Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ben Franklin in Paris

I LOVE Ben Franklin. The character and the actual man. The #1 repeated character I play in improv scenes is Ben Franklin. (My "Ben Franklin" is nothing like the actual Ben Franklin, he just talks a lot about the things he's invented. Also, in case you were wondering, some of my other Hit Characters include "Rick from the Motorcycle Academy" (the Motorcycle Academy is a satellite branch of Harvard); J.R.R. Tolkien (who is similar to Franklin, because he only talks about WWI and hobbits); and the easiest one, Valley Girl Who Occasionally Says Something Really Deep.)

I had heard of this musical, but knew absolutely nothing about it (other than the obvious idea that it was about Benjamin Franklin when he went to Paris). The weirdest thing about it is that it was a few years after The Music Man, and Robert Preston (original, and quintessential, Harold Hill) is playing Ben Franklin.... so it just sounds like Harold Hill is going to Paris. It's not his fault. It's just the way he sounds. But they're really similar.

But who am I to talk, when MY Ben Franklin is so similar to my J.R.R. Tolkien??

I didn't really enjoy any of the songs, and I wanted to SO badly. I tried listening to this repeatedly to see if it would help, but it didn't. I am really learning that a musical has like 20 seconds, and if there isn't anything in those first 20 seconds that pulls me in, it's not going to at ALL. I still give them a chance, but there have been few exceptions to this.

Ben Franklin in Paris
Music by Mark Sandrich Jr. (one song by Jerry Herman)
Book and Lyrics by Sydney Michaels

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