Print Edition: July 16, 2014
Toronto mayor and Canadian trademark Rob Ford is getting his own musical. You read correctly: the embarrassment of Ontario is going to be singing and dancing alongside brilliant works such as Wicked and Mamma Mia. I really hope this horror doesn’t reach Broadway.
Playwright Brett McCaig had an interesting opinion about this musical, comparing Ford to one of the major icons of world history.
“He is very Shakespearean or operatic. He’s our modern tragic hero — he rode in on his white stallion to save his village, and then through his own weaknesses fell hard,” McCaig told CBC News.
A modern tragic hero, reminiscent of Shakespeare? Seriously? Modern, yes. Tragic, perhaps. Hero? Highly unlikely. The only white stallion Ford was riding consisted of a long line of something illegal, trying to save his system from lacking endorphins.
McCaig states that Ford’s story is “one of the greatest stories that’s ever happened.” To me, Ford’s antics of doing drugs, strolling around intoxicated, and mouthing off on national TV has placed the politician closer to Justin Bieber than Shakespeare.
When I first found out about this “musical,” I thought it had to be a hoax: no lover of the theatre would actually allow this man to be the inspiration for a performance. Alas, this is real. You, dear reader, are not being tricked; no cameraman is going to pop out of a bush to tell you that you’ve been fooled. 1,000 years from now, when the aliens find what’s left of our destroyed planet, they will find the story of Rob Ford the Musical: The Birth of a Ford Nation and judge our civilization harshly.
While it is possible, according to McCaig, that “Toronto has never been more spoken of or thought about in North American diaspora,” this talk might not be in our favour. Ford is our Bush. He is our political idiot for whom we are harshly judged. There has not been a musical about George Bush; therefore it is not necessary to make one about Rob Ford. A musical about Tim Horton’s would be both more understandable and respectable. I could watch a show about coffee and how a restaurant chain can sweep a nation and make itself a landmark. I could not however, stomach a performance about Ford.
Perhaps the worst part about this show is that music and literature are also going to take a hit. There are going to be 10 original songs in the genres of pop, rock, and country, in addition to some ballads that the actor playing Ford will sing. Even country music doesn’t deserve this. Not only is this travesty going to be a gigantic zit on the face of musicals, but it is also going to worm its way into various styles of music.
Furthermore, Margaret Atwood will be one of several famous people to be a featured character in this musical, and if you’ve read The Handmaid’s Tale you’d understand that this would not be a welcome gesture.
All in all, I am horrified and deeply saddened that this musical will be produced. Soon enough a spiritual guide named Transgression (a.k.a. Tranny) will take you into the world of Rob Ford — as McCaig would say, “what better way to take Rob Ford through his life than [with] a transvestite?”
McCaig really didn’t think this through.