A new musical theatre production centred around songs written by Washington sludge-rock grunge godfathers Melvins has proved astonishingly successful on Broadway, smashing box office records, impressing the critics, and earning a string of nominations for several prestigious awards.
A History of Bad Men was co-written by Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover, and Sir Timothy Rice. The musical is set several years in the future, in a vaguely Orwellian world known as Dog Island, where instruments are forbidden and aspiring musicians are encouraged to get boob jobs and become actresses. The planet is ruled by an evil queen - the Stoner Witch - who asserted her dictatorship after her husband, the king, took his own life. A group of rebels known as the Civilised Worms have been circulating rumours that the Stoner Witch orchestrated the king’s death herself, although their evidence is flimsy at best. In response to the accusations, the Stoner Witch falsely accuses an innocent bystander named Melvin of having tried to inject her husband with a drug overdose and has him incarcerated in a vast filthy prison.
The heroine is a character by the name of Lizzy, also known as the Magic Pig Detective. She is a plucky guitarist who wishes to form her own band and achieve fame without the humiliation of having to flash her breasts or sleep with Billy Corgan, Evan Dando, or TV’s Alan Partridge. Before she can rouse the rebel forces and overthrow the wicked queen however, Lizzy must first determine who is her real father. After discovering her mother’s diary in a piece of moon pie, she narrows her potential Pa down to three possible candidates: it is either Boris, Billy Fish, or the Bloated Pope. After several superfluous renditions of various Melvins tracks, Lizzy decides that it doesn’t really matter who is her biological father as they are all great people, apart from the Bloated Pope who she murders by feeding him to the Night Goat.
Boris, Billy Fish, and Lizzy then ride nude in boots on the back of a talking horse to the Stoner Witch’s Los Angeles palace. Enlisting the help of the Civilised Worms, they overthrow the evil queen by poisoning her with a hog leg, which transforms her into a harmless rat faced granny. With the evil queen defeated, everyone is at liberty to play music once more, Melvin is released from jail, and the production ends with a triumphant performance of ‘Anal Satan’.
A History of Bad Men has received glowing reviews from the international press, attracting praise such as: “audaciously sublime” (The New Yorker), “super awesome” (Rolling Stone), “skull-smashingly mammoth” (Rock-A-Rolla magazine) and “a simultaneously sincere yet ironic experimental discourse on our collective yearning for post-hypnagogic nostalgia and a great night out for all the family” (The Wire).
The producers are planning to bring the show to London’s West End by the end of 2012, where the role of Lizzy will be played by Lily Allen, Minnie Driver has been cast as the Stoner Witch, and the role of Boris has been offered to a confused but amiable Jimmy Osmond.