A musical from the non-singer's perspective

As per EmptyKube's post, here is a kernel of an idea to build on. If this starts to go somewhere, whoever wants it can write it.

Ever watch a musical and wonder what the Hell people are singing for? Ever groan when you can feel another excuse for a song coming up?

Ever wonder what non-combatants would think if they saw all these fools prancing around and singing?

So we have our POV character, who is a normal dude, but a sidekick to the Big Hero. The Big Hero breaks into song at every opportunity. Occasionally other people get sucked into the song. Once in a while the whole block is spinning and dancing and joining in with the chorus.

Meanwhile the sidekick sits on the sidelines, bored. He was at first impressed with his partner's ability to make up songs on the spot, and he was amazed at how complete strangers can join in and look like they have been practicing the song together for weeks, even though they all just met. And he has never quite figured out where all the orchestra music comes from. But most of all, he wishes it would all just stop.

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EmptyKube's picture

Re: A musical from the non-singer's perspective

[quote="eddycurrents"]As per EmptyKube's post, here is a kernel of an idea to build on. If this starts to go somewhere, whoever wants it can write it.

Ever watch a musical and wonder what the Hell people are singing for? Ever groan when you can feel another excuse for a song coming up?

Ever wonder what non-combatants would think if they saw all these fools prancing around and singing?

So we have our POV character, who is a normal dude, but a sidekick to the Big Hero. The Big Hero breaks into song at every opportunity. Occasionally other people get sucked into the song. Once in a while the whole block is spinning and dancing and joining in with the chorus.

[/quote]
This makes me think of a Monty Python sketch. It could be hugely funny.
I also have this image of a Kevin Smith movie, with Ben Aflick and Mat Damon playing leads in a musical, and Jay and Silent Bob looking at them with this "What the F***?" expression.

This idea feels more like a script thing then a story thing, but it might be fun.

Re:A musical from the non-singer's perspective

Well as a story, we would get the POV character's inner thoughts, like "Oh no, here he goes again. Where did that trio of dancing girls come from? Hey that one is pretty cute, I'll see if I can get her attention."

I do like the casting though.

I'm not a complete idiot -- some parts are missing.

EmptyKube's picture

Re:A musical from the non-singer's perspective

The only way to pull this off would to be completely campy.
You'd need to let the reader know right from word one that the story was making fun of itself. Sort of :

[i] The sun was bright, morning had broken, and we started our day with a song.
"Good morning star shine, the Earth says 'hello.'
You twinkle above, we sparkle below.
Nubi nab nubi nah nubi nab nah..."

Maybe it was a lack of caffine, or maybe it was a lack of nooky, but suddenly I didn't get it anymore. What the hell were we singing for?
What was there to sing about?
[/i]

Re:A musical from the non-singer's perspective

Oooo I like that. The POV character was part of the singing crew and then dropped out when he realized what he was doing. Maybe he had some kind of epiphany.

to continue from above:

[i]I stood there scratching my head, looking at my best friend Bjorn Tubiwylde. We had been companions for as long as I could remember, and I had never been jealous of his tousled blond hair, his chiseled good looks, his rock hard physique, or his chin dimple that was deep enough to hold a shadow. I was the faithful, dumpy sidekick, content to sing harmony over his golden voice, or just join in the chorus.

But now, as I watched him sing and cavort from one side of the meadow to another, I had an odd feeling that this didn't make any sense. We were trying to get to the castle before nightfall, to save Princess Annapea from the evil Dastard Bastard, and Bjorn suddenly stopped for a number.

He must have noticed I was no longer accompanying him, because he turned to me and held out an arm, inviting me to pick up the next verse. The birds in the trees were twittering along with the melody, and the bullfrogs in the marshes were croaking bass.

Old habits died hard. In spite of myself, I felt the urge to sing. Breath filled my lungs and I opened my pipes.

The song died in my throat. I had no idea what the next verse was.[/i]

I'm not a complete idiot -- some parts are missing.

musical for non singers

I used to write musical theatre. Most times non-singers are used rarely such as the guards & captain of in inqusistion in La Mancha. The cop in Guys and Dolls, etc Everyone else sings. Most other musicals have a singing and dancing chorus if they are large enough in cast and budget.
Sometimes characters make a song out of not being able to sing.
(As in A Chorus Line)
perhaps the language barrier between alien cultures can be demonstrated by using singers and non-singers. sort of Tom Stoppard meets Gilberet & Sullivan.
Bob bobfri@enter.net

Re:A musical from the non-singer's perspective

Ok Bob, how's this:

[i]I looked at Bjorn, and he looked back at me. I felt like one of those guys who does some menial task all day, then scurries off to a dark corner to stand and watch whenever a song begins. We called them ex-tralalaers, or "ex-tras" for short. I used to pity them.

Now I was one of them!

That was what I thought at the time, as I stood with my mouth open and eyes bulging. I couldn't even speak -- I was mortified. Bjorn just shrugged and kept on as a solo. He never missed a beat.

Later, much later, I came to realize I was something else. Ex-tras immediately resumed what they were doing when a song ended and seemed content with it all, but me, I just felt out of place. Before a song, during a song, and after a song. I couldn't rhyme. I didn't belong.

Anyway, we did reach the castle before nightfall, somehow, even though Bjorn had to stop to sing again. This time it was on the road before the castle, when we encountered a haywagon heading the other way. The driver saw Bjorn and sprang down from his seat, and began to sing:

"Oh! the land awaits a handsome stranger,
To deliver us from Dastard's grip,
Princess Annapea is in danger,
On the Bastard, I can give you a tip."

Bjorn joined him and sang:

"I pray you give me this information,
Now, for I am on my way,
To save this forsaken nation,
But first, I admit, I am --"

I lost interest. I don't remember the rest of their song. I started looking over the wagon, trying to get a sense of where he had been, when I noticed the wagon driver had a companion. She was sitting in the seat next to his. Somehow I had missed seeing her when they first drove up.

"Hello," I said to her.

She looked down at me, with a vacant expression in her eyes. She was obviously an ex-tra. I waved, and she just stared. Finally, she said, "Hello." Her face split in a big toothy smile, but her eyes were focused on something far away. She looked like someone in a mystic trance.

"What is your name?"

"Hello," she said, and her smile never wavered.

"Where did you two come from?"

"Hello," she said, still smiling. Now she looked more fool than friendly.

"Hello," I said to the cart horse and gave it a big fool smile. It turned its head to fix a baleful eye on me. I could read "What the hell is wrong with you?" clearly in its expression.

I shook my head. The horse had more sense than the girl. I leaned against the cart wheel, pulled out my knife, and scraped the dirt from under my fingernails while I waited for Bjorn's song to finish. [/i]

I'm not a complete idiot -- some parts are missing.