We at TheaterMania have had an epiphany: If various elements of two or more of this season's productions had been combined to make "combo shows," the sticky situations noted above would have been ameliorated. Such combinations would also ease the theater crunch that we've heard so much about lately. So we are hereby soliciting your input: Put together the titles, plots, stars, etc. of two or more of the 40 shows that opened on Broadway this season and come up with an idea for a combo show, then e-mail it to us. If you want to go the extra mile, you can list song titles (where applicable), designers, choreographers, etc. The more ridiculously funny your idea, the better.
E-mail your idea(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than Friday, June 24. Be sure to include full contact information, including your phone number(s), in the e-mail. The best entries (as judged by our editorial staff) will be published on the site, and the lucky winner will receive a $100 dining certificate redeemable now through September 30 of this year at the theater district restaurants Trattoria Dopo Teatro, Cascina, or Zanzibar. Need help? We've provided some examples below, as well as a full list of shows that opened on Broadway during the 2004-2005 season. (For complete contest rules, including alternate instructions on how to enter via U.S. mail, click here.)
Dirty Rotten Little Women
In this updated musical version of the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, the March sisters of Massachusetts go to vacation on the French Riviera. Unfortunately, they fall prey to the machinations of a pair of slick con men, and they end up losing all of their family assets. As a result, these "little women" are forced to grow up real fast: They turn into wild, reckless, hard-drinking hookers, and their beloved Marmee works as their madam. With a score by David Yazbek, this edgy tuner stars Sutton Foster, Jenny Powers, Megan McGinnis, Maureen McGovern, John Lithgow, and Norbert Leo Butz. Directed by Susan L. Schulman.
-- Michael Portantiere
The Glass Menagerie: After the Fall
Tom Wingfield, who willfully ignored the horrors of World War II, has fled the shoe-warehouse drudgery and the myriad family problems that he knew in St. Louis to live as an artist on the open road, but he begins a quiet descent into madness when he becomes obsessed with Nazi concentration camps. He undergoes radical facial surgery to better reflect his new awareness, and this leaves him looking much different than before. Years later, he finally puts to rest rumors of his homosexuality by falling in love with a glamorous young stage actress, and he rides her coattails to the top. After five years of marriage, complications ensue: The actress tells him that she became addicted to drugs when, many years earlier, her precious glass unicorn had its horn broken off in an accident.
-- Matthew Murray
Reckless Brooklyn Boy Gets All Shook Up
The plot of this new "jukebox" musical, which uses the songs of Frank Sinatra, Jerry Vale, and Tony Bennett, unfolds in flashback. Tony Danza stars as Tony DeNiro, a college dropout from Bensonhurst who pursues fame and fortune by setting a new record as the world's fastest bicycle messenger. Tragically, his dreams (and arms and legs) are shattered in a horrible accident on the Brooklyn Bridge. Melissa Errico co-stars as Isabel, the beautiful nurse who brings him back to life; and Rosie O'Donnell plays his guardian angel, Shirley.
-- Brian Scott Lipton
Through song, dance, and monologues, Eve Ensler describes a fantasy involving sex toys, all five of The Beach Boys, an elderly Masai woman, and a large bowl of vanilla ice cream. With original music by The Beach Boys and lyrics by the Indigo Girls, this musical features such show-stopping numbers as "Trim My Tree," "Help Me Diet, Rhonda," "Fun Fun Fun," and "My Vagina Won't Shut Up." In an introspective ballad version of the song "Summertime Blues," Beach Boy Brian Wilson contemplates whether the royalties from the show were worth selling out so brazenly. Director Julie Taymor recycles some of the puppets that she used in The Lion King for the segment of the show that takes place in eastern Africa.
-- Adam Klasfeld
BROADWAY SHOWS 2004-2005
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
After the Fall
All Shook Up
Brooklyn The Musical
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Dame Edna: Back With a Vengeance!
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Dracula, the Musical
Gem of the Ocean
The Glass Menagerie
Glengarry Glen Ross
The Good Body
Jackie Mason: Freshly Squeezed
La Cage aux Folles
The Light in the Piazza
Marc Salem's Mind Games on Broadway
Monty Python's Spamalot
On Golden Pond
A Streetcar Named Desire
Twelve Angry Men
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?