May 06, 2010
Enron: The Musical
Posted by Tamara Piety

Isn't this just a weird idea? Not only was the Enron debacle a personal tragedy for a lot of the people involved, it was pretty bad for investors and employees as well. Somehow that just doesn't seem to me like excellent material for musical comedy.  However, audiences loved it in London where it was launched but critical reaction here has been mixed, (see this Broadway round-up), although one of the most important critics, Ben Brantley at The New York Times, didn't seem to care for it.

His review had this to say:  "In Lucy Prebble’s 'Enron,' the flashy but labored economics lesson that opened on Tuesday night at the Broadhurst Theater, money doesn’t just talk. It sings. It dances. It puts on funny animal costumes. And of course it blows bubbles." But ultimately he seemed to feel it was "all show (or show and tell) and little substance."  Read the rest here and see a teeny, eetnsy clip from the show with a voice over from the director here and judge for yourself how gripping this looks. To me not so much. 

However, I was just in New York City and resolved, since I was blogging for The Conglomerate, to try to see the show and report back. Alas! The per person ticket price I was quoted, $176 (after broker's fees - how ironic is that?) caused me to balk. I wasn't that convinced it would be good in the first place, but I drew the line at plunking down that sort of change just so I could say I'd seen it and report back. But I would love to know if anyone has seen it and what you thought about it 

And then there is this even stranger postscript. It turns out that Enron employees made tons of spoof skits themselves (remember the "mark to market" accounting skit from "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room"?) that eerily prefigured the real musical.  Read this I think I'd rather watch those clips than the musical currently on Broadway.

Art & Culture, Enron, Popular Culture | Bookmark

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