Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Choreography Would Be Amazing...

Is a superhero musical a bad idea?


I can only think of one, and from what I've heard it's not very good.

But was that a matter of execution, or is there something inherently antithetical about the genre of superheroes and the medium of musicals?

My gut says yes, but trying to back it up with actual reasons is more difficult. After all, superheroes have succeeded in every other medium I can think of, so why not?

There's the technical questions, of course. Superheroes tend to play on big fields that would seem difficult to capture on a single stage, but Wicked is currently a hit, and that has flying monkeys, on-stage transformations and falling houses. And people have been performing Wagner operas for over a hundred years now.

There's the campiness of musicals, but come on. The nineties were six years ago, man. We embrace our campiness now. We adore our Superman Family collection. We LOVE the Adam West Batman! Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!


There's the music bit, but music's been a part of superheroes from their first adventures off the page. How many of you don't hear John Williams's score when see Superman swoop in? How many of you couldn't break into the Spider-Man theme on a moment's notice?

Besides, doesn't it seem like a genre where beautiful young men and women in bright, form fitting costumes get into athletic confrontations with each other when not engaging in melodramatic internal monologue or hyper-dramatic declarations of evil intent seem MADE for the Broadway stage?

But before you say anything, I leave you with five words:

Kiss of the Spider-Man.

5 comments:

Jake said...

Take out "superhero" and pose your question again.

"Is a musical a bad idea?"

99% of the time, the answer is yes.

Canton said...

Certain characters are just made for campy musicals. Here I am thinking of Dazzler. Just think of it... Roller disco, light shows, and singing built right in.

AJD said...

Dude, Peter and I thought of "Kiss of the Spider-Man", like, five years ago.

Apparently there's a Batman musical that's been in the works for several years now. I imagine it would have to be an '80s-style Big Spectacle show, like Miss Saigon or Phantom, with lots of Big Dramatic Songs—because Adam West or otherwise, the mainstream conception of Batman in the popular consciousness at present is the Brooding one, and that's the only musical-theater style that's well suited to the Tim Burton atmosphere, I think. That kind of musical isn't as big these days—most of the most successful shows of the past several years have been light comedies (Producers, Spelling Bee, Spamalot, etc....), but Wicked is a very big-name recent exception, in the Miss Saigon tradition.

Steven said...

Jake:

Well, yeah... but what about that other 1%? Could a superhero musical work then?

Canton:

Funny, you went to the campiest superhero while ajd went to the most serious musical

ajd:

Never claimed it was an original joke. Also hoping to start a meme.

Oh well, how about "A Riddler on the Roof"?

"The Thing and I"?

"My Fair Lady Shiva"?

"Jesus Christ, Superman"?

"The Phantom Stranger of the Opera"?

"The Fantasticks Four"?

"Bye, Bye Baldy"?

"Iron Man of la Mancha"?

"The Boy from X"?

seth said...

i read about a spiderman musical where they had an acrobat do crazy fight scenes. no wall crawling, though.