A new musical with the tag line "Not everything should be a musical?" Go on...
When the phone stopped ringing in March 2020 for film and television composer Jim Dooley (Pushing Daisies, Lemony Snicket’s: A Series of Unfortunate Events), the Emmy winner had to find something to do. The result is The Revue, a brand new musical built around that tag-line idea that there are some properties that just should not be adapted into musicals.
In the musical, a theatre director and producer are faced with financial ruin and the loss of their beloved theatre unless they can find the next big sellout show. So, they hit the slush pile of scripts and audition several "never-shoulda-been-a-musical-shows."
The idea came to Dooley when he was just thinking about what movies might make the worst musical adaptations. "I thought 'You know what'd be God awful is Bridge of the River Kwai.' How could you possibly turn that into a musical?" That thought led to thinking about what specific composers would be writing what adaptations. "This is where the real fun is," says Dooley. "Like, what if Jurassic Park was a Stephen Schwartz musical? He's the guy who tells famous stories from a different point of view...Wizard of Oz to Wicked...so, in Jurassic Park, the T-Rex comes out and sings a very kind of heart-wrenching song."
The composer was soon at work parodying both the movies and the Broadway shows we love so well. And here's the cool part—The Revue is built with a new structure concept dubbed a "dynamic plot." The first and the last song are fixed scenes, but the interior of the show (all those scripts that the theatre director and producer are auditioning) are made up of over 50 different "modules" that can be switched in and out to create an almost unlimited number of completely different performances tailored to the audience or to the cast—or just to switch things up for a new show every week, which is what The Revue will be doing when it premieres in California in March.
The show will play the Colony Theater in Burbank, CA beginning on March 17 for a limited run through March 27, with plans to move Off-Broadway in the fall. Matt Walker will direct and star in the California run, with choreography by Suzanne Jolie. The cast is rounded out by Rick Batalla, Katie DeShan, Tiffany Daniels, Isaac Robinson-Smith, and Travis Leland.
The production team is keeping the song list out of the Playbill so that everything remains a surprise for the audience, but no movie—or composer—is safe from the skewer. Dooley's written more than 50 songs for The Revue, with one song per fictional musical adaptation—just a 2-minute taste of what each travesty might sound like. Of course, audiences will only hear 15-18 in one performance (remember those modules), but expect to see a little fun poked at titles like Castaway and Dumb and Dumber and composers Meredith Willson and Rodgers and Hammerstein.
For more information and ticketing, visit TheRevueMusical.com.