Charles Manson, murder, musicals, plays, serial killers, theater
Does this strike anyone as bizarre? A musical about Charles Manson opened in Hamburg, Germany. A Los Angeles Times article says the play “provides a glimpse into Manson’s failed music career and his relationship with his followers who became known as the Manson family.”
Manson still captivates audiences, 45 years after his “family’s” deadly killing spree in L.A. I admit I will always be a little fascinated because Helter Skelter was my go-to book the summer of 1986 when I was 11 years old. That book started my fascination with true crime stories, from Son of Sam to Ted Bundy to the Boston Strangler.
The article noted that many musicals and plays have been derived from serial killer stories, including an adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho.
Are these plays you’d be willing to see? Murder as entertainment? What’s the ultimate takeaway when we see something like Sweeney Todd or A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder?
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I can’t imagine Carrie or Helter Skelter as musicals. Plays, maybe, but a musical? Unlike previous comments, I love musicals. I don’t know that I would see this but..then again…I think Repo is one of the best movie-musicals ever, and it’s about as dark and twisted as they come.
I’m not a fan of murder as entertainment. I don’t read murder mysteries and I don’t like plot driven crime shows. Years ago my friend’s fiance was murdered and death by the hand of another became real to me.
I’m a big musical theatre fan, although Sweeney Todd is not one of my favorites because of the subject matter. But it works and so, I hear, does Carrie. But there aren’t living people whose loved ones were killed by a character (the lead?) in those shows. The time is not yet right for a Manson musical. Or Dahmer either. Why hurt people who have been traumatized by these events?
It seems there’s a difference between fictional crime plays and those based on true events. Perhaps a certain distance has to pass, long after those affected by the crimes have gone.
I agree. It used to be believed that Sweeney Todd was a true story or rooted in truth. I don’t know if that’s been disputed now or not. But there was definitely distance. Not so much for the musical Assassins, although the presidents are public figures–much different than the Manson victims the LaBiancas.
I just finished reading Helter Skelter. Personally I am not a big fan of musicals, but murder as entertainment seems to work. My friend was planning to write and direct Dahmer the musical.
I’m not a huge musical fan, either. It’s interesting to think what the larger stories are in these plays. Fascinating tidbit about Dahmer the musical!