Putting on a Musical. Part 1. Show Selection.

Years of Experience...

.....have taught me to appreciate the funny side of trying to put on a musical. The sketches that follow in this series are about a fictional musical society, but the characters and situations are all based upon real people with whom I have worked, and real situations that have occurred at committee meetings, auditions and rehearsals. In the first sketch "Selecting a Show", the shows mentioned in bold type are shows of which I am the author/composer. Sadly, for my accountant, it's difficult enough to persuade musical societies to present new works, and even more difficult if the writer is a local yokel, without the credentials of a Lloyd-Weber or a Cole Porter. I have learned to live with that fact.

I hope you enjoy!

(Thanks to the posters on Youtube for the links that appear below some of the photos.)

Selection committee
Selection committee
Annie Get Your Gun. Betty Hutton and Howard Keel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY7Hh5PzELo
Annie Get Your Gun. Betty Hutton and Howard Keel. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY7Hh5PzELo
Dogs and Children! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3IOgOeEEa4&feature=fvsr
Dogs and Children! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3IOgOeEEa4&feature=fvsr
Circus on a stage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WDyV_BeLjE&feature=related
Circus on a stage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WDyV_BeLjE&feature=related
Dated! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz_JCgUEewA Kathryn Grayson sings "This is My Lovely Day".
Dated! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz_JCgUEewA Kathryn Grayson sings "This is My Lovely Day".
Clown... sad and unknown!
Clown... sad and unknown!
Chicago... lots of dancing! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoCZEmfnE-M
Chicago... lots of dancing! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoCZEmfnE-M
The Desert Song..... Golden Oldie! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30SRarDHOR8 Mario Lanza sings "One Alone".
The Desert Song..... Golden Oldie! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30SRarDHOR8 Mario Lanza sings "One Alone".
Fiddler on the Roof... a favourite! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzK3Jl64dyc "Sunrise Sunset" from the Movie.
Fiddler on the Roof... a favourite! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzK3Jl64dyc "Sunrise Sunset" from the Movie.
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpJUrt0O7uY "Summer Nights"
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpJUrt0O7uY "Summer Nights"
Kenickie.... Tell me about it, Stud! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0mhYLF-914 "Greased Lightening"
Kenickie.... Tell me about it, Stud! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0mhYLF-914 "Greased Lightening"
It's about this guy who dies in a train crash...
It's about this guy who dies in a train crash...
A Musical about Hamburgers?
A Musical about Hamburgers?
Jekyll and Hyde.... too scary! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEfOfA7UYOs Colm Wilkinson sings "This is the Moment"
Jekyll and Hyde.... too scary! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEfOfA7UYOs Colm Wilkinson sings "This is the Moment"
The King and I? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdyqmN5cnRQ "Shall we Dance"
The King and I? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdyqmN5cnRQ "Shall we Dance"
Too many kids! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmKfHixGYwc "March of the Siamese Children"
Too many kids! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmKfHixGYwc "March of the Siamese Children"
The classic Operetta http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BymOIZuwnGE Sumi Jo sings "Vilia".
The classic Operetta http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BymOIZuwnGE Sumi Jo sings "Vilia".
Oliver.... Big Box Office... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwCnK0W0mZE&feature=related Rowan atkinson sings "Reviewing the Situation"
Oliver.... Big Box Office... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwCnK0W0mZE&feature=related Rowan atkinson sings "Reviewing the Situation"
...but MORE KIDS!
...but MORE KIDS!
Gilbert (Right) and Sullivan (Left)
Gilbert (Right) and Sullivan (Left)
Sex and Skimpy costumes! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOe9tbeuavA&feature=related
Sex and Skimpy costumes! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOe9tbeuavA&feature=related
Nazis and more children! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33o32C0ogVM&feature=related
Nazis and more children! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33o32C0ogVM&feature=related

Show Selection Committee Meeting.

 

Chairperson: Ok, let's get this meeting on the road. First item on the agenda is the selection of a show for next season. Now, the secretary has kindly drawn up a list of shows, so we'll run through it and you can give your opinions.

Chorus Rep: (Arriving late!) Sorry I'm late, everyone. Sory, sorry. I had to wait for the baby-sitter.

Chairperson: It's ok. We're only getting started.

Chorus Rep: Great. Well let's get at it. Baby sitters cost a fortune these days. Time is money, and I ain't got much of either.

Chairperson: Ok. We were just about to....

Chorus Rep: God, I hope I gave her my mobile number, just in case anything goes wrong. Ah, what the heck, nothing ever goes wrong.

Chairperson: .... just about to go through the list....

Chorus Rep: Maybe I should call her? No, no. I'm just being silly... Sorry.

Chairperson: ....the list of shows.

Chorus Rep: I've been watching too many scary movies!

Chairperson: Please!

Chorus Rep: Sorry. Sorry.

Chairperson: Now. Let's do it alphabetically. A. Anne of Green Gables. Annie Get Your Gun. Applause. Annie? What about Annie?

Menopausal Secretary: No way. Dogs and Children.

Treasurer: Yes, but it would sell. It would sell very well.

Menopausal Secretary: Dogs and Children. I can't be having that. And there's very little for the chorus. What do you think?

Indecisive President: Well, I don't know. Maybe we...

Menopausal Secretary: But you're not certain. Just like me. You like it, but you have doubts. Dogs and Children. Not good.

Indecisive President: Well actually....

Menopausal Secretary: We can come back to it if we're stuck. Next?

Chairperson: Anything Goes?

Treasurer: Did it 3 years ago.

Chairperson: Barnum? Beggars Opera? Bless The Bride?

Youth Rep: Bless The Bride? Never heard of it. Is that a new one?

Chairperson: No, it's an old one.

Menopausal Secretary: A very old one!

Musical Director: Good music though. Plenty of chorus work.

Older Rep: Really?

Menopausal Secretary: But the script. The script is awful. So dated.

Treasurer: And it would never sell.

Chairperson: Bitter Sweet?

Treasurer: It would never sell.

Chairperson: Call Me Madam. Carousel. Calamity Jane?

Menopausal Secretary: It's been done and done and done again.

Chairperson: What about Clown?

Musical Director: Clown?

Menopausal Secretary: Clown? Never heard of it.

Chairperson: It has two deaths, a suicide and a lot of babies!

Menopasal Secretary: Sounds dreadful!

Treasurer: Naw, it would never sell!

Chairperson: Cabaret. Chicago?

Youth Rep: Chicago? God yes. Lot's of dancing! Smutty, but very funny!

Indecisive President: Smutty? Hmm. Well I....

Older Rep: There's nothing in it for the older chorus!

Indecisive President: Well yes, but maybe...

Menopausal Secretary: Remember our audience. Would they like smut?

Indecisive President: Well I think, maybe....

Older Rep: And the older chorus won't be happy!

Youth Rep: But the dancers would.

Indecisive President: And I think maybe...

Menopausal Secretary: We can come back to it if we're stuck!

Chorus Rep: I really think I ought to call the baby-sitter. Am I just being paranoid?

All: Yes!

Chorus Rep: Ok.

Chairperson: The Desert Song. Finian's Rainbow. Flora Dora. Fiddler on the Roof?

Musical Director: Fiddler? Great show. Great music!

Menopausal Secretary: Very sombre though. And very Jewish.

Musical Director: What the hell's wrong with Jewish?

Menopausal Secretary: No offence intended. But it's been done to death.

Treasurer: It would still sell.

Older Rep: There's good chorus work in it.

Youth Rep: But hardly any dancing.

Menopausal Secretary: And it's been done and done and done again.

Indecisive President: I like it.

Menopausal Secretary: So we're all agreed then. No to Fiddler.

Chairperson: Gigi. The Gondoliers. Grease?

Youth Rep: Yo! Great one for the dancers.

Older Rep: But no older chorus at all.

Treasurer: It would definitely sell.

Menopausal Secretary: It's tacky. Full of groping and abdominal thrusts.

Indecisive President: Oh! I like the sound....

Menopausal Secretary: Think of the audience.

Youth Rep: Sod the audience. Think of the dancers!

Older Rep: Typical. Just ignore the older chorus!

Treasurer: It would sell for weeks.

Menopausal Secretary: It's crass, and full of sex.

Indecisive President: I definitely think.....

Menopausal Secretary: I'll tell you what. We'll come back to it if we're stuck.

Chairperson: Ok. God Bless Archie Dean?

Older Rep: What the hell is that?

Chairperson: Well, it's about this guy who gets killed in a train crash...

Older Rep: Oh for godness sake!

Chairperson: It's supposed to be evry funny.

Menopausal Secretary: Yeh? Sounds hilarious. Forget it.

Chairperson: What about Godspell?

Musical Director: No. It offends too many Christians.

Menopausal Secretary: What do you care? You're a Jew!

Chairperson: No. He's right. And we can forget about JC Superstar too. So what about Ham?

Menopausal Secretary: Ham?

Others: Ham?

Musical Director: Forget it. It isn't Kosher!

Chairperson: What about The Joy of Living?

Menopausal Secretary: The what?

Older Rep: Never heard of it.

Chairperson: It's the one where everyone is dead by the end.

Menopausal Secretary: It sounds dreadful.

Treasurer: And it would never sell.

Chairperson: Jekyll and Hyde?

Menopausal Secretary: Too spooky!

Chorus Rep: Talking of spooky. Am I the only one who read in the papers about the escaped psychopath?

Older Rep: That was about 200 miles away.

Chorus Rep: So? He may be travelling this way. Maybe I should phone the baby-sitter and warn her.

Chairperson: Ahem!

Chorus Rep: Ok. Ok. I'm sorry for being a concerned mother!

Chairperson: What about the King and I?

Older Rep: No Chorus work.

Youth Rep: Crap dancing!

Menopausal Secretary: And too many kids!

Treasurer: Kids sell tickets. It would sell.

Menopausal Secretary: But eight weeks of rehearsals with over 40 screaming kids? We'd end up strangling them!

Chorus Rep: Do you HAVE to talk about strangling kids right at this moment?

Menopausal Secretary: Sorry!

Chairperson: What about The Merry Widow?

Youth Rep: Oh please!

Menopausal Secretary: Great show!

Older Rep: Great Chorus work.

Musical Director: Great music!

Treasurer: It would sell!

Indecisive President: And the dancers in French knickers!

Youth Rep: Oh please!

Menopausal Secretary: We'll put it on the short list.

Youth Rep: Oh please!

Chairperson: No No Nanette?

Musical Director: No No!

Chairperson: New Moon?

Youth Rep: Old hat!

Chairperson: Oklahoma?

Menopausal Secretary: Over done!

Chairperson: Oliver?

Treasurer: Oliver? Big, BIG box-office! Great seller.

Older Rep: But done to death.

Menopausal Secretary: And too many kids. Screaming kids everywhere!

Chorus Rep: What the hell is it with you? Have you got something against kids?

Menopausal Secretary: Hmm. Kids are like laxatives. You think you really need one, but you know you're gonna have to put up with a lot of shit afterwards.

Chorus Rep: Nice attitude!

Menopausal Secretary: Anyway, Oliver is played out!

Chairperson: Ruddigore?

Menopausal Secretary: Ruddy bore, if you ask me.

Youth Rep: And no dancing!

Older Rep: So what. The choral work is great.

Youth Rep: So the dancers don't matter? Is that what you're saying?

Treasurer: It'll never sell. Gilbert and Sullivan has no audience.

Youth Rep: Except Gilbert and Sullivan fanatics, and they're all dead or dying!

Indecisive President: Well I like it.

Youth Rep: See what I mean?

Treasurer: It'll never sell.

Chairperson: South Pacific, we did last year. Showboat?

Youth Rep: Oh please!

Chairperson: Sweet Charity?

Youth Rep: Oh yes!

Menopausal Secretary: Too smutty!

Youth Rep: Oh please!

Menopausal Secretary: Nothing but sex and skimpy costumes.

Indecisive President: Oh yes please!!

Treasurer: It won't sell.

Chairperson: The Sound of Music?

Musical Director: I don't like shows with Nazis.

Menopausal Secretary: And more kids!

Chorus Rep: Oh for Christ's sake change the record! You sound like a frustrated spinster!

Menopausal Secretary: Well better that than a neurotic mother!

Indecisive President: Ladies please!

Menopausal Secretary: Or a dirty old man, for that matter!

Chairperson: Order!

Chorus Rep: Bitch!

Menopausal Secretary: Cow!

Youth Rep: Ha! Who said committee meetings were boring?

All: Shut up!

Chorus Rep: Look, can we just pick a bloody show so that I can get home to my kids?

Chairperson: Well, as things stand at the moment, The Merry Widow is the favourite!

Youth Rep: Hey, what about the ones we were gonna go back to if we were stuck?

Menopausal Secretary: We're not stuck!

Chairperson: The Merry Widow it is then. All those in favour?

All except Youth Rep: Aye!

Chairperson: Against?

Youth Rep: Nay!

Chairperson: The Merry Widow it is then!

Youth Rep: Oh please.

Chorus Rep: I'm off.

Older Rep: Tea, anyone?

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Comments 2 comments

thepicturetheatre 5 years ago

ah the joys of musical theatre productions. Takes me back to the meetings we used to have when I worked as publicity manager. good hub, well written!


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Thatguypk 5 years ago Author

Thank you kindly, thepicturetheatre.

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