Come See 'MBC: The Musical'

By Dave Fratello | April 1st, 2015

After months of ultra-secret preparations and rehearsals, tonight the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles will host the debut of "Manhattan Beach Confidential: The Musical."

It's not the first time a blog has been set to music, but it is new for a music and dance show to be produced about a small, local real estate market.

Featuring a series of adapted and original songs, "MBCTM" incorporates several popular genres, including classic rock, opera, R&B and classic show tunes.

Perhaps the highlight of the show is its adaptation of "Tonight," from West Side Story. Stephen Sondheim's lyrics, about a budding love between two young people, have been amended to convey a couple's excitement over having their offer to buy a home accepted by a seller. After receiving an email with the DocuSigned documents attached, they break into joyous song, accompanied by a full orchestra.

All of the show's songs draw inspiration, and even content, from past blog posts on MB Confidential, which recently began its ninth year online. Some tunes capture the hopelessness and confusion of the market during its down days in 2008-2010, others portray the pros and cons of selling off-market and dual agency, while still others portray the frenzy of the local real estate market since 2013.

Among the adapted songs featured in MBCTM:

• "Rent," from the musical "Rent" (lyrics discuss the buy/rent equation in Manhattan Beach)

• "The Man Who Sold The House" (adapted from David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World")

• "I Got a Loan Now" (adapted from Beyonce's "I'm Alone Now")

• "Love Is a Bidding War" (adapted from Pat Benatar's "Love Is a Battlefield")

A raucous rap tune inspired by Eminem, critical of bad realtor behavior, was ultimately cut from the show due to time constraints and not – as some have claimed – due to concerns over language.

MBCTM starts a 2-week run tonight at 7pm, with the Pantages holding the door open to a longer run with good audience response. Tickets are available online.

If the music and pageantry of MBCTM prove to be a success, speculation is that the show may become a template for additional, similar musicals about hyperlocal real estate markets.

MBCTM show director Chuck L. Guffaw was cautious, saying, "Let's just get through this April 1st show, and then we'll see what happens next."

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