Since last we met, I have gone through the play a few more times and made a list of possible places for songs. This list is definitely subject to change; I just wanted to get my first impulses down so I’d have something to work with. I don’t usually share things until they’re finished because I am a pathological control freak, so this will be an exciting life lesson for me!
We’re three posts in, and I’m already encountering Issues. Right now my biggest problem is my desire to mess around with the format of the play. The point of this exercise is to learn how structure works, but I’m reimagining a five act play in a two act world. I don’t really want to write a five act musical. Do you want that, Gentle Readers? Let me know if you want that.
Another issue I’m facing is the antiquated sexual politics of a Shakespearean romantic comedy. I’m not sure how to resolve the fact that one of our leading men humiliates his fiancee at their wedding because he thinks she’s damaged goods - and then we’re supposed to cheer at the end when they marry after all? Personally, I think Hero deserves better.
The show is also looking really Act One heavy so far, which I might need to adjust. The thing is, most shows are Act One heavy because they need to give introductory songs to all the fucking characters. Much Ado has so many fucking characters. I am strongly considering combining Margaret and Ursula into one person to pare things down a little bit. Antonio is similarly not long for this world
Finally, the villain of the piece (one of the more interesting characters) just sort of...vanishes. I’m going to need to work out something for him to do in the second act, because to have your primary antagonist drift away is profoundly unsatisfying.
Without further ado (har), here’s the song list so far. This is gonna take forever, isn’t it?
Benedick and Beatrice Do Sexy Banter Part The First:
A Big Song For Stupid Claudio:
A Trio for Don Pedro, Benedick, and Claudio:
A Big Song For My Boyfriend Don John:
A Big Song For Beatrice:
THE PARTY SCENE:
The Hatching The Plot Song!
This part is hard because Hannah the writer really wants to throw the guards in here to give the principles a damn break, but that’s not how the play goes AND WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE STUDYING STRUCTURE SO. Instead, we cut right to:
A Big Song For Benedick:
The Great Sexual Tension Caper:
50 Shades Of Mistaken Identity:
A Song For The Worst Security Guards In History:
Act One Finale:
Act Two Opener:
A Big Song For Hero:
The next sequence (Act V, Scene I) gets a little tricky for me. There's no clear place for a specific song, but a lot happens in a short amount of time. A solo moment for the grief-stricken Leonato could work. I also think it might be a good place for a reprise of the “trio” from the beginning of Act One, as the Prince and Claudio are pretty lighthearted at the beginning, and Benedick once again comes in with a completely different Mood. Then we need to integrate Dogberry being inexplicably good at his job, and the reveal of Hero's innocence. More on this story as it develops.
Benedick and Beatrice Do Sexy Banter Part The Second:
A Small Song For Claudio:
Maybe A Duet For Beatrice and Hero:
The Finale Finale:
This gives me anywhere from 20-25 songs to work with, and an awful lot of work to do. I suppose I’d better get started.
Here are some things I wrote down while re-reading Much Ado About Nothing for the first time in twenty years after three glasses of wine. Like what you see? You can support this project by throwing the money from that weird jar next to your bed at me via the link below: