Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Anne Frank The Musical: Fun for all the family

Every now and then, whilst wandering the streets of Pareee, I come across something so mind-bogglingly hilarious I can scarcely believe it's real.
Take, for example, Anne Frank: The Musical.
Now, I should preface this blog entry by stating up front that I haven't seen this production, and hence, am not in a position to give an opinion one way or the other on whether it makes for a rollicking good night at the theatre. I should also state up front that I am among that minority of the population who read her diary and found Anne Frank plain annoying. While I would never seek to belittle or diminish her plight - or that of the Jewish people more generally during WWII - I found it hard to get past Ms Frank's whiney teenage tone. Important contribution to history and the literary canon: yes. Enjoyable read: not so much.
So to then discover that some enterprising Parisian theatrical impresario has concocted a musical based on the Diaries of Anne Frank just leaves me scratching my head.
Quite apart from the fact that there cannot be much in the way of scene changes (they lived in a hermetically-sealed one room apartment for God's sake), I can't begin to imagine how you fashion a musical number out of the Frank family experience.
Are audiences leaving the theatre humming the tune to that show-stopper "Sssh! The Germans Are Coming!"? Or are they being moved by the pre-interval power balled "Not Beans For Dinner Again!"?
We can only hope it has Mel Brooks' paws all over it. His "Springtime For Hitler" musical-within-a-musical in the hit Broadway show and film, The Producers, set a new standard for Nazi-inspired musical theatre. And as a genre, it has been sorely underserviced ever since...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm absolutely with you regarding Anne Frank and her unrelenting whiny teenager-ness. (When I first was in the middle of reading it, I truly thought that surely it was her stupid teenager-ness that gives them away somehow. I'm not kidding here.)

I'm a math tutor and one of my students asked if I had any random help to offer on an essay she had to write. (Sure, why not, I have lots of random bs in me, what's the topic?...) "Explain why Anne Frank is a hero."

I have not the words.

And "Springtime for Hitler" is absolutely the definitive representation of this oeuvre. How could they top that?

P.S. I also think Romeo and Juliet isn't "romantic" so much as "horny - irrational - angsty - over-reacting - teenagers." And I've thought that since I first read it in high school.