Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dance On Broadway for the Wii

May I just start out by saying that it is incredible that I'm sitting in an airport restaurant right now, but I'm still able to write to you all through the marvels of technology? I think we too often take technology for granted.

Anyway, I'm here today to comment on "Dance on Broadway" for the Wii. Where was this game when I had time for video games?? Like any other drama dork I did a little happy dance when I found out it was coming out. The commercial almost made me just go out and buy it. It features a family dancing to the songs, then cuts to shots of them in different costumes, corresponding to the different shows, such as "Chicago" and "Hairspray". Of course, those costumes aren't included, but were I ten years younger, my parents wouldn't have heard the end of it until I had had that game in my posession. I think the fact that I get so excited about costumes says a lot about where I am today...

On to my main point: this game is directly related to the smash success of "Glee", which for those of who don't know is the new television series about a show choir program in a small Midwestern town. A mark of their popularity is that two of its stars, Lea Michelle and Michael Morrison were each given a full song during this year's Tony Awards Broadcast. That's an honor usually only awarded to nominees or at least to castmembers of Broadway shows. Clearly the Tony's are trying to up their ratings, and "Glee" has a very wide viewership.

Anyway, though this will probably spawn a generation of wannabe theater afficionadoes, I guess the good thing is that this theater trend will hopefully call attention to small-scale theater, music, and art programs, languishing without funding. Anything outside the core structure of school is always at risk in a down economy. It's positively shameful, is what it is. Education needs the variety of activities like arts, sports, and other extracurriculars. Schools already have little appeal even with these programs. How do they expect to keep up grades and lower dropout rates when kids can barely stay awake? As you can tell, underfunding in education is a really sore topic for me. Back to musicals:

I've also noticed an increase in music in kids' shows such as "Phineas and Ferb". Many episodes include fully choreographed musical numbers. This can also be said for shows like "Family Guy", which not only features dance routines to "Good Mornin", but also parodies like Quagmire's somewhat twisted version of "Make 'em Laugh", as well as song written specially for the show (see "Road to Rhode Island"). They've also featured guest stars like Frank Sinatra jr. This along with the success of musicals like Sweeney Todd or Chicago gives me hope that even if we're not entering a new golden age of musicals, perhaps musical films and shows will be at least a legitimate form of entertainment.

Here's hoping!
Nostalgically Yours

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