Tag Archives: broadway

Dahmer! (The Musical)

Moving on with our inappropriate musical series:

SONG TITLE: Eat My Friends

(Jeffrey Dahmer is surrounded by a number of people who leer at him.  They all break out into song.)

RANDOM MAN:  He’s a weirdo!  He’s a bum!

RANDOM WOMAN: He looks like he never has fun!

RANDOM MAN 2:  He wears window pane glasses that scare us off our asses!

RANDOM WOMAN 2: He drinks scotch in the middle of the day!  What more do we have to say?

ENTIRE CHORUS:  Come on! Let’s run away!

(Dahmer looks up and cries.  He pulls a power drill and a paper mache head out of a duffel bag.)

DAHMER:  Why?!  Oh why do they all run away?

Frightened by my appearance before they hear what I have to say!

I’ve come up with the only way – to make them stay!

Yes, on my happiness this idea depends!

And that is why I’ll eat my friends!

(DAHMER revs up the drill.)

I’ll drill a hole…

(A new CHORUS returns.  Each CHORUS member represents a different voice inside DAHMER’s head.)

CHORUS: He’ll drill a hole!

DAHMER: Inside their heads…

CHORUS: Inside their heads!

DAHMER: And surely that won’t make anyone dead!

CHORUS: No it won’t!

DAHMER: Upon this action, the police will surely frown, but I can tell you, this is all very medically sound!

CHORUS:  Of course!

DAHMER:  If no one will be a friend to me, then I’ll drill their heads until they become zombies!  They’ll cater to my every demand! They’ll obey all my commands!

CHORUS:  And if that fails?

DAHMER:  Then I’ll eat ’em.


DAHMER: Fella, eat your friends, it’s the only way to keep a compadre or a pal.

Fella, eat your friends.  Nothing could be sour when you devour your bosom buddy or your favorite gal!

Oh, I’m going to eat all my friends, oh why, oh why can’t you see?  A friend can’t get any closer to you than when they’re deep inside your belly!

Oh, I’m going to eat all my friends, fry them up in a pan!  Add some salt, but just a smidge!  Put the leftovers in my fridge…oh yes, I tell you yes, I’ll eat my friends!

CHORUS:  Jeffy, are you really, are you really going to eat your friends?

DAHMER: You know it!

CHORUS: Are you going to filet them sautee them and eat them up from head to thighs?

DAHMER:  Hell, I think I’ll serve them up with curly fries!  Oh why, oh why can’t you see?  There’s nothing tastier, nothing more delicious to me!  I can’t think a better way of time to spend…then dicing and slicing and grilling up a friend!

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Inappropriate Musicals – Balls of Glory: The John Wayne Bobbitt Story – Act 2

SONG TITLE: “Where Is It?”

(John Wayne Bobbitt wakes up.  He gets out of bed, stretches and yawns.  He breaks out into song.)


Something’s missing…

(A chorus of neighborhood men flood the room.)


Don’t you hate that feeling?  Is it under the bed?  Is it stuck to the ceiling?


What did I loose?  Is it my keys?  Is it my shoes?


Something isn’t right!  What a terrible fright!


I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’m feeling very indignant.  Something’s amiss.  Something is wrong.  Something feels so different.


Did you lose your wallet?  We think we saw in on the coffee table!


No, it’s not that, but I just feel so unstable.


Did you lose your day planner?  We think you dropped it on the stairs.


No.  This has caught me unawares.


How frightful to know that something is gone, but to not know what is missing…

(JOHN WAYNE BOBBITT heads to the bathroom, lifts up the toilet seat and drops his pants.)


Oh well, maybe I’ll figure it out while I’m pissing.  AAAARRRRRRRGGGGHHH!

(JOHN WAYNE BOBBITT returns to the bedroom.)


Where is it?


Where is what?


My penis! My Johnson!  My cock!


It’s not there?!


No sirs, right now I’m wearing empty underwear.


It’s probably the last place you left it.


Could it be in the kitchen?  Could it be in the sink?  I’m sorry that I’m bitchin’ but it’s enough to make a man drink?


Where, oh where is your best pal?  That is what we must know!

(JOHN WAYNE BOBBITT looks around.)


Hey!  Did anyone see Lorena go?

(A knock at the door.  BOBBITT opens it.  A police officer hold up a plastic bag.)


Sir, is this yours?


Why, yes!  Where did it go?  It’s never left me before!


We need to get you to a doctor.  See if it can be sewn back on.


My God!  Will it ever work again?  Will an erection it ever yield?


I have no idea.  We found it at the edge of an abandoned field.


But officer! Please, tell me!  Will it ever produce a load?


What do I look like?  A dick scientist?  It was just lying there on the side of the road!




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Inappropriate Musicals – Balls of Glory: The John Wayne Bobbitt Story – Act 1


(It’s the 1990s.  An enraged Lorena Bobbitt enters her bedroom to find her husband fast asleep.  She raises her hands.  She’s holding a man’s shirt with a lipstick stained collar in one hand and a butcher’s knife in the other.  She breaks out in song.)

SONG TITLE: “Chop it Off”


He cheated…again!

(Chorus girls fill the stage, all dressed like neighborhood housewives.)


He cheated again!  Why, oh why can’t you see?


That he had carnal relations with someone other than me?




My eyes are open now!  It’s clear what I have to do!


Get in the car and leave him now!  For divorce you’ll have to sue!


I’ll make it so he can never, cheat on me again!  I’ll separate him from, his tiny little friend!

(LORENA raises the butcher’s knife.)


Um…no we were just thinking, that you could just take all his money in court.  Make him open his wallet, but to be violent is to be a bad sport.


But if he goes to court he’ll find another woman.  He’ll cheat on that poor girl too.  No, to end this vicious cycle, there’s only one thing left to do.

(LORENA belts out a showstopper.)

Oh…I’m going to….CHOP IT OFF!


No, this plan will surely fail!


Yes, I’m going to chop it off!


Think of the headlines!  Think of jail!


I’ll be a hero to every woman who ever got the jilt.  Now you can chop off your husband’s penis, and not feel any guilt!


You should probably feel some guilt.


Yes, I’m going to chop it off!  Nobody can stop me now!  Oh, I’m going to chop it off!  I’m going to shout it loud!

(LORENA walks to the bed, raises the knife.  Stage goes dark.)




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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – The Producers (2005)

Springtime…for Hitler…in Germany!


BQB here with a review of Mel Brooks’ “The Producers.”  FYI, there was a 1960s movie that I haven’t seen yet (starring Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel), a 2005 movie version starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick I did see and of course, a Broadway play I was never lucky enough to see.

In short, this story has been around forever, but if you want to avoid spoilers, then look away.

Mel Brooks is the funniest man in show business and he parodies everything.  “Blazing Saddles” was a sendup of Western flicks that were very popular up until like the late 1970s.  “Spaceballs” poked fun of “Star Wars” so naturally, when Brooks had the chance to produce a Broadway play, he made fun of Broadway.

Max Bialystock was once, as he song goes, “The King of Old Broadway.”  He laments that he used to have the best of everything, but now he’s a bum who hasn’t had a hit in years.  The critics rip him apart, pointing out that at the end of his musical version of Hamlet, “everyone is dead and they were the lucky ones.”

Bialystock meets uptight, super anxious accountant Leopold Bloom (Matthew Broderick)who poses a hypothesis, namely, that a producer could make more money with a flop than a hit.  In other words, Max has had a long history of swindling little old ladies out of their money, convincing them to invest in his plays that always tank.  However, if the show was so awful that it tanked on opening night, he could just walk away with the money.

Uma Thurman rounds out the cast as Ulla, the super hot Swedish babe who just knocks on Bialystock’s door one day, hoping to become a star.

The duo sets out to find the worst play ever written and find “Springtime for Hitler” penned by a Nazi enthusiast (Will Ferrell).  The boys hope the play will be so offensive that it will close opening night but alas, when the audience sees a flamboyantly gay Hitler mincing about stage, they take it as a hilarious parody and the show becomes a blockbuster smash.

As Bialystock laments, “Where did we go right?”

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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BQB in NYC – Cirque du Soleil: Paramour (Or, BQB Reviews a Broadway Play)

Wow 3.5 readers.

I knew if I kept plugging away at this blog I’d eventually hit the big time.

After reviewing a ton of movies for 3.5 readers I’m now reviewing a Broadway play for 3.5 readers.

Sadly, I couldn’t take a picture of the production but here is a terrible photo of some naked golden people who adorn the stage inside the Lyric Theater.

Art! I love it. I wish I looked this good naked.

FYI these naked peeps are way taller in person.

3.5 readers, if you’ve ever seen a Cirque du Soleil show, then you know it is an artistic circus combining stunts, acrobatics, and music. No elephants. 

However, there are sometimes some artistic high faluting clowns, though none in this show.

This Broadway version adds one more thing – a plot!

In the Golden age of Hollywood, a down on his luck director discovers an up and coming actress. He makes her a smash. She revives his career. 

They fall in love but the kindhearted songwriter she came to LA with isn’t going to give up that easily.


You’ve got people flying around and doing tricks and stunts and backflips and shit.

Totally awesome 3.5 readers. Highly recommend it.

Until next time, this is big time Broadway critic BQB signing off.

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BQB in NYC – Broadway

Chicago in New York City.


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Movie Review – Birdman (Or, The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) 2014

Or, Hollywood is Sorry for Pushing Crap on You, But It’s Kind of Your Fault.

In 1989, Michael Keaton starred as the first Batman to not suck.  That role made his career.  I’d argue that it didn’t really define him though.  He’s been in zany comedies and serious dramas, performing expertly in both.

Yet, as a former Batman who’s ditched the cowl to seek out more serious roles, one is left to wonder how much of Birdman is semi-autobiographical.  Does Keaton identify with Riggan?  Only Keaton could truly answer that.

Keaton plays Riggan Thomson, a big time actor who, twenty years ago, played a feathery comic book super hero in a series of Birdman films.  They were special effects extravaganzas that made him a lot of money and were big at the box office.

Movieclips Trailers

Today, Riggan is trying to leave his past behind him and gain recognition as a serious actor.  He’s broke, having sunk a fortune into a Broadway play adaptation of a work by author Raymond Carver.  And true to the style of a play, the cameras follow the actors on and off stage, with very few cut scenes throughout the film.

Actors aren’t as happy as you’d think, there’s intense pressure, you can’t please everyone, and whatever you do, someone is criticizing you.  You try to produce art (i.e. Raymond Carver) but alas, people just want fluff (i.e. Birdman).  Even worse, once you “sell-out” and take a role like “Birdman,” the “true artist” community will shun you and refuse to consider your attempts at artistry, even if they are worthy of notoriety.

As consumers of entertainment, should we push for real, serious, dramatic art?  Plays and movies where there’s all kinds of gut wrenching dialog to make you think?  Or should we just have fun and watch Birdman fight bad guys?

Are purveyors of comic book movies making us all stupid?  Are creators of heady dramas just too full of themselves?

These questions are asked, and never really answered, though the movie serves as a chronicle of one actor’s attempt to produce serious art only to be stymied at every turn.

Riggan’s foil, played by Ed Norton, is veteran broadway thespian Mike Shiner.  Recruited for Riggan’s play, Shiner is a pretentious limelight hog and though he claims to be all about the art, he’s ultimately just as obnoxious as any movie star.

Meanwhile, Riggan has to deal with a snooty play review critic, who vows to shut Riggan’s play down before even seeing it, simply because she does not believe someone who stooped low enough to play a cartoon superhero is deserving of praise for attempting real art.

In other words, if the entertainment world is at war, then it’s a battle between the big blockbuster fluff eaters and the holier than thou tweed jacket wearers.  Both think they’re the smartest people in the room.  Neither is willing to meet the other half way.

Emma Stone, who plays Riggan’s daughter, Sam, earns her Oscar nomination with this speech:


RIGGAN:  It’s important to me! Alright? Maybe not to you, or your cynical friends whose only ambition is to go viral. But to me . . . To me . . this is — God. This is my career, this is my chance to do some work that actually means something.

SAM: Means something to who? You had a career before the third comic book movie, before people began to forget who was inside the bird costume. You’re doing a play based on a book that was written 60 years ago, for a thousand rich old white people whose only real concern is gonna be where they go to have their cake and coffee when it’s over. And let’s face it, Dad, it’s not for the sake of art. It’s because you want to feel relevant again. Well, there’s a whole world out there where people fight to be relevant every day. And you act like it doesn’t even exist! Things are happening in a place that you willfully ignore, a place that has already forgotten you. I mean, who are you? You hate bloggers. You make fun of Twitter. You don’t even have a Facebook page. You’re the one who doesn’t exist. You’re doing this because you’re scared to death, like the rest of us, that you don’t matter. And you know what? You’re right. You don’t. It’s not important. You’re not important. Get used to it.

I don’t know about you, but after I listened to Emma rant away on that one, I came close to shutting down this blog. (Obviously I didn’t, because, you know, nothing can stop me from my one a day post challenge.

Still, Sam’s right.   We’re all just shouting in the wind, trying to be relevant, trying to matter.  And at the end of the day, after movie goers walk out of the theater, after play watchers go out for cake, after novel readers put a book down, and after my 3.5 regular readers go on to read another blog…how relevant are we?  As it turns out…not very.

Fame is fleeting and celebrities just aren’t as happy as we think.

Throughout the film, Riggan is taunted by Birdman himself – a gravelly voice that sounds more like Christian Bale’s version of Batman than Keaton’s.  Birdman is the voice of commercialism, urging Riggan to abandon his efforts at serious drama and sell-out – do a reality TV show, make a Birdman comeback movie.  Forget the hoity toy stuff and just rake in the dough.

And honestly, whether Birdman is right or wrong is left up to the viewer’s interpretation.

Big surprise of the film – Zach Galifianakis can actually act.  He plays Riggan’s agent and rather than be that same old obliviously rude cartoon character he plays in every movie, he actually comes across as a competent, reliable professional, someone you’d actually want to represent you if you were an actor.

At one point, Shakepeare’s “Life is a Tale Told by an Idiot” speech from MacBeth is prominently featured.  If you want to know more about that, you can read expert commentary from world renowned literary expert Bookshelf Q. Battler.

It’s a film that starts a dialog about what we, the entertainment consuming public, want from Hollywood.  Because, as it turns out, if enough of us want it, they’ll give it to us.  If we show them that high-falutin, chin-stroking, navel gazing, thought provoking dramas will make money, then Tinseltown will send them our way.  Yet, if we keep buying tickets for Birdman-esque blockbusters, then we’ll get more comic book movies.  It really is up to us.

And it’s also up to us to determine whether or not we should feel guilty about choosing comic book-esque movies over drama.  Personally, I don’t.  I’m a nerd.  I love comic book movies.  I love hoity toity stuff too.  There’s room in the world for both.  One need not cancel the other out.

And sure, the public often complains that Hollywood isn’t trying that hard, but then we pay more attention to viral videos, tweets, and gossipy nonsense than serious efforts at art.  At one point in the film, Riggan’s stroll through Times Square in his underpants gets more attention through social media than his play ever does.

We all want to be relevant.  We’re all clawing over each other to grab our piece of the public’s limited attention span.  We’re all idiots.  Can’t we all just calm down, take a deep breathe, stop crawling over each other for a few fleeting minutes of fame, and take a moment to enjoy friends, family, and the things that actually matter?  At the end of the film, Riggan frets more about not spending enough time with his daughter than he does about his fizzling acting career.

Heck, had I not promised my 3.5 regular readers a year’s worth of posts, I might seriously consider packing it in myself.

Because if a guy who was paid buckets of money to dress up like a cartoon bird hero can’t be happy, then what luck do any of us have?

I predict this film will win best picture.  Keaton’s had a long career and has yet to be graced with an academy award, so he’s overdue.  Ironically, it’s a movie about a man trying to get past commercialism and make some serious art made by a man who’s trying to get past commercialism and make some serious art.

The Academy will no doubt love its message – “Hey, we actors aren’t as happy as you’d think, we really struggle to make you all happy!”

And finally, I’d just like to say, I think Michael Keaton is awesome.  He made me laugh in movies like The Dream Team and Beetlejuice.  And I remember seeing him in the first Batman and I thought, “Wow, Hollywood picked a guy that isn’t all buff and muscle-bound to play a super hero and he did an awesome job.  Maybe there’s hope for us nerds.”  So I hope tomorrow night is his night to walk home with a little gold man.  (I mean an Oscar, not an actual little gold man).

Did you see it?  What did you think?  Flap your bird wings to the comment section and let me know.

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