"Through the Looking Glass"
by Jack Murphy
from Wonderland (2011)
Strange but true,
Something's changing deep inside me
Waking what's asleep inside me ...
OK OK ... so I know the title of my blog is "A Writer's 'Wish-I-Had-Written-That' Journal," but I just can't let this one slide. I need to read no more than these lines (I'm not sure I really want to call them lyrics) penned by Jack Murphy for the musical Wonderland (yet ANOTHER adaptation of Alice in Wonderland which recently closed on Broadway), and simply ask ... "REALLY?" Oh, and if you need more evidence, watch the "trailer" above for more lyric gems.
One of my favorite things to do every few months or so is to order three or four new musical cast albums to add to my collection. There's something tremendously exciting about listening to a musical theatre score you've never heard before for the very first time ... until you're assaulted with something as utterly and unforgivably dreadful as Wonderland. It was sheer torture listening to these songs - the banal, pedestrian lyrics punctuated by Frank Wildhorn's no-better-than-Disney-"High School Musical"-style-pop music.
So, let's turn this into a positive, shall we? It's musicals like this that convince me that I CERTAINLY can write something better than a show that's been on a Broadway stage. I'm not sure, though, whether that's a comment on my ability level or the quality of some of the material on Broadway.
And, giving Jack Murphy his due ... some of his lyrics for an earlier Frank Wildhorn opus, The Civil War, are quite lovely. To be fair, I'll post THOSE tomorrow.