City of Boredom

The tradeoff I make is taking three hours out of my really hectic schedule to see the big musical going on at Spingold. Boy was that the wrong move.

Where does one start? The script – its a play about a guy writing a movie. He talks to his characters. They “rewind” when he doesn’t like something he just wrote. This gimmick has some great potential for self-discovery and whatnot. Added bonus: everyone he knows in life is represented in the script as a character, and the same actors play both parts. Brilliant!

Except the story is just terrible. I admit I left at the end of the first act, so its possible that as I write it is concluding beautifully, but I somehow really doubt it. Maybe it was the music. I hated it. Maybe it was the sets – ugly yellows, no personality, hard to tell which set is which. It could have been the sound – typical detective story voice overs badly recorded and playing way too loud on crappy speakers. Or the backdrops, which, going with the movie theme, were projected onto the set, but by a sub-par projector that made them hard to distinguish.

The dancing was cute. The story had potential. What it basically came down to was this: we, as an audience, make a deal with the writer. We will suspend disbelief for three hours and pretend like its perfectly normal for people to burst into song about their deepest feelings. In exchange, you give us songs that have a meaning, not just filler. I want a deep insight into each person’s character. I want something explained that I couldn’t have otherwise grasped. I want to learn something. That is the compramise. But the only song that came remotely close to actually revealing anything about these characters was the last one before intermission. I mean, sure, the sex innuendos with the tennis song are all well and good, but why???. Half way through and I still don’t know what the play is about.

So, anyway, I left City of Angels disappointed. Next time I want to look at seedy old LA I’ll rent Hollywood Confidential. It does a much better job.

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