22 February 2010

Pitch for a musical about dog agility that would really get people crazy about dog agility; this is aimed at you, fancy producers of musicals.

Production Notes: Is it weird that it would be a musical and a lot of the parts played by senior citizens? My thought is that it's so counter retro that all the hipsters would flock to it, yet still have enough street cred with the over 50 crowd who is the built in part of the target audience. Hopefully, it's not creepy to leverage dancing senior citizens. Also, 3-D glasses could be worn although that is a bit of technology we haven't quite yet worked out and just throwing this out as a hypothetical. Might really be great for the under 15 crowd. You know, suck 'em in early like they do at McDonald's and tobacco companies.

The curtains would open to a press conference setup, and the air would be absolutely quiet as one man walks quietly to the middle of the stage to the press conference podium. He is wearing track bottoms. And a lot of rings. And GOOD GOD, it's Elton John!

A giant grand piano rolls in at the same time, covered with rubber granules, and he sits down, and starts playing a very sad song about apologies to his family and dogs, and how he just wants to get on with the sport of Dog Agility. And as his song goes on, another curtain opens behind him and it is a glittering dog agility course, every surface covered in sparkling, shiney beads, glinting under the lights, and the stage is filled with male cheerleaders in little sweaters and muppet border collies wearing faux fur by the Lion KingTM people and there is a huge sweeping dance number that introduces our musical, working title, "Q".

Production Notes: It is Peppy!

Elton John is singing and dancing along with them and has a little microphone like the kind Britney Spears uses.

Production Notes: At this point, we don't even know what it was Elton John was apologizing for. We can only imagine. Dog agility, not like other sports like golfing or bobsledding, it is a wholesome sport for the whole family, where apple pies are flung about with abandon and Chevy trucks are favored over Aston Martins. Think curling. Chubby folk sweeping things with plastic brooms. You get the idea.

Production Notes: The sets are changed in that super cool way big musical sets are changed via trapdoors and people dressed like furry bigfoots on ropes. The next set change is a giant, gothic castle with go-go booted burlesque dancers posed in the niches. Castles always have niches. There is a fleet of the faux fur Lion KingTM border collies napping under candleabras and really big ass gold leafed chairs with red velvet coverlets.

Production Notes: The next role, this is a really hard part to cast. I was thinking Madonna first, but then Celine Dion might have the Wow Factor that brings in the busloads of tourists from Vegas, ready spendy to buy the DVD, booklet, and t-shirt for the musical. So we might have to go with Celine Dion in this role. I think Celine Dion is a senior citizen. I know her husband is.

She comes dancing out in a skort. Yes, it's a skort, people, sequins shimmering, and she's dancing her way around the castle and she has a giant hourglass filled with ruby red sand and she is singing a song about the hour at hand. Her Lion KingTM muppets are perfectly aligned and dance along with her, and as they dance all the uber goth castle furniture comes to life and this is how we know, she is a witch. With a really big castle. Oh man. This is powerful stuff.

Production Notes: So the scene changes again, hopefully someone comes up with something for this so that there don't have to be mimes in hats doing acrobatics in the aisles during scene changes, and we are once again at the sparkle dog agility set. The main cast members come out, each with a Lion KingTM dog, in various sizes and shapes. Here, we have cast Oprah, Shirley MacLaine, Dolly Parton, Linda Hamilton, and Reese Witherspoon. All will do their own singing. Oprah's Lion KingTM is a cocker spaniel.

Production Notes: It gets a little sketchy from here on. We have been working on getting John Waters and Paul Reubens to do a lot of work with the lyrics and are looking at some bearded indie bands from the Portland/Seattle areas to work with them on song tooling. And I may not have a big background, uh, any background, in musical production, however I have seen enough of the big musicals that have come through LA to know what works, and what with my genius in marketing skills, I think this is really going to hit big.

Basically, the plot is that the 5 main female singing leads all have to continually set up the sparkly field, put on a show for all their friends (these are the chorus dancers/singers that play cheerleaders, flying monkeys, go-go niche dancers, dog agility handlers, sailors, etc.) and then take it all down and keep doing it again, over and over. It is as if, they are under a spell cast by a witch.

There are various issues in their busy lives. One of their sons is coming to visit with his fiance's family and they don't know that Oprah is gay. And a long time ago, Shirley MacLaine stole a meatloaf from a deli and Dolly Parton has been after her for all these years but since Shirley MacLaine is disguised as Elton John, she doesn't know it's really her and they have this epic game of cat and mouse going. And Linda Hamilton is very ill and can't pay the rent on her loft and her dogs may become homeless. She has 3 Lion KingTM muppet dogs and they look suspiciously like Team Small Dog. And Reese Witherspoon wants to be a country music star and an Argentinean dictator and has trust issues from her previous life as an orphan.

But they are all like one big happy dog agility family, even with their various life issues that they love to sing about. Via flashbacks. And dance about. As choreographed by Hairspray choreographer, Adam Shankman. hopefully he's available. And they have all decided, if they could just get to the big fancy dog show in Kentucky, not only will they learn useful life lessons to help them sort out their personal Lifetime movies, but also will be sucked out of the endless loop of unloading dog agility equipment, using it, and loading it back up again. The only thing standing in their way? Celine Dion has plans to build her QVC empire with Cher resurecting Cher's Sanctuary line of gothic castle furniture that may or may not be made in China and with minions trained to purchase endless amounts of rococo and gothic inspire furniture, and move it around, day in and day out.

The rest of the musical is about their journey.

Production Notes: Heartstrings are constantly pulled due to the super touching use of the dancing Lion KingTM dog muppets, who are featured in every scene. This totally gets us off the hook if anything isn't quite right in the plot or what have you because they are awe inspiring in their construction, as well as TOTALLY cute and do tricks. If a film version is optioned out, perhaps trained dogs can be used at that point, but for the hit Broadway version, I think we just go with the muppets. This allows optimum dog singing, dancing and agility handling.

The journey to Kentucky is hair raising, with all kinds of deadly trees, flying monkeys, cops, rain, disappointed children, and empty bank accounts, but when they finally reach Kentucky, they will be greeted by a kindly Wizard, played on alternate nights by Bill Cosby and Mick Jagger, whose wise powers will make everything right.

But wait. Here is where it is going to get REALLY sad, because the Wizard is going to die, right after he tells everybody that it's all about the journey, and they are free to be you and me. He's a really old Wizard. Boy oh boy, is that going to be a special, tear jerking song and people will be falling out of their seats in sadness. Like SUPER MEGA HIT song. Songwriting genius. But you sort of will know he's not REALLY dead because he will sing this song from a cherry picker that carries him high up over stage, also making this scene really appealing for all the religous symbolism, we can even give the Wizards long, flowing Jesus hair.

But there's going to be a happy ending after all this because every character is going to win a motorhome in Kentucky, have a fun filled caravan ride back to Hollywood and we're already speaking with Abba for last number when everyone becomes friends, the problems are solved, and there is a huge Bollywood-esque finale on day glo motorhomes that circle the stage, and Celine Dion and Cher and Elton John and Mick Jagger and Bill Cosby and all the fine cast ladies sing the biggest hit song that all proceeds of will be donated to Haiti. As it will turn out, the QVC project won't go so well for Celine Dion and Cher, the spell is released, and they just end up riding along in motorhomes, too.

You still with me? This is going to be big. I can smell it from here.


Unknown said...

So... you made me laugh at my desk. Unfair. Now everyone thinks I'm nuts.

Oh wait.. the fact that I find this a plausible idea should be the first clue...

Elf said...

All I can say is, it must have been an interesting weekend over there at the coast in TSD land.

team small dog said...

Well, you know like when it's raining in the morning and your dogs are all racing around the house? That's what it was like here and then we have this.

Lily Tomlin WOULD be the best starters ring gate person ever. Meryl Streep would probably have agility cocker spaniels, I think, and only speak to Oprah on set. IF she didn't kill the film option.

corinne said...

How the hell do you get something of this magnitude posted before 6AM? Do you dream of this stuff? This is feckin' brilliant. You are my hero. Can I be you?

John Waters and Pee Wee Herman as lyricists? Really?

Kristine D said...

I'm very excited about this production. I hope you'll let me know when the touring company is expected to hit Minneapolis!

I got to the point about the skort and my mind acid-tripped about who is portraying Susan Garrett in this production. And I realize that Susan Garrett DOES NOT WEAR SKORTS 'cuz I learned that lesson months ago. Like I said.. my mind went on its own acid-trip.

But I'm envisioning a rafter-rockin' song titled "Reward the Dog" (subtitle: "2 of 30")somewhere in the second act.

Oh bless you for writing this post. I was having a miserable day until I read this!

Anonymous said...

lion and tigers and bears, oh my! surely at least one of your agility boyfriends is in there somewhere? and a suspense filled gamble?

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

I fully support John Waters to write this. He'll have to include a misfit dog that wins everyone's hearts and minds as the hero. How about the scrappy mixed breed dog goes to an AKC match and much to the horror of the fancy dog people - WINS?

Blitzkrieg wants to audition to be a Lion TM Dog. He's a Lion dog colored, one eyed Pekingese that does agility. How John Waters misfit is that?

minnow said...

I am so loving the Dolly Parton weave pole dance.

GooseMaverick said...

Mick Jagger - wise powers, bawhaha!
New reader here - LOVE your sense of humor. The really odd thing is that the other night I started watching The Who's Tommy and now I have some weird mess of Tommy and your agility musical stuck in my head.

maryclover said...

Just a few notes from my days as a script analyst:

The Title - Might want to rethink that as Avenue Q has cute puppets as well, but they had potty mouths and we all know that potty mouths do not exist in the world of agilty.

Meryl Streep - you have to at least make the offer. Remember "Mama Mia"? She can carry a tune in a bucket.

Character Arc - Who is our protagonist here and what 180 degree change does he/she/it go through after the death of the Wizard aka "The worst of the worst".

Elevator Pitch - you should be able to sum up the whole musical in one line that would sell it to Spielberg when you run into him on an elevator. Kinda like "A dog agility homage that crosses Best in Show with Julie Taymor's The Lion King"