Monday, May 17, 2010

All this drama deserves a musical

I know this is going to sound crazy, but I think I’m going to write a musical about the recent bombing attempt in New York City. I’m talking songs, dancing, skimpy costumes, a chorus line, and I’ll call it, “The Broadway Bomber – A Musical.”

Now, just thinking out loud, the orchestra will start off playing something Middle Eastern. Militaristic, but exotic. It’s disturbing because we hear snippets of American songs – like “Yankee Doodle,” and “Born to be Wild” – until right before the curtain rises, when the orchestra plays “The Star Spangled Banner.”

(Kind of a cheesy way to get the audience up on their feet, but it’ll work.)

As the curtain goes up, we see a typical family, in a typical New York apartment, singing a not-so-typical opening song – something modern, maybe rock ‘n roll-ish, with lyrics like, “I’m glad to be in America / watch some TV in America / everyone’s free in America / order some pizza America.” Okay, so it sounds a bit like “West Side Story,” but you get the picture.

The crowd goes wild at the end of the first song, and then we’re transported to some Middle Eastern desert country where we see a group of men in foreign outfits. They’re making plans about something, and singing a variation of the opening song which goes something like this: “Getting recruits from America / building a bomb in America / black SUV in America / blow up Times Square in America.”

Anyways, we head back to the typical American family, but now something’s wrong. Maybe the husband lost his job, maybe he wasn’t happy about paying taxes, maybe he missed the latest episode of “Lost.” Who knows? But it’s a great time for an angst-filled tearjerker kind of song. Maybe something like, “I got a ticket, and now I can’t afford the rent.”

Remember, I’m just thinking out loud, but during this song, I envision an interpretive dance number between the man and his wife. Choreography. Lots of choreography.

The dance leads the family to the airport where the man, wife and children (cute kids, voices like angels), ready themselves to leave America. But before they do, they, and the chorus line, break out in song. (The chorus line is made up of fellow passengers waiting to board the plane.) Clearly, the wife and kids are unhappy to leave their home, but the man has his plans.

We end act one with the man arriving in the desert, surrounded by the men in foreign clothes, and we have a reprise of the opening song accompanied with wild, foreign dance moves. It is quite apparent the group is teaching the man how to build a bomb.

After intermission, the curtain rises and we find the man back in America – alone. He buys an SUV, purchases some fireworks, goes to Home Depot and buys some fertilizer, and stuffs everything in his vehicle – just like he was trained to do.

I think this would be a great time for a street vendor song. Something catchy about all the weird people who come to New York. Maybe something like, “76 old men fight for taxi cabs / while 110 strange girls work the streets / and now I must sit right here selling T-shirts, hats and beer / to the tourist or anyone I meet.” Okay, it’s sort of from the “Music Man,” but it works, doesn’t it?

And now for a bit of downright hilarity. The man parks his SUV, runs away after lighting the bomb, but it doesn’t go off because he bought the wrong kind of fireworks and fertilizer. Not only that, but he leaves his keys in the would-be car bomb, which means he can’t get into his get-away car. Before you know it, he’s caught and confesses.

Back in the desert, the men in foreign clothes hear about the failed bombing attempt, have a good laugh at the expense of their bumbling bomber recruit, then barely escape as the Feds close in to capture them. Great dance action and more choreography sets up a finale that will knock your socks off.

I really think this has the potential to be a knock ‘em dead musical. But if it bombs, I have another idea: “Oil Spill Story.” A modern-day Romeo and Juliet musical set aboard an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. I think it could be a blast!

No comments:

Post a Comment