These reports prompted the TheaterMania staff to come up with our own way-out ideas for compilation musicals. (It was a slow workday.) Then we thought: Why not have readers submit their suggestions and give free theater tickets to the person whose entry we find the most creative and/or humorous? Well, that's exactly what we decided to do. Take a gander at our fantasies below, then read the instructions at the end of the article and send us your ideas. Good luck!
Britney or Brittany?
A musical about a sexy, young pop superstar who's worth about 10 kazillion dollars but doesn't have enough brains to know how to spell her name correctly. We follow Britney through a difficult childhood, including a traumatic period of bedwetting ("Oops, I Did It Again!") and, later, a flirtation with masochism ("Hit Me, Baby, One More Time"). Subsequent years are happier as she finds fame on the Mickey Mouse Club and romance with fellow Mouseketeer Justin Timberlake--but the feeling that her boyfriend is prettier than she is leads Britney to a gender identity crisis that culminates in a sex change, quickly followed by her decision to change back and to get a boob job while she's at it ("I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman"). On the brink of superstardom at the show's finale, Britney vows to devote her career to pleasing anorexic teens and creepy middle-aged men ("Born to Make You Happy"). Kristin Chenoweth will have the title role.
After years of dressing in wildly flamboyant clothing, the hero of our show--a conflicted Brit named Reginald Dwight--comes out of the closet with a vengeance. The story begins in his teen years: We see his heart broken when a young man on whom he has a crush suddenly moves to Spain ("Daniel"). Years later, Reggie has changed his name to Elton John and has achieved great fame. He becomes obsessed with animals ("Crocodile Rock") and with such gay-friendly female icons as Judy Garland ("Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road"), Marilyn Monroe ("Candle in the Wind"), and Princess Diana ("Candle in the Wind," reprise). Gary Beach stars as Reggie/Elton.
Puff, the Magic Daddy
Recent events in the life of the artist formerly known as Puff Daddy are certainly dramatic enough to serve as the basis for a stage musical. The problem is that a score made up entirely of rap music would be a huge turnoff to lots of audience members. The solution? Sprinkle the show with the far more melodious songs of the folk group Peter, Paul, and Mary. Cast Taye Diggs in the title role and Daphne Rubin-Vega as Jennifer Lopez, then watch box-office receipts boom!
Movin' Out: The Billy Joel Musical
An Italian-American kid named Anthony works in a grocery store, saving his pennies for someday. Sexually frustrated because his girlfriend Virginia won't put out ("Only the Good Die Young"), he next falls for a chick who lives in the East 80s ("Uptown Girl"). Anthony really loves her ("Just the Way You Are"), but she turns out to be a pretentious, materialistic snob. He is arrested for robbing a bank and is sent to prison despite his protests that he didn't do it ("An Innocent Man"). This show will have an amazing performance by Raúl Esparza as Anthony/B.J.
Glory Days: The Bruce Springsteen Musical
A ragged but handsome young man from New Jersey returns disillusioned from Vietnam and searches in vain for employment as a blackjack dealer ("Atlantic City"), at an upscale midtown restaurant ("Hungry Heart"), and as a florist ("Secret Garden"). Discouraged, he skips town. After a brief detour through "Darlington County", he arrives on "The Streets of Philadelphia," eventually finding work as a stripper at a ladies-only nightclub ("Dancin' in the Dark") in a Chippendales-style show with a really big, pyrotechnic finale ("I'm on Fire"). Adam Pascal stars as Bruce.
To enter this contest, send your idea(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide a detailed description of your compilation musical(s) from hell, including songs and possible casting. You may submit more than one idea if you like, but please send them all in one e-mail. Entries must be received no later than Friday, January 25. The winner will receive two complimentary tickets to Mamma Mia! on his/her choice of date this spring, pending availability (so don't count on a Saturday evening performance).
We will announce the winner via our TM Insider e-mail newsletter during the last week of January. Entrants who are not already TM Insiders will be added to our address list and will begin receiving this free cyber newsletter, which offers discount tickets and other special deals to members. Please let us know in your entry if you don't want to be added to the list.
This contest is not open to employees of TheaterMania or to members of their immediate families.