Universal has been trying to cash in on all their monster properties with remakes such as the Wolf Man (starring and directed by Benicio de...

Music of the Swamp

Universal has been trying to cash in on all their monster properties with remakes such as the Wolf Man (starring and directed by Benicio del Toro) scheduled to hit theaters in November of this year and that horrible amalgamation known as Van Helsing. But now they’ve officially outdone themselves. In what originally was considered a spoof press release, Universal has now confirmed its latest entertainment venture: Creature from the Black Lagoon: The Musical, coming in the Spring 2009. The show’s release is meant to build up the hype for the 2011 remake of the 1954 classic.

Press Release: 2 June 2008
Drawn from Universal’s crypt of classic monsters and updated with spectacular Broadway production values and special effects, “Creature from the Black Lagoon—The Musical,” will rise, live, on stage at Universal Studios Hollywood beginning spring, 2009.

With state-of-the-art stagecraft, acrobatic choreography and hilarious, toe-tapping music, the Creature will be brought to life in a story based on the original screenplay, updated to emphasize the element of romance and just a bit of comic relief. Original new music and dazzling production numbers will keep the attraction contemporary and lively.

Audiences will be immersed in the ominous environment of the deepest Amazon, enveloped by the exotic sounds and scents of the jungle. And from the production’s first moments, they’ll be thrust into an unexpectedly outraegeous, strangely romantic, frequently melodic and often hilarious adventure as a monster classic is re-imagined for the 21st Century.

“Creature from the Black Lagoon—The Musical,” will be staged as an attraction within the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park. Admission will be included in the price of theme park tickets and annual passes.

Is nothing sacred? This showboat reminds me of Jerry Springer: The Opera —a production that based its foundation on a television show that had little dignity to begin with. But the Creature from the Black Lagoon is a classic in Universal’s monster pantheon, and it pains me to see him commercialized and humiliated with Broadway production values and toe (or rather flipper) tapping music. Taking stock of the promotional poster, the creature’s thumbs-up is a little too Kowabunga! for me, a child of the Ninja Turtle generation. The new bathing beauty (originally played by Julia Adams) here is pictured as a snarky seductress compared to the abject horror of her 1954 counterpart. It’s no surprise that I prefer the original cast to this postmodern pastiche.

Blending the genres of horror and the musical is a tricky formula, resulting in a hybrid that has seen limited success in the past. But who knows, I might grow to like it. Cult horror-musicals like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Phantom of the Paradise and Sweeney Todd starring Johnny Depp have found their niche audiences and only time will tell if Universal’s new monster musical will do the same.

I can only hope that the Creature will sing a rendition of Bobby Darin’s “Beyond the Sea”

“Somewhere beyond the sea…she's there watching for me”