Bloodthirsty theater nerds rejoice! A Broadway musical based on American Psycho is in the works, the first full draft being scheduled for completion by early 2011. With Duncan Sheik as the show’s composer, the producers plan to offend countless thousands of unsuspecting tourists with onstage murders “in full view of the audience.”
But Grandma, Mamma Mia was sold out!
1. It’s based on the book, not the movie, which will (theoretically) give the script more depth.
2. Duncan Sheik is the Tony award-winning composer of Spring Awakening. Did you know that? I did not know that. Which is why I spent a good ten minutes imagining a bunch of graphic murders being staged to “Barely Breathing.”
3. For the love of all things holy, it has to be better than Shrek The Musical, which features a song that is mostly FARTED and BELCHED and was written by a Tony-nominated composer who is not a 14-year-old boy.
Worth every penny of that $185 orchestra seat!
HOWEVER, this adaptation also has the potential to go so very, horribly wrong, because:
1. It’s a musical, my friends. And no matter how twisted and dark your subject matter, gravitas flies right out the window the instant your Patrick Bateman executes a snappy grapevine or rond de jambe.
2. (I totally should have named my daughter rond de jambe. “Rondejambe! Get your ass down to the Sunoco and play my numbers!”)
3. Uh, did I mention it’s a musical? And therefore, the only thing that will be scary about this production is that the actors will be sporting their finest Musical Theatre Faces:
DO NOT WANT.
As both a theater nerd and a complete wuss, I feel as though I can speak with authority when I say that musicals are about as scary as a backpack full of (live) kittens. Yeah, sure, you’ve got your Sweeney Todd, but come on. Is anyone actually afraid of Sweeney Todd? HIS NAME CONTAINS THE WORD “WEENIE.”
LOL. It seems the Demon Barber of Fleet Street is rocking your high school librarian’s bitchin’ hairdo.
I suppose they can always go the campy Rocky Horror Picture Show/Little Shop of Horrors route, but the American Psycho storyline doesn’t exactly line up with the likes of giant, man-eating plants or seductive transvestites. I mean, call me old-fashioned, but I just can’t see necrophilia, sadism, mutilation, cannibalism and rape lending themselves to any peppy musical numbers
Rigor of rigors, mortises of mortises! God took a psycho by the haaaand…
Admittedly, music is an integral part of American Psycho, as the book features large portions in which the main character discusses his critique of musicians like Genesis and Huey Lewis and the News. And while I don’t think this is any reason to suggest a stage version of the story should (or must) be a musical, I’m thoroughly relieved that they didn’t ask either of those artists to put their special brand of 80s stank on the show. Phil Collins and Huey Lewis don’t really say “Broadway composer” to me as much as they say “What the fuck is going on with your hair?”
Unpleasant realization: my 20-month-old is currently sporting 1986 Phil Collins hair.
But you know, this could be the advent of something really special on Broadway: the shift to topics usually reserved for police reports and episodes of Law & Order: SVU. Give me a post-apocalyptic reimagining of The Sound of Music in which the Von Trapps must kill and eat Mother Abbess to survive! A revival of Annie with less singing and more sexting (special cameo by Chris Hansen)! I know I’d be first in line for the premieres of (I Don’t Want to Talk About What I Just Did To Get the Money For the) Rent and (Show Me Where He Touched You on the) Guys and Dolls. And where the hell is my Silence of the Lambs stage adaptation? You show me a pitch for Miggs! The Musical or The Jame Gumb Experience, and I’ll show you your first investor.
I’d fuck me…and I think it’d go a little something like this!