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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Please Don't Disappoint Me, Idlewild!

Anachronistic musical dramadies CAN work, as Moulin Rouge proved. Even though Moulin Rouge kind of annoyed me, it was a pretty impressive production. It takes a lot of balls to mix Camille, Absinthe, La Boheme and Smells Like Teen Spirit into one giant, garish musical at a time when musicals have a very limited following.

So what are the prospects for Idlewild, Bryan Barber's new musical about a speakeasy performer and his childhood friend? When I first heard about it, I was filled with joy. A hip-hop musical set in the depression-era south? With an entire score by Outkast? I have been wondering for a while why Speakerboxx/the Love Below did not release more hit singles. Now I realize that some of the best songs from those albums are being used in Idlewild. After watching the first preview on Rottentomatoes.com, however, I'm having my doubts. It could just be a really badly edited preview, but the drama looks overblown and the writing sounds stilted. This couls be another Harlem Nights (god help us all). Still, the musical numbers look lavish, and I just love Andre Benjamin. After the prediction I made about Silent Hill being good, I'm not going to make any bold statements about Idlewild. I will say, however, that it's already got my money. I hope it turns out to be worth it.


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