Oh, yes, Enthusiasts. You forgot. You tucked the information away in the back pocket of your mind, forgot it there, left it when you put your mind in the wash. I now take that information and place it in a sealed bag of rice. This promotional still–and you can barely call it a “still,” there’s so much exuberance in the shot–is from Red Roses, Green Gold, which is what’s referred to in the theater world as a “jukebox musical,” which is a show biz term for “not an actual musical.” Musicals are damn near impossible to write–Steven Sondheim went insane for a year or two and thought he was living in Rome around 100 AD; Rodgers ate Hammerstein–but jukebox musicals are simple. You go down to your local Sam Goody’s, buy a group’s greatest hits, hire some actors, rent a theater, and wait for the money to roll in.
Except when it doesn’t. For every jukebox musical that runs for years, such as Mamma Mia or Jersey Boys, there’s a The Times They Are A-Changin’ or Tonight’s The Night. (Based on the work of Dylan and Rod Stewart, respectively.) Even the good ones are pointless, other than as revenue sources, but tourists and the middle-class enjoy sitting in pretty buildings while young people sing for them, so they’re going to keep making them.
Red Roses, Give Us Your Money tells the story of…well, I’ll let them you:
Did you kill yourself halfway through the blurb? I did, like, two or three times.
But then I horror-vomited myself back to life:
Did you horror-vomit? I bet you did.
Anyway, there’s a plot of some sort:
- The characters are introduced.
- Their goal is stated.
- Comic reversals occur.
- An ingenue with an enormous voice sings the song right before intermission.
- Overpriced wine and candy.
- The comic reversals are reversed once again, comically.
- The Act Two Hoedown, also known as the Shipoopi number.
- Song from Act One is resung, but with a different meaning this time.
- Big finish.
- You wanna eat or go back to the hotel?
- I’m hungry.
- There’s an Olive Garden.
- Ooh, I bet the Olive Garden in New York is fancy.
And so on.
If you’re thinking about taking in the show, you’d better hurry. The Hollywood Reporter said “If Garcia weren’t dead, this show would kill him” and the New York Times calls the show “cartoonishly corny.” Also: it is an abomination against the Lord AND there are no fucking Bobby songs. On the other hand, Jeff Chimenti was the musical director and did all the arrangements, so he got a check and that is a good thing.
If I really did have a Time Sheath, I’d go back and knock that fucking hat off Garcia’s head.