Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Broadway on TV: The Last Ship

Every season, there are one or two shows that seem to be extremely polarizing.  People either love it or hate it, with very little in between.  The chat rooms are full of people throwing around words like "masterpiece," "moving," "brillliant," and "deeply flawed," boring," "a hot mess." This season one show spawned a new term in the "hated it" column.  "Dirgical" (sic).  That show is Sting's new musical The Last Ship.  I haven't seen it yet (this weekend I will, actually), so I can't - won't - even guess what my reaction will be.  And I won't share until the morning after it opens.

But I will give my two cents' worth on its TV commercial.  If the show is as well done as this 31 second effort, I think I'm going to really like it.  Well, I guess that is the aim of such ads, right?  It has me interested and even looking forward to it.

Here's why:  I love that it reveals many of the elements of the story.  Hard working men, rallying around a cause, a pretty young woman (flowing red hair, a lovely smile)has a relationship with the outsider (dressed in black, sulky, watching the men go by, not joining the cause) of the town.  It looks to have it all - passion for a common goal, overcoming obstacles, passion for a risky love.  Is this Les Miz?

And the tune it is set to tells a lot, too.  It's a catchy seaworthy number sung with a British accent... it sounds like it totally fits a show about a ship.  And it sounds Sting-y enough that his fans might just be willing to give his latest endeavor a shot. And there's even some Riverdance-y dancing.  This is a MUSICAL!

I'm sure some will grouse that it mostly shows locations that are real places, not the stage production.  But lots of other shows have done that to some success - the "No Day But Today" campaign for RENT, the recent revival of Hair.  Heck, the whole "I Love NY" campaign of yesteryear.

My one complaint with it is that it doesn't tell you anything about where it is playing or where to get tickets.  Just "Now in previews."  It's a small quibble really, in this day and age.  The ad should certainly get people to look for more about it on the Internet.  Right where most people buy their tickets.

Grade: A



  1. I adored the score, Michael Esper and the cast, and was brought to tears at the end. What the hell more could one ask?

  2. I'm glad you liked it! I'm looking forward to seeing it for myself soon.

    Thanks for reading and taking the time to write in!


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