Are You Ready For The September 11 "Rock Musical"? No?

Illustration for article titled Are You Ready For The September 11 Rock Musical? No?

Clear Blue Tuesday, which opens this week in New York, is a movie musical about 11 characters attempting to "rediscover their city" after September 11. Hm. Do we want to see characters singing and dancing about their PTSD?

Several films about September 11 have already been released, but director Elizabeth Lucas tells the New York Times that those projects are too serious and, "overly ponderous about the topic." In contrast, Clear Blue Tuesday is about, "finding the release and the perspective to look at ourselves and laugh at our tragedies."

Nine years later, the events still feels too fresh to joke about, and judging from the trailer, audiences may leave the theater laughing at Clear Blue Tuesday, not with it:


CLEAR BLUE TUESDAY trailer from Elizabeth Lucas on Vimeo.

The Times' assessment:

The film, often doggedly cheerful, will not please uniformly, and only die-hard fans of musicals, very earnest people and Sept. 11 completists are likely to digest it whole.

Lucas may have a point about the tone of films like World Trade Center and The Guys — many people avoided them because they seemed too heavy and depressing. Filmmakers certainly shouldn't be limited to talking about the attacks in a documentaries and serious dramas, but the low-budget Glee treatment probably isn't the right way to go about it either.

It's a Movie. A Rock Musical. And It's Rooted in 9/11. [NYT]
9/11: The Musical [The Awl]

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I'm not Team Too Soon. I'm just Team Why Ever? Not because the subject is positively sacrosanct—anything can be depicted artistically. I think the question is how well can it really be done. 9/11? I don't know that a musical will ever really do the topic justice. Same way that Miss Saigon wasn't really okay. However, I will allow admit to Team Too Soon that there is better and worse timing.

Also on this subject, there have been a couple of smaller production Holocaust musicals, including Warsaw, a musical about the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.