If you compiled a list of all of the things Los Angeles traffic was missing, you’d probably stick musical theater right at the top, yeah? It’s already going to take you 48 hours to travel 2 miles, so why not take a little time at crosswalks to enjoy a lively performance from street toughs & poodle skirt-clad ladies!? If that’s what you thought, then boy, does James Corden have a treat for you!
The new host of The Late Late Show has already shaken up the staging format for his tenure, making the couch panel into something more akin to The Graham Norton Show across the pond on the BBC. On Monday night he premiered this performance of Grease and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a handful more of these “Crosswalk The Musical” bits in the future. They’re a bit too traffic-intrusive to produce on a regular basis, but barring any official notices from Los Angeles County officials, the safe bet is that we’ll see more.
Between performances, James & Co. regroup “backstage,” and by “backstage” I mean in a black tent on the sidewalk. This gives the Crosswalk Players a chance to rest, re-center themselves and their craft, then take a little time to do vocal exercises. Turns out, Benedict Cumberbatch isn’t just an actor, he’s a warm-up. Repetition of his name really seems to warm the vocal chords so that tunes with tongue-twisting lyric runs like “rama lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong” become a total breeze. Especially when under intense time constraints. The thrill of performing on stage really gets a boost of adrenaline when 20 seconds is all that separates the performer from vehicular rage! Keep on doing what you’re doing James, as long as it doesn’t stop me from getting to my 2:30 meeting.