By Jill Rosen
The Baltimore Sun
8:24 AM PDT, June 5, 2012
Critics regaled "The Wire" for many reasons. Being funny was never one of them. But they never saw "The Wire: The Musical."
On the 10th anniversary of David Simon's Baltimore-based HBO drama, the parody site Funny or Die has released a riff on what would happen if someone turned "The Wire" into a musical. And if that wasn't reason enough to watch, the online sketch, which is framed as a commerical for the show, stars the actor who played Omar, Michael Kenneth Williams.
The sketch opens with the grimmest of grim footage and a deep-voiced narrarator saying:
"America's war on drugs has failed. Baltimore has been torn apart by drug-related violence. And now the violence is spreading....(the voice-over suddenly peps up and Broadway music erupts)...to the Player's Theater this summer in 'The Wire The Musical'!"
Cut to clips from the show.
An ensemble is on stage, whisper singing, "Omar's comin! Omar's comin! Omar's comin!"
Enter Omar, who launches into his jaunty, Broadway-style number:
"When Omar go a-huntin all the slingers shout my name. They ask my oh my yo how you survivin' this game... You gotta whistle babe, before the shotty goes boom."
Then there's the Jimmy McNulty song:
"He's a bastard. He's my partner. Real police. Absentee father. I'm McNuuuuulty! Screwing Ronnie when I'm drunk. Solving homicides with Bunk. Jimmy McNulty."
Bubbles, of course, has a gospel-style ensemble number:
"Come on Bubs. Come on Bubs! Stop doin drugs. Stop doing drugs! My name is Bubs. I sniff the drugs!"
There's also bits on Barksdale and his gang, Stringer, dealer cell phones and Snoop. In all, four minutes of hilarity.
"Experience 'The Wire's' realistic portrayal of America's decaying inner cities through the magic of song," they say. "You'll experience all five seasons of one of televisions densest shows in 90 minutes of musical magic."
At one point they make a joke about David Simon's famous seriousness -- and annoyance with people who still talk and gush about his creation. Mentioning the musical's reviews, they say:
"The New York Times writes, 'I'm pretty sure David Simon doesn't know they're doing this.'"
It closes with a final Omar shot.
"Y'all come down to the Players Theater," he says, looking right intot he camera. "Or Omar gonna come to your house and put some lead in ya.....
"That's Fridays and Saturdays," he adds with a full gleaming smile. "And Sunday matinee!"
Check it out here.
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