How ‘Oklahoma,’ werewolves impressed Apple TV+ comedy
Cecily Strong is a complete theater geek.
The “Saturday Night Live” mainstay (and two-time Emmy nominee) began drama categories when she was once simply 3 years oldas some way of channeling her oddball power. She recalls renting VHS tapes oficonic film musicals “Oliver!”, “West Side Story” and “My Fair Lady” and looking at them together with her grandmother.
“I had a crush on Lt. Joe Cable in ‘South Pacific,’ likeall little kids do,” Strong, 37, says with fun. “I did theater before anything else. I thought I was going to be a very serious theater actress before starting comedy after college.”
‘Schmigadoon’ assessment:Keegan-Michael Key and Cecily Strong megastar in a musical you did not know you wanted
Nowshe’s getting a possibility to reside out her Broadway goals within the bubbling new “Schmigadoon!” (now streaming on Apple TV+), a winking satire of Golden Age film musicals with a decidedly fashionable spin. The 30 minutes, six-episode first season follows physician couple Melissa (Strong) and Josh (Keegan-Michael Key) at a desolate tract retreat, the place they hope to place the spark again of their courting.
But once you have misplaced within the woods duringa torrential downpour, they wander into a mystical the town referred to as Schmigadoon, the place the cheery, old-timey electorate burst into tune and dance advert nauseam. They quickly be informed they are trappedin a musical, and the one means out is via discovering real love, with each and every different or any person else.
The display is co-created via “Despicable Me” screenwriters Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul, who first were given the theory 25 years in the past.
“I was watching, of all movies, ‘An American Werewolf in London,’ and it opens with two friends backpacking through the countryside,” Paul says. “I thought, ‘Oh, wait. The opening of this is a lot like ‘Brigadoon,’ ” a 1954 film musical in keeping with theBroadway display. “‘What if these guys stumbled into a musical instead of a werewolf?’ And that’s where it was born.”
The sequence’ solid isstockedwith Broadway veterans together with Kristin Chenoweth because the scornful the town puritan, Alan Cumming because the closeted mayorand Ariana DeBose as a tap-dancing schoolmarm. Aaron Tveit performs asweet-talking swain who tries to scouse borrow away Melissa via tune, a lot to the chagrinof the musicals-hating Josh.
“I adore musicals, so the biggest challenge was any scene we were shooting where the ensemble starts performing this fantastic song and dance right in front of your eyes,” says Key, 50.”I’m sitting here bopping along and the director’s like, ‘Cut! Keegan, you can’t bopyour foot! No smiles, please!'”
Paul wrote all of the songs, which riff liberallyon classics equivalent to”Oklahoma,” “Carousel,” “The Music Man” and “The Sound of Music.” Through those sardonic numbers, the sequence alsocritiques one of the extra out of date parts of liked musicals: During one early tune, for example, townsfolk sing about spanking their girlfriends. (Melissa is fast to remind them it will have to be consensual.)
“These are (shows) that we love and they are problematic, but it’s done in a way that’s not cynical or snarky, which I think is really lovely,” Strong says. “It’s like teasing your mom: ‘I love you so much, but you do this one thing.’ That’s what it kind of feels like.”
For Paul, it was once additionally “really important that the ensemble not look like those all-white ensembles of those old movie musicals,” he says. “They look like what a Broadway show would be cast like today. We wanted it to be diverse and look like the world.”
Ultimately, you do not wish to be a musical nerd to experience “Schmigadoon!,” even supposing you can surely select up on one of the extra area of interest references in case you are.
“If you hate musicals and you close your heart off, then you may not respond to the show,” Paul says. “But it’s definitely designed to win over people with comedy and work the musical magic on even the toughest customers. Those who appreciate and love musicals, though, should especially respond to the show.”
And whilst a 2nd season hasn’t but been introduced, Key says Paul already has an concept for easy methods to transfer the tale ahead, regardless of the closure for Melissa and Josh on the finish of Season 1.
“My understanding is that if there’s a second season, it would be titled ‘Schmicago,’ ” he says. “I don’t know too much about the plotting of it, but I do know Melissa and Josh are in it. He has figured out a very clever way (to bring them back), so fingers crossed.”