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MUSICAL THRONES: A Parody of Ice and Fire: Interview with Creators JON & AL KAPLAN

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


Musical Thrones A Parody of Ice and Fire Tour
Tinsel & Tine's Spotlight on PTC's Next Show

A treat for Game of Thrones fans

MUSICAL THRONES:

A PARODY OF ICE AND FIRE

 Interview with writer/composers

THE KAPLAN BROTHERS


by Le Anne Lindsay, Editor

Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) heats up winter with dragon fire, dramatic power-struggles and bloodthirsty violence as Musical Thrones: A Parody of Ice and Fire makes a stop in Philadelphia
(February 9-10, 2018) on its 30 city national tour.

Loyal fans waiting for season 8 of GOT can laugh and journey together through the last seven, during 90 minutes of outrageous fun! Audiences will imagine themselves transported to Game of Thrones’s magical locations where bloodthirsty musical theater comics leave no joke unturned in serving up the show’s notorious violence, power struggles, manipulation and sex – plus, a ballad or two to add to the roast.

POST UPDATE: 2.11.18 Mini Show Review


Saw the show last night and it's pretty much how I pictured it, fast paced, only about 5 or 6 actors changing wigs and playing various characters. No elaborate costumes, props or set, which makes it easier to travel and perform in 90 mins. It's a fun, humor filled recap of Game of Thrones seasons 1-6. My favorite song/scene was "An Unlikely Pair" where they have Arya & The Hound, Brienne & Jamie, Jon Snow & Ygritte and two others, I think maybe Sansa & GreyJoy, all singing about their respective journeys together. The song musically & lyrically is the standout, and the actors staging has really good energy and seamless movement in and out of the spotlight.

Now we return you to the Original Post...

Musical Thrones: A Parody of Ice and Fire is written and composed by Jon and Al Kaplan, the comic madmen behind the long-running Silence! The Musical, which began as a set of nine songs, became a website with a cult following in 2003, then expanded to a live musical, which was mounted by director and Tony-winner Christopher Gattelli at the 2005 NYC Fringe festival, where it won the "Overall Excellence Award" for Outstanding Musical. In 2010, Silence! played in London, above the Stag Theatre, had a successful run there, as well as NY & LA.

The Kaplan Bros. have also composed completely unfunny music for the NBC reality show "Starting Over"; a series of Walt Disney web advertisements. Wrote comedy (not music) for the MTV Movie Awards, and arranged Andy Samberg's "Lonely Island Medley," which was performed by LeAnn Rimes, Chris Isaak and Forest Whitaker. Jon and Al next scored The Hills Have Thighs, the controversial erotic film that aired on HBO, Cinemax, Showtime and TMC, and the Syfy Channel original films Piranhaconda and Dinocroc Vs. Supergator. In 2015, they wrote the screenplay for Zombeavers, released in limited theaters in the U.S. and on VOD. In their spare time, the Kaplans have continued to pursue their first love of writing unstageable theater works, producing a series of viral video musicals on their successful YouTube channel Legolambs, including Conan the Barbarian: The Musical and The Thing: The Musical.

Tinsel & Tine got a chance to chat with the talented duo.
Check out the interview below:

LegoLamb Composer Writers the Kaplan Brothers Interview

T&T: Other than Silence!, your LegoLambs Musicals, which have found a dedicated cult following on YouTube, are parody songs not meant to be staged, what made you guys decide that Musical Thrones: A Parody of Ice and Fire was something you wanted to develop for the stage?

Jon + Al: After spending so much time working on Silence!, we were looking for ways to reach new audiences faster and more consistently. That’s part of why we decided to do all the “one-off” musicals on Legolambs. That said, there’s plenty of stuff on our channel that we’d be happy to stage, and we even have a partial book that unites some of those songs. In the case of Musical Thrones, Right Angle Productions approached us a few years ago and said they were interested in staging a parody of Game of Thrones. So this was actually a commission, unlike Silence!, which was an internet musical for years before any producer inquired about staging it. We were also huge fans of Game of Thrones, so this seemed like a good fit.

T&T: I think what makes GOT so compelling is its visceral quality, it can be so barbaric and harsh that I think we respond to it on a primitive level. While cerebrally responding to each character’s archetypal journey. Yet, at the same time it’s funny, sexy, ridiculous and geeky!
  • What other theories do you both have about the wild popularity of this show? 
  •  When deciding what scenes, seasons, characters to parody how did you narrow it down? 
Why I love Game of Thrones

J+A: Re: Game of Thrones’ popularity: It’s the show many of us were waiting our whole lives for: an intelligent, adult fantasy world, full of rich characters and shocking but believable story turns. As a bonus, the special effects and action sequences surpass most of what you’ll find on the big screen today. Then again, Walking Dead is even more popular and it’s a piece of shit, so who knows.

J+A Cont.: It was a challenge to boil Game of Thrones down into a 90-minute production, so of course we joke about that within the actual show. We follow the core characters and try to more or less tell their stories in a coherent way. Beyond that, we knew that certain scenes had to be in there, like The Red Wedding. We also tended to focus more heavily on the earlier seasons because they’re the most important — now the TV show is mostly just repeating itself anyway. We also came up with a way of both addressing and dismissing the characters we couldn’t fit into the show :D

Legolambs YouTube Channel

T&T: You both write the music/lyrics and the written material - How do you break up the work between you?

J+A: Usually one of us will come up with a premise for a song and then we’ll bounce it back and forth in terms of lyrics, sing it to each other in the car with some semblance of a melody. This continues with the composition process, where one of us will come up with an actual chorus and a structure and then we refine it together and it continues until it’s done.

Once we had most of the songs mapped out, we began to take turns connecting all the dots with the book. Then, after the book was close to done, it became more about producing the tracks for the music, which, sadly, probably took the longest out of everything!

 T&T: At what point do the producer and director come aboard?

J+A: Before we began, they had us write a few demo songs like “Winter Is Coming” and “Valar Morghulis” (which eventually became a different song in the finished show) so that they could shop the concept. We had a complete draft of the book and most of the songs were written by the time our director T.J. Dawe came on.

Tinsel & Tine Contest to Win Tickets to the 2.9.18 Performance


T&T: Creative brother teams seem to be so successful - Cohen, Farrelly, Duplass, Duffer, Paul & Chris Weitz (About a Boy) Joe & Anthony Russo (Captain America: Winter Soldier & The First Avenger) The Spierig (Jigsaw & Winchester) The Wachowski’s started out as brothers – From your own experience, what about being brothers helps with creative inspiration?

J+A: Don’t forget the Zucker Brothers! We can’t speak for all the other brother teams, but it’s probably something to do with genetics. We share a similar sensibility particularly when it comes to music and humor, and we’ve been working together creatively since we were kids. We are often thinking the same (sick) things and it makes for a seamless collaboration.

T&T: Without giving too much away, what Song or Songs in Musical Thrones are you most excited to see the audience’s reactions?

Jon Snow and Ygritte Great Chemistry GOT

J+A: We had to delete the most offensive song from the show, so we’re not sure. Our favorite is probably the love song between Ygritte and Jon Snow…it takes you through pretty much their whole relationship. Even though most of these are ostensibly comedy songs, we always try to give them an emotional weight so that they will hopefully move people.

T&T: What film projects are you currently working on?

J+A: We co-wrote a horror movie called The Drone (about a sentient consumer drone) that’s in post production now. Hopefully we’ll be doing the music for it soon too. We also have a Critters TV series coming up (based on the 1986 movie).

T&T:  In Philly there’s going to be a GOT themed bar crawl between the matinee and evening performances, would be great if you both were able to join us! What are each of your bar beverage(s) of choice?

J+A: That sounds awesome! Al likes beer and Jon likes wine, but not too much because it will make his spine explode.

ABOUT PHILADELPHIA THEATRE COMPANY Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) is a leading regional theater company that produces, develops, and presents entertaining and imaginative contemporary theater focused on the American experience. PTC balances its Philadelphia roots with a national point of view that combines a taste for adventure with a dedication to new American plays and musicals. Founded in 1974, PTC has presented 140 world and Philadelphia premieres. More than 50 percent of PTC’s world premieres have moved on to New York and other major cities, helping to earn Philadelphia a national reputation as a hub for new play development. PTC has received more than 180 nominations and 53 awards from the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre. In 2007, PTC was instrumental in expanding Philadelphia’s thriving cultural corridor by opening the Suzanne Roberts Theatre on the Avenue of the Arts.

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Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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