Today is the Apple TV+ premiere of Schmigadoon! — a semi-reboot, semi-parody and semi-tribute of and to the Broadway musical Brigadoon — that stars Keegan Michael Key and SNL’s Cecily Strong.
While both stories begin with two lost hikers stumbling upon a magical town set deep in a forest, Schmigadoon!’s plot diverges with Key and Strong’s characters realizing they’re trapped in the musical village until they find true love.
Speaking with ABC Audio, Strong said she knows musicals can be divisive, but thinks Schmigadoon! has the grit to win people over and “get” them.
“Hopefully, with Keegan and I and, especially his character being… kind of anti-musical. It’s sort of — you have to give in a little and just have fun,” the comedian explained. “I think that’s why we can poke fun at from a loving place.”
Strong says her analysis is based on her own experiences with Broadway, because she grew up on musicals.
“My grandma, who we called Scott… she bought me Oliver! on VHS. So that was my first. And then I had South Pacific and My Fair Lady and West Side Story,” Strong continues. “Those were in heavy rotation as a child.”
To take it even further, Schmigadoon! was directed by a man who outwardly admits he doesn’t “understand” musicals. Barry Sonnenfeld — better known for the Men in Black and The Addams Family movies — says taking charge of Schmigadoon! was an adjustment.
“I don’t understand why people stop what they’re doing and sing about true love or whatever,” he told ABC Audio.
While Schmigadoon! parodies musicals, it also honors them, especially with its cast that consists of Broadway superstars Kristin Chenoweth, Jane Krakowski, Alan Cumming, Aaron Tveit and many others.
Schmigadoon! is available now on Apple TV+.
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