Today is the day when all the ghosts come out to play. Happy Halloween!
Children – and some adults for that matter – dress up in their favourite creepy outfit and roam the streets collecting treats from the neighbours. Witches, devils, ghosts, army soldier are all there and for the less organised the paper bag with eyes cut out.
From a musical point of view, there’s zombie Hamilton, Wicked Witch of the West, Sweeney Todd and Wednesday Addams.
All these costumes are fine – but it got me thinking. Is there actually a scary musical? By that I mean a thrilling, jump scare, brace yourself musical to get the goose bumps going.
The closest I think you’ll find is Carrie which is adapted from a Stephen King novel. Evil Dead the Musical has a splatter zone as does American Psycho. Sweeney Todd slits throats whilst Mrs Lovett bakes them into pies. Dr Jekkyl turns himself into a monster and murders people in the streets – but are they really scary?
Rocky Horror, Young Frankenstein, Little Shop of Horrors, Addams Family, Beetlejuice are more a comedic than scary.
In 2004, I co-wrote a schlock horror musical, Tickets Please. The body count was high, some of the deaths were gruesome but it was primarily presented as a comedy. Hmmm…maybe we should wipe the blood off, darken it up and bring it back for another run…
Supposedly there is a musical version of The Exorcist, there are multiple Dracula musicals and I believe there is a zombie one. They have received very little public acclaim and remain living in the shadows looking for a theatrical brain to take notice. Carrie, in my opinion, the closest to the definition of a scary musical and it is considered one of the biggest flops in Broadway history.
Maybe a musical is not the place for something really, really, scary.
So, where are all the scary musicals?
Until next time