Sunday, October 31, 2004

Oh dear, oh dear, the Musical.

Alfreda has seen an advert for that mechanical stage musical, ‘Starlight Express’ in the local rag. It’s doing a run in Manchester. She wants me to go and see it with her.

Apparently, it’s an everyday story of how a tribe of trains, dressed as extras for a recycling ad’ take over a theatre to practice their roller skating skills - they also sing, plus lots and lots more singing. And then more singing still. Seems fair enough, singing trains. The plot’s a bit thin though – but that’s more than made up for by the singing.

We’ve been married for 24 years – so you’d think she’d know by now I’d rather rub me bare bum with a couple of hedgehogs named ‘Spikey’ and ‘Pointy’ than go and see a musical. I just find it difficult to do the suspension of belief bit…… Oh, and the crappy songs don’t help either.

I’ve only ever been to a few stage musicals in my whole life. ‘Alfie the New York Times Theee-ater Critic’ gives his in-depth verdict on two of the more well known ones he has been dragged along to …

The first musical I ever went to see was ‘Hair’- the musical. The reason I went to see it? Tits and Bum research.

Verdict – Too many songs and not enough tits and bums. And not enough lighting - so a fog of darkness negated any tits and bums that might have been on show. Alfie also fails to see the relevance of the big, wobbly ‘happening’ curtain at the end of the show. This especially obscured the ensemble of tits and bums encompassed therein.

Advice – If it’s ever on again, be sure to take one of those million candle power torches with you.

The last stage musical I’ve seen was ‘Grease’ at the Manchester Opera House and starred Shane Ritchie as fifties greasy-haired, duck’s arse Teddy boy, Danny Zucho.

Shane brilliantly portrays Zucho, the bad boy leader of the T-Birds gang, as a tortured cockney soul who can’t sing, can’t dance and can’t act.

Verdict - That night, Alfie’s theatrical pen and pad used up the entire year’s supply of words from the lexicon marked ‘Banal’, sub-section ‘crap’.

Advice - If Shane Ritchie ever gets another lead in a musical, avoid it like the plague. In fact, go and catch the plague, thus ensuring you are too ill to be tempted to go and see it.

Musicals on film aren’t much better are they? I mean ‘West Side Story’ – a modern New York gangland take on Romeo and Juliet was superb up to the point where the Sharks and Jets start doing combative ‘pas de deux’ down the main street. – About 30 seconds after the film started.

"When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way from your first cigarette to your last dying day"…… (Unless, of course you join ballet school).

You can almost hear the leader of the Sharks saying "Jeeez, dat tough guy from the Jets means business – don’t go near him, he pirouettes"….

Anyway, Alfreda will no doubt be going to see the everyday tale of railway engines at Manchester. I, on the other hand will be doing a night school class on ‘how to watch paint dry’…

Hmmmm, could be an idea there. ‘Watching Paint Dry – the Musical’…….. Hey, Lloyd-Webber, nick my idea, and I’ll nut yer, you ugly twat.