If you were looking for subjects for a musical, you'd probably think of something like romance. Traditionally, musicals are the kind of thing you could happily take your grandmother to. But in recent years, musicals have begun to cover much more unusual topics - and you'd die of embarrassment if you took your granny along. So here are some of the strangest subjects for a musical or opera …
1 Book of Mormon
One of the oddest subjects for a musical is this recent offering - but since it's from the team behind South Park, we probably shouldn't be surprised. Admittedly Jesus has already been the subject of a musical, but somehow you wouldn't expect the Church of the Latter Day Saints to provide musical material. Ask them what they think of it the next time they knock on your door …
2 The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Do you remember those horrendous spelling bees in school? Yes, the nightmare of every child has been made into a musical. I wonder if they include the poor child who confidently spells lots of really long words but then falters on a really simple one?
How can you perform Spider-Man on stage? By using circus performers, if this clip is anything to go by. You'd need a really large theater to accommodate the wires, so I imagine Spider-Man won't become a staple among am-dram groups. The original (and so far only) production became notorious for the accidents and technical problems that delayed its opening.
4 Repo! the Genetic Opera
This has to be one of the most bizarre topics for a musical, ever. Perhaps they were trying to bring musicals to a new audience. You have to wonder how the creative process led to 'Guys, let's write a musical set 50 years in the future about a company that provides organ transplants and repossesses them if people don't pay.' Yes, that's what it's about. Repo would probably appeal to people who like Tommy and Rocky Horror.
5 Jerry Springer - the Opera
Jerry Springer is definitely not one you want to watch with your gran. It's not exactly the kind of musical that MGM used to produce! With its liberal use of profanity and outrageous characters, Jerry Springer sticks extremely closely to its source material. If you love the show, you'll definitely enjoy the musical version.
6 The Death of Klinghoffer
You probably won't have heard of the Achille Lauro, a cruise ship that was hijacked back in the Eighties. It became notorious for the murder of one of the passengers, a wheelchair user. Six years later this event was, rather strangely, turned into an opera.
Since Stephen King is such a prolific author, there are plenty more books to be turned into musicals. How about Cujo or Pet Sematary? No, I didn't think you'd be buying tickets for those. But the blood-spattered Carrie did get a musical version, although it wasn't a critical success and according to the New York Times, it is 'the most expensive quick flop in Broadway history.'
No doubt there will be some more strange musicals coming along. So if you don't enjoy conventional musicals, why not check out the full-length version of these works? It might just introduce you to your new favorite musical! Which musicals do you love?
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