Friday, February 4, 2011

The Landless Theatre Company and All of Them There Jawses


Starting this weekend and running each weekend until February 24, the Landless Theatre Company will be performing a Mash-Up Play Festival in the DC Arts Theater in Washington DC. The Mash-Up Play Festival will consist of four plays: Pii-Wii’s Big Poseidon Adventure, All That Jaws, Gleeam, and Tarxxxanadu. Go to the Landless Theatre Company's site for more details, and click here to read an article about the Mash-Up Play Festival by The Washington Post.


In case you are wondering what a "mash-up" is and how it differs from a crossover, a mash-up is usually a parody that calamitously combines concepts from popular books, movies, plays and TV shows, while a crossover shows much more fealty to established franchise characters and continuity. In other words, a mash-up is to a crossover as Jane Austen's Fight Club is to Freddy vs. Jason.

Of Landless Theatre's current collection of mash-up plays, I'm most looking forward to Gleeam, a musical mash-up of Glee and Scream. (A masked killer bumping off members of a high school glee club? Count me in!) But even though All That Jaws is Landless Theatre's own mash-up of two Roy Scheider films, Jaws and All That Jazz, it's certainly not the first. As far as I can tell, there are at least four other plays and videos that share the same title and sense of humor:
  • A video mash-up that combines footage from both movies into a single three minute video;
  • A 2003 stage musical that was a mash-up of Jaws and All That Jazz, directed by Gayla Miller, and performed somewhere in the Houston, Texas area (I think);
  • A 2007 "meta-musical" rock opera that was not a mash-up of Jaws and All That Jazz, even though the title would suggest otherwise. This version of All That Jaws was written by Marty Barrett and Brian Descheneaux and performed at the Out of Bounds West Improv Festival in Los Angeles.
I enjoy Jaws parodies as much as the next movie monster fan, but future parodies should make an effort to diversify their titles--less Jazz and more Jaws, maybe?


2 comments:

  1. The Landless "All That Jaws" is actually a mash-up of Chicago and Jaws, taking its title from the song "All That Jazz" rather than the movie.

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  2. Anonymous,

    Thanks for the clarification. That said, I don't suppose that Landless Theatre will follow up with "All That Jaws: The Revenge" at next year's mash-up fest, will they? Sure, Revenge is the least of the Jaws movies, but that alone would amplify the campiness factor of the performance tenfold. :)

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