I am guessing that most of you do not understand my heading there. But those of you who do are doubtless rejoicing, as they know what’s coming. And they understand the magic.
You see, my peeps, there are few things that I am absolutely, 100%, to-my-core sure of in life. But there are still some I do know: things with melted cheese on them are more delicious than things without melted cheese on them. If you wear nude hose and open-toed shoes, you will be negating any possible plus from the hose (of which there are few anyway) in favor of the GIANT MINUS that is having your toes look like little trapped mouse fetuses. Curling is a deeply silly sport.
And when it comes to my most favorite subject, theater, there is one thing I know for sure, (well, other thanthe long-heralded ‘Newsies’ stage musical must happen soon so that Al Calderon can be cast as the tough Brooklyn Newsie Spot Conlon, and they must write a number for him called ‘Brooklyn’, and that it will STOP THE SHOW. I mean, really, guys, he’s growing fast! Theatrical magic must be made!!!) that I know and have known always (well, since 1992): Strictly Ballroom would make a great stage musical. And now, Baz Luhrmann has made my dreams come true by announcing that it will indeed come to the stage, starting as a development workshop in Sydney.
For those of you unfamiliar with the genius Baz Luhrmann beginning of the great ‘Red Curtain Trilogy’, let me break it down for you:
1. Strictly Ballroom is at it’s heart a Cinderella story – a champion dancer who chafes against the rules of ballroom dancing meets an unlikely ugly duckling, and magic ensues. This is a classic timeless story, which almost always works, especially on a stage. In addition, there are great, solid secondary characters with their own stories (and I dare you to watch the movie and not fall in love with Barry Otto’s sweetness).
2. The setting for this classic story is the world of Ballroom Dance competition, which is so stage worthy I’m embarrassed to even try to explain why this would be GENIUS on a stage. I mean, come on. Fabulous dancing, outfits that look like this:
It’s basically a glitzy, entertaining world with it’s own crazy rules and structure, full of people dancing. And it really exists! It’s not even a stretch to put someone on stage in an outfit that looks like the crazy lovechild of Liberace and Big Bird!
3. It’s stylish! The movie itself, beyond the world of ballroom dancing, has the saturated colors and striking visuals that dominate a Baz Luhrmann movie. Baz Luhrmann movies are basically already theatrical – for god’s sake, his three biggest films (Strictly Ballroom, Romeo and Juliet, and Moulin Rouge) are called the red curtain trilogy! – so putting them on a stage is basically a no-brainer.
4. It’s Australian!! Which gives pretty much anything ten extra points. However, I’m putting that down warily, because I really would prefer that they move the setting rather than have a bunch of Americans attempt Australian accents, because even hearing the attempts on the Outback Steakhouse ads makes my ears bleed.
5. Have I mentioned Tina Sparkle? Tina Sparkle is the most brilliant random character in the history of cinema, if you ask me. Spoken of as pretty much the goddess of the ballroom dancing scene, she’s not seen as often as the other characters refer to her, always with awe and reverence. Which, given the accent, sounds like ‘TINA SPAHKLE!!!’ For some reason, I find this very amusing.
So in conclusion, this is immensely awesome. Also, Baz Luhrmann, please hire me. I will carry around the yellow feather sleeves and be your general Strictly Ballroom Musical Official Show Groupie. Hell, I probably will show up on the first day anyway.