|Some of you might know I'm involved in a nonprofit, art-damaged jelly wrestling collective - The Marrickville Jelly Wrestling Federation. My alter-ego, the Love Pump, developed for one of our shows a couple years back, and people liked him so much (plucky underdog and all that) I ended up developing the character and putting out a couple of zines of his memoirs, some mixtapes, cabaret shows and whatnot. On Saturday, I did my biggest solo Pump show yet - four original songs, a lot of interaction with the audience and choreography and stuff. It went really well.|
I woke up on Sunday thinking sleepily about where to take it next, when suddenly the thought came to me: What if there was a whole Love Pump musical? Then I had the most intense creative rush I've ever experienced - probably the first time I've understood what 'inspiration' actually means. I figured out the broad bones of the plot immediately, and over the last couple of days have most of the structure, the major set pieces, lyrics for some new songs, and clear ideas on who I want for most of the cast (out of the circle of actors and performers I know personally), the economics and practicalities of putting it on, etc. I got out a couple of books about writing scripts to figure out the format and stuff. I'm meeting a friend this afternoon to try and enlist him as a producer/stage-manager kind of dude. I've already talked to a friend who plays with an improv orchestra about writing original music. Everyone I've spoken to about it is excited, and keen to help out.
So I was hoping to get feedback here about the concept, and especially advice from people who know more about drama and staging than I do. One question I have is - in musicals, how do you mic people up? Do they just have to project their voices really well, or are there some kind of mic you can use that they can dance around with and stuff?
Anyway, here is a basic run down of the plot. The pitch is, Westside Story meets Showgirls in the jelly wrestling ring. Since Westside Story is based on Romeo and Juliet, and Showgirls is based on All About Eve, that's already a lot of references, and I want to thicken it with a lot of allusions to classic musicals. The Love Pump is driven into jelly wrestling by his desire to avenge his father's tragic, jelly-related murder. He signs up with a sleazy, downmarket jellywrestling group, but longs to join Allstar Jelly, the glamourous federation across town. But the two groups hate each other, and the transition seems impossible.
But then! The Pump falls in love with a wrestler from the other federation. As their forbidden love unfolds, Pump gets an unbelievable, once in a lifetime shot at the Allstar Heavyweight Championship. Can he do it?!
So, that's the basic story. I have a few questions I'm hoping you can help me with, apart from any general comments you have.
1 - I haven't seen that many musicals, so any you can recommend would be great. Basically, I know Westside Story, obviously, Gypsy, and Singing in the Rain. I know I need to see Mary Poppins, Wizard of Oz, and the Southpark movie. What else? Classic or modern - and I want to watch bad ones as well as good, to figure out traps to avoid.
2 - Similarly, I need to read some plays. I don't think I ever have, so any recommendations are welcome, especially comedies. I am going to start with the Oscar Wilde collection on my housemate's shelf - but what else should I check out?
3 - Do you think it should have a happy ending? I figure there are three ways it can finish. Unqualified Victory: the Pump triumphs over the evil allstar Champion. The Rocky Ending: Pump loses, but in a heroic fashion after a gruelling bout. Scarface Ending: Pump wins the title at the end of the second act, and spends the third act becoming a more and more insane megalomaniac until his eventual downfall.