I went to see my first musical this week. Not the first one I’ve written. The first one I’ve seen. I’ve not written a musical beyond those strange made up tunes you sing to yourself around the house. Which would make a strange two hours if strung together. It would be full of songs like “Where is the Sellotape? / Where is the Sellotape? / Where is the Sellotape? / I need to wrap a present” or “Baking baking baking / Baking baking baking / Baking baking baking / I am baking bread”
Well, there’s my next project, I guess.
I went to see “Singing in the rain” in London’s glamorous London. And it was excellent: A pretty much faithful rendering of the film except for the bit where Cosmo runs up the wall at does a backflip. I guess it was just too difficult. Or not allowed on health and safety grounds? Anyway, they made a joke out of it. I think most people knew it was coming up. So the actor playing Cosmo made a lot of faces and raised his eyebrows a lot at the audience to build expectation then ran at the wall… and went straight through it. (This is actually the “topper” joke in the film.)
It’s funny that the wall bit stuck in my mind. Because the one of the reason I liked musical films as a kid was all the skill involved. Fred Astaire could not only tapdance but would also fling a coin on to a bar-room table top so it landed spinning. (I liked the SKILL. Not just all the romantic dancing stuff as that would have been just “girly.” Ahem.)
I was reminded of this by seeing the Singin’ in the Rain musical on stage: How skilled everyone was! The incredible dancing and singing and acting. The discipline and efficiency it must take to put on such a production must be phenomenal. I was left with a new found respect for ‘luvvie’ types.
This is in the context of having done stand up. Where you just turn up at some ill-gotten gig in the back of a pub, shamble on stage and do your thing in whatever way you see fit. Stand-ups dislike luvvie actors appearing in their midst with their acting school delivery and projection and style-over-content. Mind you, stand-ups will find a way of being bitter about most things. If they had kittens in comedy clubs, stand-ups would resent them for not having proper gags, and being too fluffy.
Anyway, singin’ in the rain was ace.
P.S. I know Singin in the Rain featured Gene Kelly, not Fred Astaire. But I mention him because I always preferred Fred.
Just wanted to set the record straight on that.