Updated: Mar 2
Broadway has hosted some of the best musical theater productions of all time. Ranging from long-running productions like Les Miserables to newer productions like Hamilton, Broadway continues to showcase the most popular and well-written shows of all time. But, that doesn’t mean that every musical has been exceptional. Shows like Spongebob the Musical come to mind. However, while the subject matter of Spongebob may seem frivolous when compared to Les Miserable and Hamilton, this show was actually well-written and performed, combining classic elements of the charisma and goofiness of the TV show with musical numbers written by many different composers and an extended plot to create a unique version of the original cartoon. The peculiar shows that I’m talking about go way beyond mainstream fun and delve into horror films. Here are two examples:
1) The Silence of The Lambs is one of the greatest horror thrillers of all time. At least, the writers of Silence! must have thought so when they turned it into a musical comedy. This musical parodies the original film quite nicely. Throughout the show, lambs come on the stage to act as narrators of the plot and often initiate many of the comedic elements of the show. You might be asking: Where could such an enthralling idea come from? Well, the internet of course! Silence! began to take form in 2003 as an ‘internet musical’ made up of nine songs that retold the entire story. The song tracks became so popular that the writers decided to turn them into a full show that gives The Silence of the Lambs the mocking prod it deserves. So, Silence! made it to the stage in 2005 and has been continuously running ever since.
2) Ever heard of Carrie the Musical? This show, based on the 1976 horror film Carrie,
received horrendous reviews when it debuted. Because of this, Carrie the Musical has become synonymous with the worst musical productions ever made. But even if you’ve heard of Carrie the Musical before, you most definitely haven’t heard of Scarrie, created by Hell in Handbag Productions in 2005. This musical parodies specific songs from Carrie the Musical and follows the plotline almost exactly. The only difference is that Scarrie is played by a guy. Oh yeah, and it didn’t bomb. Surprisingly, Scarrie received pretty favorable reviews. Who knew that a parody musical based on a Broadway musical based on a horror film would actually work out! Like the first example, turning the horror story into comedy turned out to be a success. The original show is about an awkward teenage girl with telekinetic powers whose lonely life is dominated by an oppressive religious fanatic mother. Pushed to the brink, Carrie’s powers threaten to overwhelm her, and devour everyone around her in flame. So how in the world could this be made into a comedy? To be honest, I’m not sure. The information about the content of this musical is very scarce, other than that it mimics the original. I guess if you really are interested in the plot, you’ll have to go see it yourself.
So, have you heard of these two productions before? If you did I’d be impressed. Either
way, make sure to keep watching musicals and enjoying the arts. Who knows, maybe
you’ll discover the next hidden gem production???