Thursday, August 18, 2016

Romeo, Juliet, Lenny, and the Squigtones

"Suds to Stardom." By Buz Kohan. Perf. Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, David L. Lander, and Michael McKean. Dir. James Burrows. Laverne & Shirley. Season 1, episode 14. ABC. 11 May 1976. DVD. Paramount, 2014.

I learned about this, like so many things, from Shakespeare Geek.

The quirky Lenny and Squiggy (who often accompany the almost equally quirky Laverne and Shirley) participate in an audition for the Shotz Brewery talent show.

The song they've put together is called "Star-Crossed." The lyrics later make the connection to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet explicit:
I live on the north side. She lives on the west.
The west is the worst side: the north is the best.
Her mudda's a drunk; her fadda's a punk.
But I know (yes, I know) that our love (yes, I know) could be real.

But we're star-crossed.
We're like Romeo & Juliet.
Star-crossed—she just dont belong in my social set.

But I know (yes, I know) that someday (someday)
The Lord will look our way, and we'll be free.

We meet in the shadows and wish on a star.
We kiss in a phone booth or under a car.
Our friends put us down. They say we're a clown!
But it hurts (yes, it hurts). Yes, it hurts (yes, it hurts) in my heart . . .

That we're star-crossed.
We're like lollipops and caviar.
Star-crossed—so we'll drive up to the reservoir.

Even though (even though) it's a sin (it's a sin),
We'll throw each other in, and we'll be free.
It may be a big tangential, but there's still some interest there. The narrative has more elements of West Side Story than Romeo and Juliet, and I'm curious about the socio-economic placement of the Juliet analogue.

It's also just quite a lot of fun. Observe:

You'll be happy to note that this was (for Lenny) just the beginning.  Lenny really did go on to make it big, changing his name from Leonard "Lenny" Kosnowski to David St. Hubbins when he joined Spinal Tap.


Links: The Episode at IMDB.

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Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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