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Noises, or rather Songs Off

So. The question Gentle Readers have been asking themselves, I’m sure, is what will be on the Play Playlist List? It’s an excellent question. I don’t know the answer.

Noises Off is fundamentally a play about the theater. It would be possible, I suppose, to come up with an hour of songs about the theater, but most of them would be showtunes—“There’s No Business Like Show Business” or “I’m the Greatest Star” or “The Glamorous Life” or “I Hope I Get It”. I have been reluctant to do showtunes in a mix for theater folk. Mostly, it’s just that it’s a limited subgenre and the cast is presumably more knowledgeable than I am in it—I like to think that everybody will be surprised and intrigued by at least a couple of tracks.

But thematically, what else is the show about? It’s a comedy; I could do an hour of comic songs. Shudder. My character is (believed to be) a lush; I could do an hour of drinking songs, I suppose. There are dalliances; I could do an hour of songs about flings. There’s a diagnosis of nervous exhaustion. There’s real estate. There are boxes. There are bags. There are doors. There are sardines.

I have done songs from the time-and-place of the show’s setting, but when is this thing set? It used to be set in the present day, back when it opened in 1982; now it’s just sorta set nowishly. Nothing On is certainly not set in 2014—the telephone mouthpiece is attached to the phone by a cord, which is attached by a cord to the wall—but there are no timebound references so it could be pretty much any time from 1950 onward, couldn’t it? Anyway, I don’t think that an hour of songs from 1982 (ish) would work. Although it would be an awesome playlist.

I have had a suggestion that the playlist be structurally, rather than thematically linked. Begin with (let’s say) an Act One of half-a-dozen songs, and then follow it up with Act One, which would repeat the six songs in different recordings, and then finish with Act One, a third (and presumably most shambolic) version of the same six songs. It’s not a bad idea, although I’m not sure it would be listenable as an hour-long playlist, which is always a goal. It’s not the only goal, but it is a goal.

Anyway—what do y’all think? Any bright ideas?

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,
-Vardibidian.

Comments

I have to say that I like the structural link idea.

You might vary it a little with songs that include meta-repetition, but since there's so much repetition in most songs anyway, that may not be promising.


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