Bit and Bitter: The Musical
Bit and Bitter
[Bit and Bitter are Ryan "neither jot not bittle" Hamilton and Ryan "festering canker of bitterness" Honaker]
In 1997, a film about five unemployed, blue-collar, English gents who stripped to put bread on the table won the hearts of movie goers and stripper fans everywhere. We refer not to Spice World, or even to Titanic, both of which have similar plots, but to The Full Monty. We bring it up because according to a recent article on cnn.com, this droll, tasteful, whimsical, stripper movie is now a clumsy, tacky, whimsical, stripper musical. The Full Monty, The Musical, to be more specific. We're not making this up. You can check it out for yourself at this link.
Which really raises the question: what are the criteria for turning something into a musical? Who decided that The Full Monty would be best served live and with peppy jingles? Is there some National Associated Musical Board of Legal Approval (NAMBLA) sequestered in the mountains of Colorado that determines what material is lofty enough for the making of musicals, and what material is lowly enough for the making of "straight" plays. (We're not even going to go into the whole "straight" play thing.) Do they sit around in their spangled tights and jazz shoes, with Janet Reno as their Chairman, playing God of the Musical Theater, Lord of the Dance, and High Fashion Barbie?
No. Because, in truth, there is no governing board as can be seen by the fact that absolutely anything can be made into a musical. Like Sweeny Todd, a musical about a nineteenth century barber who murders his clients and then bakes them up in meat pies which he sells to the public. Based on a true story. Or Starlight Express, which Andrew Lloyd Weber wrote while in a coma, a musical about trains in which the cast wears roller-skates. Trains. Based on a true story. Or Cats, which ran on Broadway for just under a century (keeping the legwarmer market healthier than the economies of many Eastern European countries) and was only recently put to sleep because a renegade Air Force General with a gay son threatened to nuke New York. Cats is just about a bunch of dancers wearing fur, licking themselves, and being made into meat pies. Based on a true story. From what we hear, the auditions consisted of nothing more than going in the box.
And since anything can be made into a musical (and eventually everything will be), we are pitching these as musical ideas now, so that when they do hit the stage, we will get a cut:
• Platoon, The Musical — Starring Martin Short and featuring a revival of "I Could Have Danced All Night (And Still Have Begged For More)"
• The Life and Times of Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Musical — Starring Janet Reno
• A Home Video of Our Trip to Yellowstone, The Musical — Featuring the hit singles "Are We There Yet?" and "Don't Make Me Turn This Car Around"
• Shindler's List, The Musical — Starring Liza Minelli
• Silence of the Lambs, The Musical — Featuring the hit single "Fava Beans and Chianti (Shoo-Bop Skee-Bop!)"
• Waiting in Line at the DMV, The Musical — Starring Martin Short
• Bit and Bitter, The Musical — Featuring the hit single "Block Sender!" and starring Brad Pitt and Vince Vaughn