Financial Times).
The Daily Mail could hardly contain its snickers: “British adults will find it difficult to suppress open laughter at this show’s Portentous Moments. Corny is hardly the word. There’s more corn here than in Kansas.”
However, a friend in London who had seen it at the Theater Royal texted me to say it was mind-blowing--praise echoed by The Times, which called it “a brave, stirring, epic piece of popular theater” with “charm, wit and jaw-dropping theatrical brio.” As with the film trilogy, the loudest cheers went to the actor who played Gollum, Michael Therriault (“Charismatic and creepy,” said The Daily Telegraph; a “stand-out performer,” raved The Independent).
Hmmm. Would we say the same of a warbling Sandman or Viper?
[cartoon copyright © Rufftoon]