Thursday, September 06, 2007

Look at My Name in Black and White

Often I hear things and don't realize they are noteworthy. I'm telling you--it happens all the time. This Legally Blonde broadcast, I knew about forever ago. Last week, due to some Equity drama related to the actors signing on, it did develop some newsy edge. And, yet, still, I didn't think of it as really a big story. But, you know, when Riedel wrote it today, I saw that it was... somewhat... something. Truly. (I want to note that often I read things in the paper and still don't think they are noteworthy, but, here, I'm giving in to the print.)

Riedel notes that this is "unexpected"--I wasn't even surprised back when I first heard it. I think this might be a sign nothing interests me anymore. Though, I still say... A Perfect Crime... that is interesting.

But, regardless, moving on... The important question here is--will this broadcast mean something to Blonde? This musical did well this summer, but has been plagued by rumors of a dismal advance and desperate attempts at star casting. So they are looking for something, understandably. Is this it?

It can't hurt--I don't believe that it will have a detrimental effect. Though it may ward off some potential ticket buyers that don't like it on the screen, I firmly disagree with the assertion that if people can watch it on TV, they won't watch it in the theater. Riedel talks about this and uses High School Musical as an example of a successful tv movie/stage cross-over. That is a bad example in my mind because the show High School Musical is not EXACTLY the TV movie. It's a different cast, some different moves, etc. So the argument to see it onstage there is to see a new product based on a well-loved movie. If you love Blonde on TV, you are not seeing a related product if you head over to the Palace, you are seeing that EXACT product. Thus I find that comparison a little shaky. However I do believe there is an argument for seeing the exact product live--you want to be a part of it. End of story.

This "can it hurt" analysis assumes that the Legally Blonde broadcast will take off. But I'm not sold it will, so, let's get back to that. Even if Legally Blonde was the best musical ever and every MTV audience member who saw it at the Palace would love it, I still don't know if I'd sit here and say a MTV broadcast of it would be a tremendously effective tool. Because it's hard, unless you love stage musicals, to watch a broadcast of a musical and find it entertaining. Sure, we can usually enjoy a number or two, but, I, a proud musical theater lover, have trouble watching those PBS broadcasts. Even great bootlegs of shows I love bore me after 20 minutes--seriously, I watch them in doses. So I'm just not sure that many kids, even those who would love it if they did see it in the theater, are going to sit there and watch Legally Blonde.

That doesn't mean I don't think the producers are right for doing it--in a cost/benefit analysis I still believe it will work out. I just am not banking on this being a total savior type thing. Of course, I wish Broadway success in all outreach attempts, so I'll be rooting for this one. But then I think, in a few months, we may need to get back to the star casting. Scott Baio as Callahan? Anyone?

12 comments:

maninchair.com said...

As you probably know by now, the show will be taped three times in September, and will air on MTV on September 29 at 1pm Eastern Time. I guess we'll find out soon if it was a good idea.

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