The ORIGINAL Captain Marvel
Whenever you see that word, doesn’t it just make you want to say it with “jazz hands!” like it’s the title of some Broadway production?
Wait a minute… a 1940s cultural icon, featuring a young but plucky orphan, a talking tiger, and larger-than-life fantastical plots? Why the CC Beck has this NOT been turned into a theatrical musical?
In might go, something like this … Overture, maestro!
PROLOGUE– Wandering on stage, a Tiger in a Suit. Mr. Tawky Tawny introduces himself– he is our Chorus, after all, and he hints at a world of wonder and spirit just beyond what we can see. And how it doesn’t take a special person to cut through the noise of life. It could be anyone at all…
ACT ONE- … like little Billy Batson in Fawcett City.As the City unfolds with its many citizens, Billy sings how “The City is My Playground!” He’s an orphan, living on his own, but he’s also strangely responsible for these people– his presence brings happiness to others and, yes, even inspiration. But it ends on a note of sadness, too, because as much as Billy tries to create a family from the various citizens in interacts with, it will always fall short of his ideal of family.
Other citizens aren’t quite as nice. There’s Dr. Silvana and his daughter, Beautia. Beatuia isn’t convinced that Fawcett City is the crown jewel of the East, but Silvana says it’s perfect for her needs, her drive to become Mayor, maybe even, Governor! Her “Best Foot Forward!” is a perfectly constructed vision of herself– complete with recently adopted daughter, Mary! Too bad Mary is such a petulant brat.
There’s also “Uncle” Dudley H. Dudley and young Freddie Freeman, a couple of con artists who try to run a scam on the Silvanas, you know, the one where the kid pretends to have a lame leg? Well, don’t run a con on supervillains! Silvana flies into a rage, displaying his latest invention, Animatorium, which brings parts of the city to life! With amazing feats of puppetry, costume, and dance, Dudley and Freddie are at Silvana’s mercy, and while Dudley flees, Freddie is hurt– this time for real! It’s up to Mary to save the day, as she convinces Beautia, and thus Silvana, that showing compassion will be good for her upcoming political career. Freddie is thankful, and maybe a bit smitten, but in fact Mary’s just as selfish as any of them– after all, if there is nowhere else for her to go, she is determined to hitch a ride along with Silvanas, who are “On The Way Up!”
Mr. Tawny ‘guides’ Dudley into finding Billy, the hero of the neighborhood. Billy’s heard all about Unca Dud’s kind of shenanigans, though, and is reluctant to help him. As Tawny’s refrain echoes, Billy reaffirms “Help is Where the Heart Is” and tries to make a plan.
At the site of Beautia’s upcoming press conference/stadium, Freddie tries (unsuccessfully) to get close Mary, but she does reveal a bit about the mysterious night she was left as an orphan. He at least convinces them to spy on Silvana and Beautia, and Silvana gets to reveal his own purpose for Fawcett City, in a villainous version of “The City is My Playground!” After all, he gets his own city-wide petri dish for his own experiments, such as using the Animatorium to control people’s minds! Well, isn’t that an unfortunate time to catch Freddie and Mary sneaking around!
Equally unfortunate that Dudley and Billy show up, too, posing as reporters for Whiz Radio. They almost convince Beautia, but Silvana soon sees through their ruse. He promises no happy ending. After all, “The World Is a Bad, Bad Place”, using his Animatorium to bring to life literal embodiments of Dudley’s greatest enemies– Greed and Gluttony. Silvana is just playing around because he can, while Beautia sees it as a warning for others. They leave them all to the destruction that Greed and Gluttony brings to the scene.
Billy awakens in a darkened scene, the abandoned subway tunnels he has fallen into. Mr. Tawky Tawny is there to offer “Help (is) Where the Hero Is,” and the two meet. Tawny guides him past the statues of the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man, some of which are broken– namely, Greed, Gluttony, and Pride. He leads him to the Wizard of Shazam, who explains Billy has been saved to bring his hope to the city above. He blesses Billy with the powers of Shazam, transforming him into Earth’s mightiest mortal, but another earthquake, thanks to the havoc above, causes the other statues to break, and a rock to fall on the Wizard! Billy is left only with a sacred charge– and, now Captain Marvel, he flies off!
In the City, Greed & Gluttony are twisting the people into a strange Thriller-like dance to “The Seven Deadly Enemies of Man.” It’s a huge showstopper as Captain Marvel descends, fighting off enemy-controlled goons and finally taking out the Big Bad Enemies themselves.
Silvana and Beautia are both intrigued and inspired — inspired to crush this hero before it’s too late!