Saturday, May 7, 2011

Aquaman: Pull Out The Plug

Broadway Beat
 by Nels Noodleman  

It’s been quite an amazing spring on Broadway, folks!

South Park iconoclasts Trey Parker and Matt Stone have scored the season’s biggest hit with a musical called The Book of Mormon, and the much bally-hooed Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark continues to languish with multiple creative changes, reviews worse than your Aunt Matilda's breath, and a price tag that refers to the National Debt as “Squirt.”

Famed Broadway impresario and notary public Perry Block leaned back in his chair and smiled. “When my new musical opens,” he told me on the QT, “we’ll run them all out of town …. or at least into the lobby where they can enjoy an orange drink and a 35 minute wait for the Ladies Room!" 

That new musical is Aquaman: Pull Out the Plug, based on the superhero comic book Mr. Block used to get beaten up regularly for reading in grade school.

“My musical will shatter the myth that Aquaman is the superhero so boring you’d rather spend an evening with Alan Greenspan,” Mr. Block told this reporter. “Let’s say the late Jacques Yves Cousteau had become deranged and sought to destroy the entire universe! Who else you gonna call in? True, we’ve slightly beefed up Aquaman's powers for his Broadway debut. In addition to talking to fish, he can now also talk to vegetables, such as some parsley!

I asked about the intriguing new villain the play refers to as "the brilliant but demonically fiendish" Dr. Moriarty.

“Yeah, we snaked him from the Sherlock Holmes books and movies,” readily offered the sly Mr. Block, "since the most exciting villain in the original Aquaman comic books was a mackerel.  Frankly we're also considering swapping out AquaLad for Dr. Watson since they're so busy retooling the franchise with Robert Downy Jr. they'd hardly notice that  Holmes’ sidekick suddenly spends the better part of his time gill breathing at the bottom of the Thames.

Mr. Block is no stranger to Broadway audiences. In recent years he has produced such classics as Jesus Christ Superstar performed entirely by Hassidic Jews; Enter Slapping, a musical based on the life of Three Stooges centerman Larry Fine; and last season’s musical comedy smash Once, Twice, Three Times A Lady starring Newt Gingrich.

“We have a wonderful musical score with music and lyrics written by the legendary Rogers and Hammerhead (Ouch, folks!)," Mr. Block beamed.  "Among the ‘sure to be a hit’ numbers are If I were a Fishman, the haunting ballad High Tide, Low Tide, and the rousing show-stopper Hello Dolphins!”

“What about safety problems such as those that have plagued the production of Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark?” I queried Mr. Block. “We have had very, very few such issues,” he informed me. “Two or three actors experienced cramps on one occasion they went into rehearsal less than 45 minutes after eating, and our lead actor briefly came down with a very mild case of wrinkly fingertips.”

“I’m thrilled to be able to present a dynamic hard-swimming, singing and tap-dancing Aquaman to a new generation of fans,” Mr. Block enthused as he graciously excused himself and headed out to a 6 or 7 martini lunch at Sardi’s.

Having been around the Great White Way ever since it was called the Pretty Good White Way, this Broadway vet thinks Aquaman: Pull Out the Plug will make one great big SPLASH at the Box Office!  

Break a Fin, Aquaman!

After all, folks, what other superhero can all at once command an army of sharks, swim faster than Michael Phelps, and taste absolutely scrumptious in a butter sauce?

From your very own Broadway Buddy,

Mr. Nels Noodleman


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