I am honored to begin as a regular contributor to this blog, expanding it from just music. However, like the first day at any job, there’s always that worry you are going to make a bad first impression. What should my first topic be? The 10,000th story about whether Katie Holmes is pregnant, not pregnant, or a soulless robot programmed take over our lives? No. Too trashy. Perhaps comments on the rise (and stagnation) of Paul Giamatti, recently starring in the excellent film “Win Win”? No. Too film critic-y and, yes, I’m making that a word.
Just when I was about to lose hope, I found the idea was staring me in the face. I had been sitting in an airport, staring at a young lady with the body of a Hollywood actress (namely, Precious), when (and I’m not making this up), she bent over to grab the scoop of ice cream that fell from her cone at 9am, revealing a sign behind her for “Catch Me If You Can: The Musical!”
Catch Me If You Can, yes the Leonardo DiCaprio – Christopher Walken film, is now a Broadway musical. This is a horrible idea. The Great White Way (that’s what people older than me used to call Broadway) isn’t meant for this type of adventure and fun. No. Broadway musicals are supposed to be about learning life lessons, especially when told through puppets having gratuitous, STD-filled sex (“Avenue Q”), or by David Hasselhoff (“Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde”, “Chicago” and he probably starred in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” too, as Beauty, of course).
The critics seem to agree with me because they are trashing the show. But I have a few ideas on how this musical could actually be good:
(1) Hire Christopher Walken to reprise his role. Walken could dance the pants off of a nun (if she wore pants) and would guarantee ticket sales. He’s like a sane Gary Busey.
(2) Open the show in Vegas, not Broadway. The scenes where Leonardo DiCaprio’s character enjoys the company of many different woman, including a plethora of airline stewardesses, might be treated a bit differently After Dark at the Mirage. Again, guaranteed ticket sales.
(3) High-flying acrobatics and special effects. Now, I know what you’re saying. The new Spider-Man musical has all of these and it’s resulted in four things: public shaming, horrible reviews, the injuries of multiple cast members, and … a lot of money. That’s right, that horrible, deadly Spider-Man show is raking in more than a million dollars a week. I call that a success. Why? Guaranteed ticket sales.
Now, I know there are purists out there who enjoyed the original film and don’t want it turned into a topless special effects extravaganza. That’s understandable. I enjoyed it too. But I also know there’s a time and a place for everything. It’s not every night I want to watch a high quality film like “Schindler’s List.” Sometimes, I’d rather go see “Rubber” or “Hobo with a Shotgun.”