Column Date 2014-01-04
WASHINGTON, D.C., THE MUSICAL
WASHINGTON, D.C., THE MUSICAL
Take one look at Washington these days and you wonder why the producers on Broadway, always looking for a sure thing, haven’t done a musical comedy about our Capitol.
I mean, the show almost writes itself:
Two angry political parties, each backed by hundreds of millions of corporate dollars, refuse to compromise and then threaten to shut down the government.
High drama ensues, including hostile press briefings, torchlight political rallies, inflammatory TV ads, dueling talking heads, scandals involving hookers, scandals involving church officials, scandals involving Wall Street, scandals involving the media.
In the middle of it all, two people from opposite political parties fall in love. (It’s a proven plot line – see Romeo & Juliet, West Side Story, etc.)
Party bigwigs try to break up the romance, fearing the media will find the lovers in a, excuse the expression, ‘compromising’ position.
In ACT I, exciting musical numbers carry the plot along:
“Money, Money, Money.” (The K Street Lobbyists Choir)
“I love you in spite of your position on China.” (Lover’s Duet)
“How much does it cost to join the Ways & Means Committee?” (Solo: Freshman Congressman)
”But he’s black!” (The Anonymous Barber Shop Quartet)
“C’mon, baby, let’s Frack!” (The Oklahoma Oil & Gas Rock Band)
“A World Without The IRS” (Dream Sequence)
“F-i-l-i-b-u-s-t-e-r” (Entire Cast)
At this point, both sides threaten to close down the show if it doesn’t end the way they want. Time runs out on Act I without agreement on the rest of the plot. Long intermission begins.
Act II: The Music Continues
“How much justice can you afford?” (Rhythm number, featuring The Supremes)
“Who needs a bigger budget than our forefathers in 1776?” (The Tea Party Singers)
“Two Directions At Once” (John Boehner, leader of several Republican Parties)
“Why don’t they love me?” (Solo by Nancy Pelosi w/Harry Reid, guitar)
“Thank God we’ve found a new enemy!” (The Pentagon ‘A Capella’ Quartet)
And, of course, there’ll also be some show-stopping dance numbers:
“Move it, move it, move it...Offshore!” (The Cayman Islands Contemporary Dance Co.)
“Waltz of the 1%” (The Wall Street Dance Ensemble)
“Occupy...Broadway” (A sit-down dance group, with little interest in choreography)
And finally, the show’s blockbuster song and dance number:
“We’re all in this together...except me.” (Donald Trump and the Fox News Dancers)
To be realistic, I doubt any producer will ever pick up this idea. Because it’s not just a comedy, it’s a tragi-comedy, which might not play too well on Broadway.
And there might also be lots of protesters, who could scare away affluent ticket buyers.
The solution is to have two road companies tour the country -- with slightly different scripts and endings.
Let’s call them a Red Company and a Blue Company (like the Barnum & Bailey circus does).
The Red Company, as you might guess, will perform basically in the Old Confederacy. The Blue Company will tour both coasts, and a couple of large cities in the middle.
You could even look at this as a ‘negotiated compromise’ – rare in D.C., but designed to make everyone moderately happy.
And, oh yes – the lovers.
Well, in the Red Company, they break up, since one of them is obstinate and clearly wrong.
In the Blue Company, they get married. But only in a state that allows gay marriage.
Any investors out there?
© 2014 Peter Tannen