The Case for The Matrix: The Musical
The first thing you should know is that this isn’t clickbait. The Matrix Musical is something I’ve believed in for years.
Now, my only thespian experience comes from playing Petruchio in my 6th grade play “Taming of the Shrew”. So I admit to being a theatre novice, but still a theatre fan. I do know movies however, and I know that if Spiderman, Rocky, and Billy Elliot can be made into musicals, so can The Matrix.
The Matrix was groundbreaking for its technical achievements and rebooting the endless Hollywood trend of catering movies around prophecies and “The One”. But of course, at its heart, it’s a story about man realizing he was meant to be something far greater than the mundane existence preordained for him by the Matrix. And you better believe that is a story tailor made for a musical!
Below I list the top eight songs that could easily be made from the plot of the Matrix, along with current Broadway/Movie Musical songs it would be most comparable to. (click on song titles for the link to comparable songs on youtube)
This would be Mr. Anderson depressingly going about his day at the office while everybody else behind him dances around like cabaret dancers.
Comparable Song: “At The End of the Day” from Les Miserables, but with everybody chipper except for Neo
Morpheus explains the choice Neo must make between the red pill and the blue pill in a mid tempo little diddy, while Neo goes dramatically back and forth between the red and blue pill on opposite sides of the stage.
Comparable Song: Slightly faster version of “Dancing Through Life” from Wicked for the Morpheus part, “Muppet or a Man” from The Muppets for the Neo part
(Morpheus) “Red or Blue? Its up to you. Do you see things like we do? Will you free your mind, or will you stay behind?”
(Neo)“Am I a Maaaaaaaaaaaaan or am I a battery pod”
Morpheus explains all the things he can do in the Matrix like jump really far and punch really fast in a fast, upbeat, jingle during his training with Neo.
Comparable Song: The Genie’s “Friend Like Me” song from Aladdin
(Morpheus) “Can Your Friends Do This…(punches bag thousand times per second), Can Your Friends Do That (Jumps really high in the air with the help of skywires)”
Oracle explains Fate vs Free Will to Neo while she sings about all of the little tricks her kids can do
Comparable Song: Be Our Guest from Beauty and The Beast. “Fate……or……Free Will, Fate or Free Will, how will you ever know, you can always look to the moon, but for what, you think there is a spoon!!”
Cypher sings to each of the lifeless, plugged in bodies, ripping out cords one by one. Cypher sings about his dream life in the Matrix, while contrasting against the pitiful life they have outside the matrix.
Comparable Song: Edgier version of “Cool Cool Considerate Men” from 1776
(Cypher) “In The Matrix, I’ll have land….cash in hand… self command…my future’s planned”
A sinister track from Agent Smith as he is interrogating Morpheus at HQ. Smith sings off all the reasons he hates the Matrix.
Comparable Song: “Little Girls” from Annie
(Smith) "You call this place a home, I call it a zoo, a million showers couldn't stop me from going "Peeee-U!!"
Sweet, sorrowful ballad from Trinity when she’s talking to a comatose Neo in the real world after Agent Smith thinks he kills Neo.
Comparable Song: “You Must Love Me” from Evita
(Trinity) "Prophecies are weapons oracles can wield......my love for you is pre-destined, it is your shield!!"
Full acrobatic number from Neo as he realizes he’s The One and defeats Agent Smith. All of the cast join on stage in can-can line kicking Agent Smith around the stage.
Comparable Song: Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” from Godspell
“Preeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepare thee the way of The One”…..
If you’re thinking right now “I would never go see this tripe!!”, then take the blue pill and believe whatever you want to believe. But know that eventually, Broadway will take the red pill and you will see how far down the rabbit hole this goes.
Greg Ehrhardt is a special guest columnist for OnStage Blog
Special Thanks to Jennifer Lane for helping with the lyrics