06 March, 2008

...Cherry Pie

So here's the thing.

I'm looking at the New Zealand Herald site, and I see a headline I have to click, just to find out what they're talking about: "Desperate Housewives: The Musical?". Turns out Mark Cherry is threatening to go to Broadway when the show finishes to develop a DH musical. So, pretty much what the headline suggests.

But the interesting thing is the quote from Kyle McLachlan, who plays Bree's wife and (rather crucially) previously played FBI Agent Dale Cooper on the perfect-but-flawed Twin Peaks. McLachlan is quoted as saying "You never know. It could happen. Never say never right? There is more chance of that than seeing me in a 'Twin Peaks' musical."

And yet, after reading that quote, I can't help thinking how great a Twin Peaks musical would be. Firstly, you've got a big advantage, at least in the supporting cast - both Richard Beymer and Russ Tamblin have some musical experience, having had major roles in the West Side Story film. And the show already comes with a few ready-made musical numbers - obviously you've got to have Leland's big song-and-dance numbers, a number or two at the Roadhouse, and the James-Maddy-Donna trio "Just You and I".

The opening song, "Wrapped In Plastic" could serve as an introduction to the characters, as each person gets the news of Laura's murder and reflects on how they knew and viewed Laura. You could get quite a heartbreaking number out of "(Tell Harry) I Didn't Cry". The jazz-scored Red Room scene will leave everyone singing the catchy chorus "That gum you like is going to / Come back in style". Cooper's introductory number, a love song to the joys of coffee and cherry pie called "Damn Fine...", gets reshaped later into the show into an song of unrequited love for Cooper by surprising-virgin Audrey. Sadly, I don't think there will be enough time for Lucy's lighter comedic "Phone Line Tangle" number. If the production was budget-conscious, the Harold Smith scene could recycle props from last year's production of Little Shop Of Horrors, while the Nazi-pigeons from The Producers could be reworked as Waldo the Mynah Bird. A Sweeney Todd song style could work for some of the more horrific numbers like "Catch you with my death bag" or "Where's Annie?", although there are limits - I think staging Laura Palmer's murder as a dance number might be in bad taste. I also thought seriously about giving the Log Lady's Log a number, but I think that would be silly and not in the spirit of the show.

Obviously it needs to be fleshed out a bit, but the more I think about it, the more I realise a Twin Peaks musical really could be quite great. There is definitely potential there.

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