Monday, December 04, 2006

High-Fidelity: The (Misconceived) Musical

Even more than movies, I always wish a new Broadway musical well. So few of them are made, you hate to see them flop. Amanda Green is the composer and she's cerainly a Broadway baby, being the daughter of the late Adolph Green. But the show -- which opens Thursday -- seems misconceived from the start. How can you have a show that talks endlessly about rock and roll without ever being able to hear even snatches of the music everyone loves? Worse, how can you have them talking about the Stones and Springsteen and then breaking into a Broadway tune? How can you lose the two best moments of the film: when our hero plays the Beta Band in his record store and watches how customers start to groove along and then ask what's playing; and the finale when the Jack Black character remarkably delivers a great performance of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On?" It wouldn't have been that much better if they'd somehow made a jukebox musical -- because then you'd have Broadway actors singing classic rock songs...and that just isn't the same thing. I have no interest in "Legally Blonde," but it makes a lot more sense from conception than this poor show.

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