The entertainment world is buzzing this morning with the news that Karl Marx's Das Kapital will be adapted for the stage. Singing! Dancing! Workers controlling the means of production! Finally, a musical I can get behind.
Turning a 400 page work of political economy, charitably described as a "difficult" read, into a family-focused theatrical event can't be easy. But I have faith in the Chinese production team. As a nation, they have a flair for bringing political literature to life. Who can forget the charm of "The Little Red Book: How about Mao?" Or 1998's smash-hit Tony award winner, "Confucius Says...Dance!"? Not me, that's for sure.
I'm a bit curious how the whole thing will be structured. Will each of Das Kapital's three volumes get its own show? How will they cope with the dramatic challenges of Chapter 28: Bloody Legislation against the Expropriated since the End of the Fifteenth Century. The Forcing Down of Wages by Act of Parliament? And don't even get me started on casting. I wonder who will play Fetishization of Commodities. I hope it's Hugh Jackman. He was just delightful at the Oscars.
Oh, I'm sure critics will line up and take their shots. They'll argue no one in their right mind wants to sit through fifteen hours of largely obsolete socio-economic theory. Some will say that any play billed as "intellectually rigorous" couldn't possibly be a box office draw. And yes, there was a time when I would have agreed with all of these objections. But after witnessing the success of Adam Smith's triumphat one-man cabaret performance, Give Me An Invisible Hand, I'd say the era of the dramatized treatise is here. Book your tickets now!