First, happy 2013. Second. I presume you have all unlike me, not been living under a rock and have therefore watched 2009 film Nine. Sometimes, the earth shakes under your feet and you find yourself questioning the very foundation upon which you have built your life. For me, the foundation is musicals and the day was two weeks ago. I discovered that not only had I not watched Nine, a bonafide musical in the flesh, starring Daniel Day Lewis and a bevy of lovely ladies but I had not so much as heard of it. I pounced like those lions do when they spy a gazelle.
In a minute I was plunged in the somewhat messed up head of Luigi Contini, a genius Italian movie man in the 1950s who finds himself driven to near madness by the women in his life. As far as musicals go, this one is for those of you who either really, really, really love the genre or want to see sweet-faced Marion Cotillard play an injured wife or Penelope Cruz play a sassy but insecure mistress. Yes that’s Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard in the same movie but for those of you who want steamier stuff there’s a heavy lidded Fergie (the whore), a crisper than fresh toast Judi Dench (the confidant), an elegant but puffy-lipped Sophia Loren (the mother), a svelte blonde Nicole Kidman (the muse) a blonde and playful Kate Hudson (the temptation). Still, though the movie was very much to my liking, I couldn’t shoo away the nasty suspicion that it would have been about 20,000 times better had I seen it as a stage production.
Which got me thinking about screen adaptations of theatre and how technically the movie screen short changes us without us knowing it. Let’s face it, about 80 per cent of those who don’t have the luxury of looping on a Burberry scarf and “going to catch a show” in New York, have to rely on movies like Mary Poppins, Chicago, The Lion King, The little shop of horrors and so on to get our fix. If you ever want to compare Disney’s The Lion King to the stage production, Youtube it. But I warn you, the movie will never be the same for you. The stage affords so much more grandeur. I guess the point of all of this is, I’d better get rich fast and catch a real Broadway show, where a stage is packed to the rafters (pointless show, don’t ever watch) with singing, leaping, pirouetting dancers. Hashtag wishlist. Hashtag get rich or die trying.