Thursday, October 19, 2006

No Fidelity

This is so so wrong (from Newsweek):

But the challenge facing the new musical “High Fidelity,” now in previews in Boston and scheduled to open on Broadway Nov. 20, is quite the opposite, though perhaps equally daunting: how to follow a book and a movie that were both awash in charm, and, if not megahits, at the very least cult classics.


“I loved the book so I admit that my first thought when I heard the idea [of a play] was ‘Oh no, really',” said David Lindsay-Abaire, the Tony-nominated author of last season’s hit “Rabbit Hole” who adapted “High Fidelity” for the stage. He changed his mind though, swayed, he says, by the songs from the composing team of Tom Kitt (music) and Amanda Green (lyrics). “It’s real music, songs you would hear on the radio,” says Lindsay-Abaire.

How badly don't they get it? First, the book is about songs you don't hear on the radio. The guys at the record store would be aghast if the songs they liked got played on the radio. Second, you simply can't write a new score for it--if you want to do it as a musical, you have to go the Pennies from Heaven route and have the cast sing existing indie songs. Now that could be interesting. It wouldn't be...

The major change is that the back story—Rob tracking down his past relationships in a desperate attempt to understand his life of romantic failures—is reduced pretty much to a single song. The play is the love story, focusing almost entirely on Rob and Laura’s relationship.

So it just becomes another love story, like Romeo and Juliet or King Kong. The idea of Rob trying to make himself whole by going through the other relationships--which he can only think about as lists, as that's how his whole life is formed--eh, who needs it? I put this idea on my top ten list of Brodway musical mistakes.


Anonymous Mike said...

To follow through ont he King Kong analogy, it'd have to go like this:

We're gonna, you know, focus on the love story angle, between, like, Kong and the girl. We'll have one song explaining, you know, that Kong's like this giant ape and all, but otherwise, it's just gonna, like, focus on the love.

2:34 PM  

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