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Gwyneth Paltrow Musical’s Creators Wish Play Will Do Well

What do you do when a pop culture moment is taking over your feed?

If you’re Linus Karp, Joseph Martin and Drag Race songwriter Leland, you turn it into a memesical.

That’s what the trio have done with Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski trial – the actress’s “silly and ridiculous” legal battle that took over social media earlier this year.

And they lost half an hour of rehearsals to talk to BBC Newsbeat about it.

First, a recap.

The court case, like the play, had two main cast members – retired optometrist Terry Sanderson and the “Goop-founding, door-sliding, Shakespeare-in-loving, consciously-uncoupling Hollywood superstar” Gwyneth.

She was accused of crashing into him, causing life-changing injuries, at a ski resort in Utah in the United States – leading to him suing her for $300,000.

The Hollywood wellness guru denied being at fault, and sued him back for $1.

She eventually won the case, but the real winner was the internet, which feasted on the trial’s mixture of high drama and bizarre moments.

Which sounds like the perfect recipe for a camp stage show.

“When the court case was happening, it was a weird and exciting thing,” says Linus.

“And we love silly and ridiculous pop culture.

“As it was going on, I was saying ‘don’t you think that there could be a really fun theatre show in here?'”

Meanwhile, Leland, who’s written for artists including Selena Gomez and Troye Sivan, was also glued to the trial.

He tells Newsbeat he was thinking about turning it into a Rusical – one of the show-stopping numbers on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

But Leland says there “weren’t quite enough roles to give the queens enough to go off”.

Things fell into place when Leland went to see Linus and Joseph’s previous show, Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story, in Edinburgh.

As you might expect from the topic, not everyone loved it, and the couple proudly boast that the Daily Mail called it “repellent trash”.

But Leland was a huge fan and went for lunch with the couple afterwards, where the topic of the ski trial came up.

“When we sat down and and talked about this, we realised we were very much on the same page,” says Leland.

“So we said why don’t we band together and do this?”

Since then, Linus and Joseph have been working on the show, writing lyrics for Leland to put to music.

“We screamed when we first heard the songs,” says Linus.

“It was so ridiculous and hearing our stupid words put together into this incredible musical number by Leland was just so wild.”

After the announcement of the show was picked up by US magazine Variety, Linus and Joseph say the reaction has been huge, with the story reaching countries including Mexico and Brazil.

Shows have been selling out fast, and the pair are keen to stress it’s a two-person performance.

Joseph says “dance routines, all that kind of stuff” isn’t quite what the show’s going for, “not yet anyway”, but it will be heavy on audience participation.

“This is ultimately a silly, stupid queer comedy play that has some numbers in it,” he says.

“And I think that’s a better way to set expectations for the audience, rather than saying you’re coming to see a musical.”

But, in showbusiness, your work is never finished, as Leland points out.

“I have a feeling up until opening night, we’ll be tweaking and trying things and just continuing to chisel away to make it as funny and catchy as possible,” he says.

And Leland says it’ll all be worth it for the chance to turn one iconic moment into a musical number.

It is, of course, the end of the trial, where Gwyneth leaned in towards Terry Sanderson and, according to him, said: “I wish you well.”

“When I saw that I knew ‘oh, that’s our closing number, that’s our ballad’,” says Leland.

“I immediately start to map it out. And I’m so glad that I have been able to write that song.”

Source : BBC