Thursday, March 13, 2008

Can the kid carry a tune?

When I threw some love Dan Savage's way on Monday, there was one item I missed. Apparently a musical version of his book The Kid is in the works. It was reported by Michael Musto in The Village voice last fall. Musto said that Scott Elliott, who directed the Roundabout Theatre Company's 2006 revival of The Threepenny Opera, was involved with the project.

Now, after a year of regular theatergoing, I'm no longer a complete neophyte, but I'm still starry-eyed. And I still get excited when there's talk of turning a book or movie that I love into a musical. I'm excited even if it's something I never would have thought of in a gazillion years. (And why doesn't anyone ever talk of turning a book or movie into a play? Why is it always a musical?)

I'd probably put The Kid into that far-fetched category. I loved the story, about the attempt by Savage and his partner, Terry Miller, to adopt a baby. Savage is a terrific writer and The Kid is funny and poignant. There's a lot of drama as you follow them through the adoption process, not knowing until the very end how things will turn out.

But while there's a lot of humor, there are also some very serious elements to The Kid. For example, the mother of the baby Savage and Miller are adopting is a street punk who drank and used drugs during part of her pregnancy. One chapter deals with Savage's research into fetal alcohol syndrome. Not the stuff of light pop tunes.

On the other hand, I can't carry a tune, so what do I know? And the story of Dan and Terry's journey to fatherhood is very compelling. (Although turning the story into a musical is kind of ironic, since Dan and Terry don't quite share each other's tastes in tunes. Terry loves dance music and Dan can't stand it.)

I haven't read anything about the project except for that one short item, so who knows, it might already have been abandoned. But I hope not. No matter how far-fetched some of these proposed musicals seem, I'm always curious to see how they turn out. And if it's a book or movie I loved, I always keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.

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