Indecent Proposal: Do we really need another West End musical about a man buying a woman?
A new show revisits the hit 1993 film, joining Pretty Woman and Moulin Rouge! in rehashing the notion that women are prized possessions.
The past never truly dies.
Given the current theatrical trend of reverentially revisiting popular movies from the 1980s and 1990s in musical form, it certainly feels like it.
These shows frequently reveal how little – or how much – has changed in the intervening years.
The less questioned the attitudes on display, the more popular the title.
This can create an uncomfortable tension at times.
When the semi-oedipal relationship between Marty McFly and his mother in Back to the Future is set to song, as in the recently opened West End musical, it takes on a whole new meaning.
Remove the pop medleys, and Broadway’s Moulin Rouge!, which will soon open at London’s Piccadilly Theatre, is about a courtesan coveted by a wealthy duke.
Pretty Woman: The Musical at The Savoy Theatre recreates the film’s key scenes and lines for die-hard fans and includes some Bryan Adams songs, but it remains essentially a film about a wealthy man who buys a woman.
The film was released in 1990, and seeing a contemporary West End production with awkward blow-job jokes 30 years later has a different impact.
Is there really a need for another show about the same subject in London?
We do, according to the creators of Indecent Proposal, a new chamber musical.
Adrian Lyne, known for his work on Fatal Attraction, directed the film in 1993.
It followed a slew of glossy Hollywood erotic thrillers like 9 12 Weeks (also directed by Lyne, who was clearly the go-to director for mainstream cinematic erotica) and Basic Instinct.
In the film, Robert Redford’s millionaire John Gage offers Woody Harrelson’s financially strapped architect David a million dollars in exchange for a night with his wife Diana, played by Demi Moore.
It was a film designed to elicit responses from its audience, asking, “What would you do if you had a million dollars?”
The show was supposed to premiere last summer, but it will now debut on November 2nd at London’s Southwark Playhouse.
Michael Conley, who wrote the stage show’s lyrics, has yet to see the film.
UK news summary from Infosurhoy.
Is another musical about buying a woman in the West End really necessary?
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Indecent Proposal: Do we really need another musical about buying a woman in the West End?