Four years after ending its run, can you imagine the classic series The Wire being rethought and revisited as — of all things — a musical?
The comedy website Funny or Die has teamed with Michael K. Williams’s Freedome Productions to produce a hilarious Broadway-esque version of the gritty cable show about Baltimore’s drug scene.
“I flew down, had a production meeting [with Funny or Die],” explained Williams, “and the first thing they pitched was The Wire: The Musical. I was like, 'Okay, we gotta do that.'”
Beloved for its honest, nuanced, and thorough portrayal of the drug game — and how it affects all corners of a community — The Wire, with its deadly serious subject matter, was, Williams felt, ripe for a comedic look back.
“You gotta laugh at it sometimes,” says Williams. “I mean, to get through life and the hardships we all live through you have to find humor in all the darkness.”
Along with characters like the feared (and gay) stick-up artist Omar (Williams), other Wire figures like lesbian detective “Kima” Greggs (Sonja Sohn), the lovable crack addict Bubbles (Andre Royo) and the murderous hit woman Snoop (Felicia Pearson) enjoy melodic cameos in this production which was inspired by stage classics like Guys & Dolls, Big River, Chicago and Les Miserables.
With angelic needles, dancing cops and a beautiful Snoop dolled-up in a flowing wig, makeup and a beautiful dress, the hilarity of The Wire: The Musical also lay in the ill-tuned voices of the cast.
“I did my own singing,” Arroyo admitted, laughing. “I took a page out of today’s R&B and hip hop… and told them to throw a little Auto-Tune in there. Try to make some money and be radio-friendly.”
Check out the video below!
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(Photo: Courtesy HBO)