Hello, darlings! I like to think of myself as a pretty artsy theatre-goer. Hopefully, you all know by now how fond I am of the obscure and the offbeat. I am also a terribly big fan of the rock musical. (Except for, you know, Rent.) Anyway, I am here to announce the coming of a new show that I am slowly falling in love with. http://keenanblogger.blogspot.com/2008/07/factory-girls_23.html There ya go. Factory Girls, a new rock opera by Creighton Irons and Sean Mahoney. It's currently only in the workshop stages, and it suffers many of the afflictions of a musical in its genesis: occasionally weak lyrics, some clunky songs. Of course, the fact that it features both Phoebe Strole and Cortney Wolfson is a tremendous benefit. If this ever actually gets to Broadway, I think one song that's definitely gotta go is The Eye of Day. Right now their strongest song is definitely The Strike. From what I understand, it's about the factory girls in Lowell, Massachusetts during the Industrial Revolution. I know that doesn't sound like something you make a rock opera out of, but Spring Awakening was about teenagers in 1891 Germany. (Of course, we all know how that one worked out, but still.) This one is just another show attempting to revolutionize Broadway. The writers seem to be just like little Sheik-Saters and Kerrigan-Lowdermilks. Toss in Joe Iconis and maybe some Kitt and Yorkey and you get a colorful cocktail of people all trying to bring about a new age of the American musical. It's a thrill to watch them grapple over the hippest, most twisted topics and grungiest sets. ("Wait, you have a girl dying of a botched abortion and a fifteen-year-old killing himself? Oh, yeah? Well, we're gonna write a show about mental illness and use one of your original cast members! How's that taste? That oughta show YOU, Sheik and Sater!")
Before I go, I promised Berri I would advertise her new blog. If you like it, it was my idea. If you don't, I tried desperately to talk her out of it. Find her at: http://berriipicking.blogspot.com/
Update: Holy Mother of God, folks. I got some bad news today. Guess what's not getting revived: SIDE SHOW. Guess what's taking its place: Bye Bye Birdie. I know I haven't said this before, but let me say it now: I HATE BYE BYE BIRDIE!!!!! Reviving it and not SIDE SHOW is like the ultimate slap in the face, worse than the fact that a show starring the insufferable Jane Fonda is taking the O'Neill. I mean, come on. Bye Bye Freaking Birdie? Really? We're seriously gonna revive that? 'Cause there haven't been enough god-awful regional and high school productions? Why don't we just revive Oklahoma while we're at it? I wouldn't mind the loss of SIDE SHOW so much if they could revive something that actually deserves it: like maybe A Little Night Music? Or how 'bout Ragtime? I like Ragtime. Or maybe even Cabaret? They could bring back Glory Days for all I care, but, please, God, not Bye Bye Birdie. Of course, there are rumors of a Merrily We Roll Along revival. Okay, that's Sondheim. I am moderately placated. At least this isn't gonna be another Doyle-helmed production where there are no sets and the actors play the instruments, like the recent revivals of Sweeney Todd and Company. Mrs. Lovett just isn't supposed to play the tuba. I'm sorry, but it's true.