Book and lyrics by Denis McGrath, music by Scott White.

Yes, it has Maverick. And Iceman. And Goose. There are songs like "We've Got a Plane to Catch" and "You Can Ride My Tail." The F-14s have been replaced with dancers.

But this is not a musical adapation of the film Top Gun.

This is a musical about the making of a musical adapation of the film Top Gun-- a backstage musical parodying the Broadway trend of adapting motion pictures (e.g., The Lion King, Hairspray, Carrie, The Producers, Urban Cowboy, Sunset Boulevard) for the stage. Written in just four weeks, the script takes shots at such "artistic" shortcuts with references to musical versions of Gorillas in the Mist, Independence Day, Die hard and Apocalypse Now*

Mostly the plot centers around writer-director Billy Palmer, who needs a hit. He's cast a woman to play Goose, and is playing up the homoerotic subtext of the movie. But his lead actor is an idiot, his stage manager doesn't get along with the leading lady, and his producer, known only as "The General," seems more concerned with winning the hearts and minds of the world via American musical theatre than securing the stage rights to the the film. Both the characters' songs and the songs from the musical-within-a-musical are parodies and pastiches of familiar Broadway showtunes.

The show premiered at the Toronto International Fringe Festival in 2002, and it currently holds the title for the most successful Toronto Fringe production ever (the show often sold out two hours before curtain time, demonstrating, once again, the importance of choosing a good title for a Fringe production). The show then moved to Theatre LaB Houston in the United States in November 2002. After another run in Toronto in 2003, the show was nominated for two Dora awards (including Outstanding New Musical and Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Musical) and a Canadian Comedy Award for "Pretty Funny Comedic Play." In 2004, the show played in New York for five performances at the invitation of the New York Musical Theater Festival. (New York reactions were mixed, and included one critic who wrote: "Mayday! Mayday! Do you copy? Satiric musical going down. I repeat satiric musical going down. All systems fail! Abort mission! Eject! Eject!" (Hoffman))

*Some of the original production's barbs were aiming not just at Broadway's commercialism, but the choices of local theatrical producers in Toronto.

Sources:
Kamal Al-Solalylee. Review of Top Gun! The Musical. eye Weekly. 12 June 2003. <http://www.eye.net/eye/issue/issue_06.12.03/arts/onstage.html> (29 September 2004)
Steven Berketo. "Flying High on a Wing and a Prayer. TorontoStage.com. < http://www.torontostage.com/reviews/topGun.html> (September 29, 2004)
Warren Hoffman. "Top Gun! The Musical Review." Talkin' Broadway. October 3, 2004. <http://www.talkinbroadway.com/ob/10_03a_04.html> (July 2, 2008)
Joh Kaplan and Glenn Sumi. "Fringe Wrap-Up." Now Toronto. 18 July 2004. <http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2002-07-18/stage_theatrefeature.php> (29 September 2004)
Denis McGratch and Colin Viebrock. Interview. Top Gun! The Musical Web Site. <http://www.topgunthemusical.com/interview.php> (29 September 2004)
Gord McLaughlin. "Top Gun! The Writer" eye Weekly. 5 June 2003. < http://www.eye.net/eye/issue/issue_06.05.03/arts/topgun.html> (29 September 2004)

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