Friday, June 20, 2008

Mamma Mia Spoofs Cirque - Very Funny

I hoped to play this audio on "The Strip" next week, but I don't think it's clear enough for that. So instead, here's a reasonably good quality YouTube video of the uproarious number performed by cast members of "Mamma Mia!" in Vegas during the annual "Ribbon of Life" show at Paris last weekend. The show raised $300,000+ for the HIV/AIDS charity Golden Rainbow; it's my favorite charity so and, if you enjoy this, I urge you to drop them a few bucks by clicking here.

The lyrics are below the video. All are courtesy of Greg Kata, a Mamma Mia performer who wrote and directed the number. The background here is that MM is due to close this winter after six years.




"You Gotta Get a Cirque Show"

(We hear the following in blackout)

See that girl...
Watch that scene...
Diggin’ the Dancing Queen!

A voiceover says the following:
"After almost six great years at Mandalay Bay, Mamma Mia!'s reign as the Dancing Queen of Broadway Shows in Vegas has come to an end. MGM plans to occupy the theatre with a brand new spectacular from Cirque du Soleil featuring the music of none other than BRITNEY SPEARS!"

(The curtain rises on an audition. We see several Mamma Mia! Cast Members talking about the fate of Broadway in Vegas)

VOICE 1: I can’t believe the show closed.

VOICE 2: I know. What are your plans?

VOICE 3: Well I want to stay in town. But Broadway shows don’t work here.

VOICE 4: I don’t get it. Avenue Q, Hairspray, The Producers, Spamalot...they all won the Tony for Best Musical and barely lasted a year here in Vegas.

VOICE 5: And don’t forget about We Will Rock You and Saturday Night Fever.

VOICE 6: Can we though?

VOICE 7: And now Mamma Mia! I can’t go back to waiting tables.

VOICE 8: I know. I only came to this audition because the thought of going back to retail makes me want to vomit.

VOICE 9: Look at all this talent though...there’s gotta be a job for us somewhere in Vegas!

From USL a woman clad in a skintight unitard has been eavesdropping on the previous conversation. She turns to the group and addresses them:

ROBIN: Take it from me honey. If you want to work in Vegas, all you need is talent!

CAROL: You’ll pardon me, but having talent is not enough. What you need is a show that’s gonna make your talent special.
“You Gotta Get a Cirque Show”
Sung to the tune of You Gotta Get a Gimmick

CAROL:
You can belt half your face off
Do a scene from Chekhov
Dance ‘til your feet are worn down
But you gotta get a Cirque Show
If you want to stay in town!!!

You can write a little ditty
Improv at Second City
Dress up like Madonna in drag
But you gotta get a Cirque show
If you don’t want to die a hag!

You can sing, you can dance, you can “sort of” act
Vegas don’t give a shit!
So I sing, and I dance, and I really act
But I do it in a split!!!

She then does a really bad split / acro combination

I headlined MAMMA MIA!
Then MGM said “See Ya!”
Broadway West’s a thing of the past
So get yourself a Cirque Show
And your career can really last!

A man who has also been overhearing this conversation enters the stage. He is wearing only a Speedo and possibly some goggles.

RON:
She can sing, she can dance, she can sometimes act
She’s a real Triple Threat
Me I sing, and I dance, and I try to act
But I do it when I’m wet!!!

He pours a bottle of water on himself and tries very unsuccessfully to do synchronized swimming

I can fill a Speedo
Swimming nightly at “O”
So what if chlorine killed all my hair?
‘Cuz if you get a Cirque show
Girl, you’ll never have a care!!!
Robin, who has been patiently waiting her turn, interrupts. She is wearing a sequined leotard and tights.

ROBIN:
They can sing, they can dance, Lord knows they both can’t act!
That won’t buy you milk.
I don’t sing, I don’t dance, I don’t even act.
But I rock out on the silks!

The silks lower from the grid. She attempts to fly, but its obvious she does not have the strength. Eventually, the silks “break” and fall to the floor.

So I can’t get off the ground yet
It beats wearing a hair-net
And serving tourists burgers and fries!!!
Go and get a Cirque show
If it takes a hundred tries!!!

CAROL/RON/ROBIN and CHORUS:

Come join the circus
They’ve got jobs in surplus
Broadway shows won’t make you a star!!!

ALL:
You’re more than just a dumb ho
When you book a Cirque Show
Take a look how different we are!!!

RON:
If you wanna be cool
Dive into a big pool!

ROBIN:
If you wanna rock it
Tear your shoulder from its socket

CAROL:
If you wanna be hip
Learn to do a backflip!!!

ALL:
Get yourself a Cirque Show
And You...Too...
Can Stay EMPLOYED!!!!!!!

11 comments:

Bay in TN said...

Oh, my gah!!! That's brilliant! I laughed so hard I cried. Brilliant!!! Thanks for sharing the link, Steve.

Heather said...

It was funny until about 3/4 of the way through. I thought the silks act spoof with the body falling was INCREDIBLY disrespectful and inappropriate considering Zumanity's somewhat recent accident during that same act which resulted in devastating injuries to the artists involved.

Bay in TN said...

Oo. I didn't remember the accident. That does sort of cast a different light on the parody, which, if there hadn't been an accident, would be brilliant.

Dang, now I just don't know what to say!

Anonymous said...

Heather, I thought that was the best part. Because it exposed the worst part of Cirque, the lack of care for the immigrant eastern European and Asian gymnast "artists" who perform in the shows. Their bodies scream steroids, and the language barriers make me think these people are just happy to be here. Cirque needs an outside investigation into their safety and drug policies.
Jeff in OKC

Henri K said...

I disagree that this is insensitive, Heather. First of all, most people don't even know that that happened. Second, it's not like Cirque stopped doing that act on account of the accident. And, third, I think in this context of how the stuff that Cirque does is essentially superhuman and absurd, I think it's clear they're just having a good time. Just my thoughts.

Heather said...

henri-I agree that it wasn't meant to be purposefully malicious it just seems a little too soon to be making light.
jeff-I have no idea where to even begin with you. I could tell you how few of the Cirque performers do take steroids versus how many Thunder From Down Under or Chippendales that do. I could point out the numerous stories of artists who come to this country holding advanced degrees or the countless others who go on to earn them here. I could even go on in detail about the precautions and procedures carried out nightly to ensure safety. Somehow, I don't think any of that would make it into your thick skull.

Anonymous said...

Heather, I apologize that you took offense to the silk portion of this act. I wasn't aware of the accident that you mentioned in Zumanity, and the point of the act wasn't in ANY sense meant to highlight or reference that unfortunate event. The entire point of this skit, in fact, was pointing out just how incredibly difficult these skills are, and how completely INCAPABLE we musical theatre performers are at doing them. Yes, we're saying go get a cirque show. But the reality is, we never will because we just don't have those amazing skills. So as much as we were having fun with cirque, we were also having fun with our limitations. But again, I am sorry you took offense. I would never knowingly make light of someone else's tragedy.

THE STRIP PODCAST GUYS said...

That last comment was from Greg Kata, who wrote the skit. thanks, Greg, for chiming in. I think Heather's being a little oversensitive on this one, and I think you confirmed my own hunch that few people outside the Cirque bubble even know about that accident.

On a related front, I also wonder why Jeff is so suspicious of the performers in Cirque. I really have never wondered about them being steroidal, nor would I think that that would be of much benefit to them since it's as much coordination and flexibility as sheer muscle that gives them the ability to do as they do. I mean, it's possible, but there are thousands of former Cirque performers out there who, I suspect, would've told someone if illegal performance enhancing drugs were a routine part of the gig.

Anonymous said...

:) For some reason it won't let me sign up for my own "blogger" account, so I'm doing this under anonymous because it's just easier. Yes, the above post was from me, Greg Kata, the writer of this skit. I wasn't going to respond, because, truthfully, I don't feel like I have anything to "defend." But I wanted Heather and others who might think the same way that I had no prior knowledge of the incident she mentioned. And that I'm not heartless and cruel to use such a tragedy to get a laugh. I don't want to judge Heather's response, I just wanted to clarify my intention. It's all about intention for me anyway...
I did want to chime in on the steroid thing though. I actually was a former gymnast (so some of these skills I actually CAN do...yes, I was acting people) and I can tell you, steroids in gymnastics is really counterproductive. Strength and mass hinder flexibility, which in many instances is crucial to many of the skills in gymnastics, especially on men's rings and pbars. I can't imagine cirque performers (many of whom are and were former competitive gymnasts) would desire the benefits of steroids because it could actually do more harm for their act than good. The cirque performers I know are incredibly disciplined and diligent atheletes. As a gymnast, I RARELY even lifted weights. I didn't need to. When you're using that many muscles to do those skills, your body weight plus gravity adds enough poundage to build the required muscle and mass. And the many hours spent just doing conditioning skills AFTER training...I'm just sweating thinking about it.
I'm glad Jeff liked the skit...but I don't want anyone thinking that there was a vendetta of some sort out there against cirque. I have much admiration for many of the shows that they put out. I wholeheartedly respect every performer that lends their special talent to those shows. Is it a fact that it seems like they're taking over Vegas? Yeah, a little bit. Is it a fact that Broadway shows are suffering here? Yeah, a little bit. The latter NOT being cirque's fault. I just combined the two realities in a fun number that made jabs at both camps.
Ok, I'm going to shut up now :) Thanks for watching though guys! I'm glad you're all enjoying it (for the most part)

Anonymous said...

Jeff in OKC here.
My steroid observations are mainly about maintaining what I think is a busy schedule, and recovery from injuries. As with baseball and other sports, it seems just about any profession that is based on constant physical activity and skill have a very close relationship with substances that help people achieve at a higher level.
I think I read, or heard, that Heather is employed by Cirque. If so, that explains her impassioned defense of the company. But I do wish she would identify herself as such when commenting.
I sure do love this blog. I think it's a great cross section of opinion. Thanks for putting it out, Steve.

Anonymous said...

Jeff in OKC here.
My steroid observations are mainly about maintaining what I think is a busy schedule, and recovery from injuries. As with baseball and other sports, it seems just about any profession that is based on constant physical activity and skill have a very close relationship with substances that help people achieve at a higher level.
I think I read, or heard, that Heather is employed by Cirque. If so, that explains her impassioned defense of the company. But I do wish she would identify herself as such when commenting.
I sure do love this blog. I think it's a great cross section of opinion. Thanks for putting it out, Steve.