Photo by freakapotimus
U2 never ceases to amaze me. Although construction of their Dublin skyscraper has been postponed because of economic troubles, the band is keeping busy. Their first studio release in five years debuts in a few weeks, and Bono and The Edge are composing the music and lyrics for a Spider-Man musical-yes, a Spider-Man musical-and it will reportedly be the most expensive Broadway production ever staged.
With great power comes great responsibility. In other words, this has the potential to be powerfully awesome, or just powerfully awful. Live theater relies so much on spectacle and shock value, it’s hard to know what to expect, and my knee-jerk reaction is always, “Really? What sane person would pay to watch that?”
I’ve heard great things about “Bat Boy: The Musical” and “Jerry Springer: The Opera.” But just reading the names of “Shopping: The Musical” and “Emo: The Musical” makes me think people have finally run out of good ideas.
It’s not like older musicals were any less silly. (Ahem, “Starlight Express” anyone?) But plenty of them stand the test of time. “Little Shop of Horrors” is a preposterous but remarkably good show.
Without a doubt, musicals are an acquired taste. But for those of you who don’t wince at the thought of sitting in a dark, crowded room watching grown men and women dance and sing for hours on end, I have some questions: What is the continuing appeal of musical theater, particularly in comparison to film? And if you’ve seen some of the more outrageous musicals, what made them good or bad?
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