SPOILERS – If you haven't seen this movie that has been out for 22 years, stop reading.
How do you describe 'Muriel's Wedding' to anyone? You don't. After you are done slapping them for not ever seeing it and after you go to Amazon.com and buy one of the 11 remaining copies ( there were 12, I just bought one), you sit them down, pull out your cassette of one of the best movies ever, dust off the ancient VHS player, and make them watch, well, a movie that cannot be described. Well it can, but try not to expectorate when you say Porpoise Spit.
If you're a fan of Muriel Heslop, get ready, because she will be returning soon. Well, okay, it will take about 14 months and will be performed in Sydney, Australia, but there's a new musical planned for November of 2017. I think I can do Christmas down under.
The world-premiere stage musical adaptation of Muriel’s Wedding, the 1994 Australian film comedy that starred Toni Collette, will premiere November 6-December 30, 2017, at the Sydney Theatre Company.
The musical will feature a score comprised of ABBA pop hits alongside original songs by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall. The film’s central character, who fantasizes about her own wedding day, is obsessed with the songs of the Swedish pop group.
The film’s original screenwriter and director, PJ Hogan, will write the musical’s book, which is receiving a contemporary update for its stage debut.
It will be directed by Simon Phillips, director of the stage musical adaptation of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Gabriela Tylesova will design set and costumes.
Here’s how it’s billed: “In Muriel’s Wedding The Musical, Muriel Heslop is back! And this time she’s singing. Stuck in a dead-end life in Porpoise Spit, Muriel dreams of the perfect wedding – the white dress, the church, the attention. Unfortunately, there’s one thing missing. A groom. Following her dreams to Sydney, Muriel ends up with everything she ever wanted – a man, a fortune and a million Twitter followers. That’s when things start to go really wrong.” – playbill.com
Please, please, please, PLEASE go on tour! Or someone get me tickets so I can go.
I do think that 'Muriel's Wedding' really brought my early '90s love of ABBA up about three notches. In an EW.com article last year, P.J. Hogan, writer and director of 'Muriel's Wedding' said that he wasn't going to make the movie unless he could use ABBA music. Head over to the EW.com article to read why a masturbating man in a wheelchair almost prevented us from getting to know Muriel Heslop.
One other fun fact about the movie mentioned in EW is how much ad libbing occurred in the movie.
[Muriel (Toni Collette) and Rhonda (Rachel Griffiths)] rehearsed the “Waterloo” dance sequence for weeks and shot it in ten hours, but they still managed to find moments of improvisation. One in particular stands out to both Griffiths and Hogan. “My greatest work in Muriel’s Wedding is when I stand in front of Toni and she moves my hair to find the camera,” jokes Griffiths. Hogan explains, “We hadn’t rehearsed with wigs on, and Toni realized that Rachel’s big curly Frida wig was completely blocking her face, so Toni reaches over, moves the hair, and stares straight into the camera. That just made me laugh out loud on set, and that’s in the film. That happened in the moment, and I’m just thankful Rachel didn’t break up when it was happening.” – EW.com
I hope the play has the same feel of the movie. All of the hope, love, friendship, pathetic-ness, revenge, hatred, and all the Muriel the stage can hold.
Break a leg guys!
h/t: playbill.com, photos from miramax.com