Monday, February 4, 2013
A Musical Based on a Movie About Reality TV
Categories: Arts & Culture
The Bloomington Playwrights Project just opened a new musical based on a movie about a character who lives his life on a reality television show. It sounds like I'm describing an infinity puzzle, but it works! The Truman Show is a new musical production by Alexander Gemignani (music) and Brad Bauner (lyrics), based on the popular movie from 1998 by Andrew Niccol. If you remember the movie, you know that Truman has lived his whole life in the made-up town of Seahaven, so that he can be viewed around the clock as the subject of a reality TV show. This production follows the same plot as the movie, adding some catchy songs and a little dance. Truman starts to suspect things are amiss when a woman he falls in love with (but wasn't supposed to, according to the producer of the show) clues him in. The story is probably more relevant today that it was 15 years ago, with more and more reality shows produced each year. As with the movie, this musical makes you wonder what "reality" is being televised.
But let's not get too serious. Like Truman, it's a pretty upbeat show and the musical numbers are fun. The opening song, Seahaven , is especially catchy, and Let's Book It and It's Like a Movie are both memorable. The actors did a fine job, especially Truman and his two love interests, Maddie/Sylvia and Meryl/Hannah. And all the actors were IU students, as this production was done in partnership with IU Theatre. It was fantastic, as was the set which was simple but versatile enough to represent various buildings in town as well as the show's production office, with its Omni-present position overhead.
This was a great show, and as with all BPP shows, this is the only place in the world where you can see it! They're producing shows that have never been seen before, new plays by famous and almost-famous writers. So go see this show before it moves on to a bigger stage, because the intimate and warm setting at the BPP, right in downtown Bloomington, provides a welcoming experience for theater fans of all levels (including a novice like me). It's just as entertaining as reality TV, or a movie, or a movie about reality TV. (wink wink)