Wal-Mart, The Christmas Musical

Thanks to People of WalMart for the cast member photo.

Most Americans have been to Wal-Mart.  But you haven’t truly experienced it until you see Wal-Mart, The Christmas Musical.   I attended a performance just a few days ago. 

The entire play takes place in a Super Wal-Mart.  It is Sunday afternoon during the busy, holiday shopping season.  

Here’s the story in a nutshell.  Our heroine, a young ingénue who looks almost exactly like me, visits the Land of Wal-Mart.  She has been sprinkled with holiday cheer fairy dust and sent on a quest.  She must find a magic wand that will reanimate the Christmas tree lights when half of each strand has gone out (kind of like a Christmas light defibrillator).  Then she must get checked out and back to her car before the dust wears off and she turns into a mean, bitchy old crone.

During the prelude we were treated to Mariah Carey’s spiritual take on “Santa’s Got A Booty Call (So You Better Be Naughty!)”.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the place when one of the female leads, imaginatively costumed in black stretch pants and a shirt cut low enough to reveal a pair of angels tattooed on the upper slopes of her…charms, softly crooned a simple ballad to the children gathered around her cart: “I TOLD You 20 Times”.

“I TOLD you 20 times you gotta be 8 years old before Santa will bring you Call of Duty.  I’m going to have your daddy (Rodney, that guy whose staying with us and kinda like your daddy) WHUP YOUR A** if you ask me ONE more time!” 

I wasn’t the only one who left the show singing THAT moving tune.

The children’s choir almost stole the show with their rousing hit, “I Want THAT!”   The lyric was not complicated – only “I Want THAT”, over and over – but the performance elevated the words to art.  The volume of their childish cries built and built to a mighty crescendo.  The number ended with the whole choir falling to the floor and kicking its collective heels.  Unforgettable.

The Greeter’s Gospel Choir’s a cappella rendition of “Go Tell It On The Mountain (The Holidays Are Here)” had everyone clapping along.   The reworked lyrics explained in an uplifting, catchy way why saying Merry Christmas at the door would be the same as forcing shoppers to join a church and submit to full-immersion baptism in order to get in the store.  Entertaining and really thought provoking. 

But the showstopper was the big production number finale.

I took a couple of dance classes as a kid, so I’m familiar with steps like the flap-ball-change.  But I’ve never seen the moves the Wal-Mart Shoppers Dance Troupe perfected for this extravaganza, a routine they call the Oblivious Shuffle. 

Each shopper/dancer leaned on his or her cart and pushed it slowly, oh so slowly, back and forth across the stage.  Their shuffling gate kept one shoe (or house slipper, as the case may be) on the floor at all times.  The shuffling feet made a “shush, shush” sound that underscored the “squeak, squeak” of their unoiled cart wheels.  The occasional crash of colliding carts played like cymbals in the composition.

About half of the dancers had cell phones pressed to their ears.  One at a time, each would burst into song with lyrics like “…so that witch he married said they couldn’t take the kids Christmas Eve and I told her if you think I’m going to pick them up on HIS weekend, you can just tell their dad…” Their solos were incomprehensible, one-sided conversations when taken by themselves.  Together, they wove a timeless Christmas story.

The dancers went through their movements with vacant, glassy stares that gave the illusion that they were totally unaware of everyone else around them. 

Think of Night of the Living Dead as a ballet.

Meanwhile, the young ingénue wove her cart skillfully in and out of the shuffling throng, trying to get to the registers.   The checkers each turned their lights off as she approached, crying “price check on 10″, “change needed on 5”, “register frozen on 8“ in a surprisingly harmonious medley.  Everyone held their breath when a determined shopper with 2 carts piled high cut in front of our heroine in the “15 items or less” line, but there was no collision – it was all just part of the magical show.

I don’t want to give away the ending in case you decide to see it.  Suffice it to say our ingenue bore a marked resemblance to the apple-wielding hag in Snow White as she hobbled to her SUV when the curtain fell.

 

All 3 of my then-readers seemed to enjoy this post last year.  Hope you do, too.

 

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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47 Responses to Wal-Mart, The Christmas Musical

  1. bigsheepcommunications says:

    You know this is among my all time favorite Christmas stories. I’m totally tweeting a link ; )

    Like

  2. Ohhh, I want to see it! So this is a real live show or did you make it up? I have to ask because you know I think you’re brilliant that way. You can tell all the characters of the “Little Red Hen” that if they want any share in the royalties, that tree better be up on the double.

    Like

  3. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    It’s brilliant! I could definitely see this coming to a theatre near me. Hey, if they can make a play about Mormons, they can certainly pack the theatre with one about Wal-Mart. The costuming alone would be a hoot! Well, done, girl, well done!

    Like

  4. Big Al says:

    This sounds like the most sure-fired flop since “Springtime for Hitler”. Call me, I’d like to invest.

    Like

  5. Spectra says:

    Youforgot to mention the part about the chinese elves…

    Like

  6. The brother says:

    you forgot, also, to mention the in-costume greeters at the door, with blue vest and matching hair!

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Usually the old people they hire are so much more pleasant than the young ones. But the old lady who checked me out the other day – I couldn’t get a smile out of her no matter what I tried. I was using my best, spirit-of-the-season friendliness and all I got in return was…her feet hurt and she didn’t have any of her decorations up, and it had been a long work day, and it was cold by the door and…bah, humbug!

      Like

  7. pattisj says:

    Hm, it must have caught on last year, because I hear they have taken the show on the road, there’s a performance in most every city in the nation! (And guess what! It’s engagement is not limited to the Christmas season!) What gifted troupers they have found!

    Like

  8. Ah, yes…
    that magical time of year when the falling snow flutters about with falling prices…
    SEND HELP!
    🙂

    Like

  9. This was spectacular. I would also like to invest if you make it into a musical (as long as you don’t use the above picture of me shopping with my daughter in future ads…)

    Like

  10. The shuffle dance is brilliant – I might just go find me a Wal-Mart today just for fun (I’m on a budget).

    Like

  11. DO tell me the ending. I’ll never go to Wal-Mart at this time of year, so I’m quite unlikely to see the musical.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      As hinted, I, er, the heroine, was unable to complete her holiday shopping before the magic fairy dust wore off and all the trials and tribulations of Wally-World turned her into a hag.

      Like

  12. Pingback: Speed It Up A Little! «

  13. gojulesgo says:

    Ha! Yes I sure did enjoy this post! Someone just told me there’s a popular humor website with real pictures of Wal-Mart shoppers…I’ve gotta check it out!

    Like

  14. Lenore Diane says:

    I trust this is funny – but I can’t read it. All things Wal-Mart scare me. I’ll have nightmares for months. The picture alone is going to set me back a few days. Please, make it stop. Make it stop!

    Like

  15. Sandy Sue says:

    Did you see a reprisal this year? Any new numbers added to the show?

    Like

  16. egills says:

    Oh wow Walmart must have spread their wings – we have a very similar show over here but it’s called Asda – The Musical. Unfortunately my eyes can’t take the strain of all the wondrous costumes so I limit myself to Sainsburys – The Musical…

    Like

  17. Margie says:

    I am reminded of this quote by R.W. Dupree: “I once remarked to a rural Texan: “It takes all kinds to make the world.” “It don’t take all kinds,” he snapped back. “We just got all kinds.””

    We are extremely fortunate here in Canada that the weather rarely gets so warm that Wal-Mart shoppers abandon most of their clothes…

    Like

  18. So the manager and staff didn’t do Broadway-style show tunes like in the commercials? Oh no…

    Glad you re-ran this, Peggy…I missed it the first time!

    Wendy

    Like

  19. I think I saw that show last week. My favorite part was when the woman in the black, stretch pants threw the movie into the cart and yelled: “There! I bought the *#$%*&# thing! Now don’t think you got your own &^$#*^% way!”

    Like

  20. Yikes. I’m shivering with dread after reading this post! I no longer shop at Wal-Mart, and your post has hysterically reminded me why. I’m so glad you re-ran it — it’s genius. 🙂 You captured all of the florescent lightbulb-washed loathing that seeps from every aisle. Well done!

    Like

  21. “Think of Night of the Living Dead as a ballet.” SOLD! I’m going!

    Like

  22. The Hook says:

    Fantastic opener, my clever friend!

    Like

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