Desperately Seeking the Exit
By Peter Michael Marino
Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, Purple Venue
So many great disasters begin with such innocent concepts. “Desperately seeking Susan” sprung Madonna on the world, and it was a minor his in the 1980s. Blondie wrote some great show tunes about that time; nearly all could have been classic musical theatre “I Want” songs. Writer Peter Marino spliced the two together and came up with what should be a sure fire hit: “Desperately Seeking Susan: The Musical!” Not only did he think the idea wonderful, so did MGM, Blondie, and tony award winning director Joe Manello. Even the money flowed easily and soon Marion was jetting first class to take meetings with the high and mighty. He was destined for a major West End production. How could he fail? Well, he did, and this story is a combination of misaligned expectation and cross current in artistic direction and a failure of the British to understand New Jersey jokes. Worse, they didn’t hire any gays on the production team, and what kind of musical can survive that? Today Marino is philosophical; he doesn’t have a house in the Hamptons but he draws well in Fringe Festivals across the land. He’s a gifted story teller, hyper active on stage and good at making snark out of British slang. The internal dynamics of any big production have their own soap opera charge to them, and Marino makes the most of them. Ultimately this is a happy ending story, the show was picked up by Godzilla producers Toho and it became a major hit in Tokyo. Yes, it’s true. He IS big in Japan
This commentary was based on a technical rehearsal.
This production is part of the 2014 Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival. Information on tickets and show times may be found at http://OrlandoFringe.org/