Chris Cate is a comedy writer, host of The ParentNormal Comedy Podcast, author of The ParentNormal Crash Course, father of three and sleeper of none.
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Parenthood is full of adventure, drama, mystery, horror, comedy and science fiction, which makes it very well-suited for Hollywood. But for an audience to get the full impact of the parenthood saga, they really need to experience it in person, which means the saga is even better suited for Broadway.
Since you are probably too busy raising kids to see a musical about raising kids on Broadway, here are 20 features of a musical about parenthood that will help you imagine it:
There is no intermission, because there are no breaks in parenthood.
The show is standing room only. (Sitting down is forbidden during parenthood.)
The audience can arrive at the show with friends, but can't have any communication with them. (By the end of the show, the audience will be unrecognizable to each other.)
The cast only includes children and stuffed animals.
The show is many years long, but at least one cast member is assigned to each audience member to keep them awake for the entirety of the show.
There is only one song, which is repeated endlessly without the words ever being sung or mumbled exactly the same way twice. (The melody is cheerful, but the audience is quickly haunted by it.)
Costume changes occur on stage throughout the show, without any color or setting coordination. (The audience is expected to enthusiastically applaud when small children finish dressing themselves and sarcastically applaud when older children finally finish dressing themselves.)
The audience must entertain the cast, not vice versa.
Every cast member has his or her own monologue that takes the entirety of the show to deliver. (Everyone's monologue is different, but the monologues are all related in some way to a snack.)
The kick line actually kicks the audience.
The orchestra primarily includes stick bangers, kazoo throwers and snack box shakers.
Cast members are always present during trips to the bathroom, which lacks stall walls for maximum visibility and room for assistance.
The audience is expected to act, too. Their role is to pretend like they are in charge of the show, but everyone will know they are just acting.
The only permitted foods for the audience are leftovers from the hands of cast members.
Dance numbers are not chronological and always involve holding hands and spinning around until everyone falls down.
The audience must pay more money as the musical continues.
The set must be built by the audience on Christmas Eve after the cast falls asleep.
When the curtains close and the audience thinks the show is over, the curtains reopen and the show continues indefinitely.
The audience must clean the theater.
If there are any questions, a cast member is sure to ask them.