Tuesday, June 22, 2010

John Paul II - The Musical!

Not long ago I noticed a comment by a priest someplace in response to Obama declaring June gay pride month, he wrote something like this:  "So what are we supposed to do, watch musicals and install track lighting?"  I thought that was funny.
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Then today I come to find out two priests in Rome actually wrote and produced a musical on JPII, with real priests acting in it.  I know!  How stimulating! 
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The BBC narrative refers to John Paul as "something of a rock star himself!"

A musical about Pope John Paul II called Don't Be Scared is being staged in Rome.

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The production has 18 songs and tells the story of his life in two hours.
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The musical was written by two priests, one who wrote the script, the other who crafted the songs. - BBC News

I love how they translated "Non Abbiate Paura", John Paul's famous exhortation, "Be not afraid" to be, "Don't Be Scared".  (What if that is the title song however and it is sung to Elvis' "Don't Be Cruel"?)  I wonder if the Irish priests who made that CD are in the musical?  I'm fairly certain a famous priest blogger we all know was in theater in college.  So much to say... but I digress!
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I'm told other songs in the musical include:
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A dazzling rendition of, "Don't Rain On My Procession!"
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"I'm Going To Wash That Devil Right Out of My Hair!"
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The show-stopper song about the excommunication of Archbishop Levebre:
- "Did he Need A Stronger Hand?" (Otherwise titled: "If He Walked into My Life" - from "Mame")
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As well as the hit, referencing Vatican II and the New Millennium:
-"Open a New Window!" (Another Mame re-write!)
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And the uproariously funny send up on the NO:
"You Gotta Get a Gimmick!" from "Gypsy".
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I hear the dance numbers are especially rich.  Clerical costumes - cassocks - were carefully constructed and shortened for some of the more athletic numbers.  Copes and cassock hems have been weighted for flare, Velcro closures added for easy opening during high kicks and twirls.  The choreography is supposed to be breath-taking - view an example here.

19 comments:

  1. Austringer10:55 AM

    When I read this post, I initially misread the name of the play as "Don't Be Sacred". I hope that wasn't prophetic...

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  2. LOL, Terry!

    I hope there's a duet with Ronald Reagan, singing "Tear Down This Wall"!

    'Open the gate;
    Tear down this wall!
    Glasnost won't wait
    Til next Summer or Fall!'

    Oh - and that video needs some vuvuzelas!

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  3. I was hoping you'd like this Larry!

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  4. hehehe..I spent a summer in local stock musical theatre doing engineering work (honest!!) We had a costume designer from New York that had the female impersanation act down pat...made a better looking woman than half us REAL gals :) Utah having not experienced something like him about fell on their collective face:) I give him credit..he was pretty hot looking, and with legs to die for :)

    Got LOTS of makeup tips from him too..he was the one who turned me on to Clinique products.. :)

    I still haven't figured out to this day how he could wear a miniskirt so short without causing a scandal...

    Sara

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  5. The danza liturgica is simply off the wall - even for me, who is often labelled as a raving liberal religious type. It might be okay (?!) if the people dance - but including the priest? Holding the monstrance? Please...
    I am sceptical... Or is it a spoof? The problem is its hysterical quality which is alien to the rite itself. (Dervish dance could be Christianized - but - like Terry, I digress. Even so, invent a new form of prayer - Catholics have been doing this - like the Devotion to Sacred Heart, Divine Mercy....) But this sort of Eucharistic dervish dance is ... sad.

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  6. Br. Wm - it is supposed to be real - I've seen it posted on other sites. Kind of crazy.

    Sara - Did you ever see Ace Ventura Pet Detective? There is a scene in it that might answer your question.

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  7. This is the gayest thing ever.

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  8. I couldn't bear to watch the entire video the first time but I am just too curious. So I did. You know what - honestly - i do like the music and the dance - and even the procession....! Pagan-ish, okay, it's not a sin. Quasi-mass-hysteria.. okay, not a sin either. BUT NOT WITH THE EUCHARIST!!!!!! As I said, a new form of dance-devotion can be invented. Be creative - at least. Now I am beginning to understand why some would say Novo Ordo commits similar problems to the Tridentine mass.

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  10. Excuse me - Thom - what are you referring to as the gayest thing ever? The liturgical dance or the musical or one the comments? I am not sure where in this blog entry and the comments anything has been said about gay / homosexuality / SSA / Courage.

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  11. The Broadway-esque musical. It's only snark, Brother, only snark. :-) I'm sure it made Terry chuckle a wee little tiny bit.

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  12. Terry--it's been ages since I've seen Ace Ventura..maybe I need to go rent it :)

    But perhaps there was a similiar scene in Silence of the Lambs??

    Even still....with my (ahem) LIMITED knowledge of the male anatomy (I've diapered my share of boy babies thank you :)( Well and gazed adoringly at Michaelangelo's "David" :) I would think it would be a tad bit uncomfy sitting down, especially in a mini with legs crossed...

    But what do I know... :)

    Sara

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  13. Br. Wm. - I think Thom means the idea of musical theater since many people think it's gay to be into it at all - I opened the post with a priest's comment to that effect.

    Thom - I did laugh - no harm done.

    Sara - I'm happy I would never know either. Another film comes to mind - The Bird Cage.

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  14. What?! Musical theatre = "gay"....
    Thoughts like this are... sad.

    From a Franciscan view, (well, maybe that of one OFM friar) - musical theatre embodies lots of Franciscan quality: singins, praising, the arts, affective, moving....

    That's one reason why St Francis has been a popular theme in this art form:

    http://www.mirrorsforeternity.com/
    http://www.angelfire.com/musicals/Francis/
    http://www.chiaradidio.it/ing/Index.html

    Yikes... this is a trap! Religious folks (and clergy), musical theatre, gay... sexual abuse.

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  15. Oh come now, Brother. It's a universal stereotype. :-)

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  16. Thom: this is exactly my point:
    stereotyping! - in Abbeyspeak: I know!

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  17. LOL!

    Well, hence my snark.

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  18. LOL! If anyone watched the Tony Awards a couple of weekends ago they would not be surprised that musical theater = gay. Kinda, sorta...

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  19. What a cringe inducing idea. Bless their hearts bu this is dreadful.

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