This year we were graced with a new Star Trek movie, Star Trek: Into Darkness. This prompted my friends and me to re-watch all of the previous movies, especially the bad ones. Upon re-watching Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, it became glaringly obvious that this movie was perfect to be adapted into a splashy, schmaltzy Broadway production.
Star Trek IV was one of the better-received movies in the whole franchise. It’s also different from the other Star Trek movies for several reasons: 1) none of the action takes place on the USS Enterprise; in fact, the ship is only in the movie at the very end; 2) As compared to the darker movies such as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Star Trek: First Contact, this movie is light hearted and chock full of humor; 3) Alexander Courage’s theme from the TV show is only used right before the end of the movie, after Kirk and crew save the world; 4) The mom from 7th Heaven plays Kirk’s love interest.
A quick reminder of the film’s plot: Kirk and crew travel back to Earth following the events of Star Trek III: The Search of Spock only to find the Earth under attack by a mysterious probe. An analysis of the probes reveals it is broadcasting a message that can only be understood by the now (in 23rd Century) extinct humpback whales. The crew fly around the sun to time travel to the year 1986 to bring the whales back to their time to save Earth. I envision a cross between the epic quality of Les Miserables and the campiness of Xanadu: The Musical. The following is a break down of specific moments, I feel, should be musicalized.
Obvious choice, start with the main title music from the movie by Leonard Rosenman. It starts off with the familiar opening notes of the Star Trek theme but goes off on a whimsical journey to let you know you’re for a night of pure entertainment. Great way to start!
Won’t Someone Answer Me?
This is an experimental dance number designed to convey the frustration of the probe not being able to communicate with anyone or anything on Earth. Broadway choreographer, Andy Blankenbuehler or So You Think You Can Dance choreographer, Mia Michaels, I’m looking at you guys.
Nah man, it’s 1986!
This is a rousing full cast number. Kirk and crew just landed in 1986 California. This number exemplifies the 80’s and how different it is from the 23rd century. Neon colors, spandex, and big teased out hair. This number culminates in Kirk and crew getting new duds and heading out to complete their mission.
George and Gracie and Gillian
First off, I’m so glad that all those names start with G. I do love good alliteration. This number introduces the character of Dr. Gillian Taylor and sets up her undying affection for her whales, George and Gracie. This is her “I want” song. Some sample lyrics include: “Don’t say goodnight, Gracie. I’ll miss you if you do.”
Now, the astute Trekkie will know that this is already a song from the soundtrack to the movie. I’d like to see this song expanded into a comedy pastiche number. Get a great song and dance man in this role and he’ll bring down the house. Gene Kelly-like choreography with a Russian flair.
This has to be a soul stirring belting number commenting on the little that the character has to do in movie. Something along the lines of “And I’m Telling You” from Dreamgirls and “Whatever Happened To My Part” from Spamalot: The Musical.
I think this is a good start. Let’s get some big Broadway producer to bankroll this. What other moments would you musicalize?