Saturday, August 11, 2007

My idea for a musical

When inspiration hits, it hits hard.

I want to write a musical about Nigerian e-mail scammers.

OPTION 1: A young scammer who never had a chance sets off to the big city with the dream of making it in the daunting world of spamming. John Williams will write a stirring soundtrack and the whole thing will be choreographed by the guy who did CATS.

OPTION 2: An equal rights spin - a young girl knows she can scam the stupid Westerners just as well as the men, so she dresses up like a guy to work hard and prove her point. This would have a gritty, urban feel. We could even tie in an AIDS subplot somewhere in there.

OPTION 3: A rural Nigerian village with only one computer. The villagers have to ride a bicycle to generate electricity and it's about how they band together to make it work. (Think Remember the Titans meets The Gods Must Be Crazy - but on stage.) Possible plot twist: they only have dial-up.

OPTION 4: A young man is told by his Evil Uncle that his father died at the hands of the white man...but it was a lie. Driven by fire in his belly and vengeance in his heart, he works night and day (for free) in his uncle's spam shop. Of course, the kid finds out about the lie and gets ticked off because he's never been able to save enough for a dowry to marry the beautiful, rich businessman's daughter. (They have a lovely duet in act two. You'll cry. Seriously.) Revenge will be his.

During a dramatic fight scene in the third act the uncle dies from some related-but-unintentional act, like tripping over a ledge where he hangs on, dangling precariously above a pit of lions. The nephew reaches down but the uncle can't hold on because their hands are sweaty (because it's Nigeria and it's hot there) and Evil Uncle falls into the pit of lions. (I picture using live lions on stage. I think it would really add to the emotional impact of the scene.)

The happy ending - the nephew inherits the family business, earning the respect of the businessman who permits the marriage to take place. The closing scene shows them walking along with a stroller, so it's left open for a sequel.

I think I have four really solid ideas here. I'm picturing Don Cheadle as the lead. I don't know if he can sing or not, but I'm sure we can fake it if he can't.

The reason I mention all this, is I'd like you to tell me what you think such a musical should be named. My wife lamented that Spamalot has already been taken, as it would have been a perfect name.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

I'm also looking for funding. Shoot me an e-mail if you're interested in getting in on the ground floor of something big. Really big.