Theatre Thursdays: A Very Potter Threequel

The third (and seemingly final) installment of the Potter musicals by Team StarkidA Very Potter 3D: A Very Potter Senior Year, made its debut at Leaky Con 2012 earlier this month and while video of the actual performance has not yet been released, there is some behind-the-scenes stuff available:

I just found this video because BroadwayWorld posted it (because though I love Harry Potter, I’m not too involved in the fandom and had no idea this was happening) I just realized I wasn’t even subscribed to Starkid’s YouTube channel, but don’t worry, I’ve rectified that. Since I’m behind the news on this one I’ve been scrambling to learn more about the project.

According to Leaky Con’s website, the performance was a staged reading rather than a full production which typically means few or no sets/costumes/light design/etc. However, they were clear that the team was putting as much effort as possible into the reading to make it as much of a production as possible. I don’t know if there are plans to fully stage the sequel and film it as Starkid has done in the past, but one of Leaky Con’s articles forbade filming so as not to spoil the show for everyone who couldn’t see it yet which implies to me that if there aren’t plans to fully stage it there is at least a likelihood of the reading being released on video.

I really hope that the show gets a full staging though. I love the first two musicals and having the third written but not staged would feel incomplete to me, though I understand the cast and crew have come a long way and have more demands on their time than they used to. Darren’s (Harry) career is really taking off and I noticed Joey (Ron) in a featured role on a Disney Channel show so he’s definitely pursuing and landing work outside of this troupe.  I’m sure the other participants are also working or have other commitments which take precedence over this project.

Still, I’m confident that, if it can be worked out, this team will do all they can to get the show out to the fans. I would especially love to see the progression made across the years in production values, as Holy Musical B@man was not only a great musical but a fantastic presentation as well from costume/set/lighting design to orchestrations and sound equipment. It would just be wonderful to see the team’s continued improvements at work in a Potter show.

Since I’m kinda out of the loop, I’d love it if someone with deeper knowledge can help me out. Is there a plan to stage this musical? Will it be re-worked from the reading or was that more-or-less the finished product (in terms of script and cast)? If you attended Leaky Con and got to see it, did the team give any insight into the future of the piece?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide! I hope to learn more about this production as information becomes more available.

Theatre Thursdays: Holy Musical B@man!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s another Theatre Thursdays! Today we’ll be discussing the new Starkid sensation, Holy Musical B@man!

As both a Batman and a musical fan I have to say that I greatly enjoyed this musical, though it’s not without its problems.

The opening song of the musical is fantastic “Holy Musical B@tman” is both an interesting and tells you the story relevant to both Batman’s beginning and to the actual musical. The musical starts by informing you that the Joker is officially dead, which was a risky move for Starkid Productions, but they later introduce a character that pretty much replaces the Joker. Batman is now alone and missing the Joker and laments not having any real friends. This allows for the introduction of Robin who becomes Batman’s best bro. Poor Alfred, meanwhile is constantly fired by Batman and in an attempt to take care of him pretends to be different replacement butlers of various nationalities.

There’s also a story line incorporating the rivalry between Batman and Superman. Superman seems desperate to both prove that he is the best superhero and upset that none of the other superheroes want to be his friends.

The next song in Holy Musical B@man is “Dark, Sad, Lonely, Knight,” which is sung by Alfred, Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern. I have to say out of all of the songs in the musical this one was not very good. It felt jumbled to me, like several different songs in one and I didn’t really start to enjoy until the almost the very end of the song. If I can’t get into a song before it’s almost over then it’s not worth it.

The rest of the score is all pretty much gold. There wasn’t any other song that I didn’t love so I suppose that if just one song isn’t then the score itself deserves a gold star. There is usually two or three songs in some Broadway shows that I skip because they aren’t good or just aren’t as good as the others. Starkid manages to get me to listen to every song over and over except for the one. I think that’s pretty good. The last three songs are especially good. “The American Way,” “To Be a Man,” and “Super Friends,” are amazing and funny. And “The American Way” is actually surprisingly deep.

I should note here that I haven’t seen many of Starkid’s other productions. A Very Potter Musical and A Very Potter Sequel were the only musicals from Starkid that I watched before. So it may be irrelevant to say this, but the production value has certainly gone up from the Potter musicals. The costumes, set, and choreography are all so much better in Holy Musical B@man than in the other musicals.

Holy Musical B@man is of course a comedy poking fun of the things most Batman obsess over. As stated earlier the Joker is killed off stage at the very beginning of the musical and replace with the original character Sweet Tooth… if you can really call Sweet Tooth an original character. He is intentionally exactly like the Joker and points out some of the flaws of the “chaotic, realistic Joker” that fans love. My favorite has to be when Robin is kidnapped by Sweet Tooth and says, “That’s the true nature of humanity, Robin. See how quickly I made society crumble, brought the city to it’s knees, and all it took was a Facebook poll and some guns… months of meticulous planning, several hundred thugs, countless man hours, a cartoonishly large Sour Warhead, and millions upon millions of dollars. Not to mention all the money I spent on fucking candy!” This was something I thought about all through The Dark Knight, that the Joker’s assertion that he didn’t do much is pretty ridiculous.

The best example of the show poking fun at Batman fans comes up in the song “Robin Sucks.” During the song several nerds come out to give their opinion of Robin saying, “Batman should always be a solitary figure as the concept of a child superhero is ridiculous, and ruin the gritty realism of a man who fights crime dressed like a bat.” If you don’t realize why that quote is hilarious I can’t help you. But really, when people get down on Robin a lot and it bothers me. Is Robin really more ridiculous that a man fighting crime dressed like a bat or even a super-powered alien in red and blue spandex fighting crime? I admit that some of the story telling from the comics was silly and stupid, but now the Robins fit in seamlessly and are an extremely important part of the story, and very important to the development of Batman’s character.

I also loved how the musical pokes fun at the idea that Batman’s identity is so much more protected than someone like Superman’s. Throughout the musical Batman constantly reveals his identity on accident and people either don’t notice or figure it out through some other means.

I should point out that the message of the musical is not “don’t take comics seriously because they are all silly” but rather it seems that the message is to enjoy your comics, love the characters, but realize the flaws and goofiness that comes from simply being apart of the comic book genre.

Overall, Holy Musical B@man is an excellent show and I highly recommend it to everyone whether you are a fan of comics or not you will greatly enjoy this musical.