Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho Babies the Musical, On Ice


Take any movie, cartoon, or play. Now have the players lip-synch to tinny orchestrated music. Then add ice skates.

If you're really looking for something new, turn most of the main adult characters into babies...

And voila!-- an evening of fun for the whole family.

That got me thinking about show ideas that simply didn't make the cut. Ones that were entirely too awful to even see their way to Ice Rink Glory.

And that's why I believe hidden somewhere in the bowels of a production company basement, covered with dust and cobwebs, you will find...

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho Babies, the Musical, On Ice.

Naturally, with something that absolutely dreadful... that inappropriate... that tasteless-- well, I figured I'd have to try writing it up for you folks. So, here we go!

The story centers on a young Norman Bates, as Mother runs the "Bates Hotel and Daycare Center," trying to pick up extra cash. (Also rich, widowed salesmen with small children.)

The show opens as Mrs. Bates skates in, clad in her black flowered dress and shawl. We're in her creepy Victorian parlor, watching the guests' children play. In "Love Cuts Like a Knife" she sings of the challenges of being a full-time single mother/part-time serial killer...

Young Jimmy goes missing
And sweet Suzie, too
Those traveling salesmen,
They haven't a clue
So handsome, so dashing
In perma-press suits
The thing that's between us
Are these little brutes
Here Suzie, there Jimmy
You stay in the cellar
While I rhyme and make time
With this swell salesman feller
And if he protests,
well, that's so like a man!
He'll be fond of the pond
And you, Sue, an orphan

The former-Olympic-skating-hopeful playing little Norman, meanwhile, is lamenting the mysterious absence of some of his daycare friends, in his solo number, "Sing to Me."

Twinkle, twinkle little star
Did little Suzie wander far?
And ABCDEFG
Why won't Jimmy play with me?

It happens like this every day
I make a friend, he goes away
And here is Norman all alone
A game to play, the kids all gone

So I'll be Jimmy
I'll be Sue
And I'll be Norman,
Also, too!

I'll never be alone again
I'll always, always have a friend
I'll sing to me
Oh, how I'll sing to me!

And donning the dress he finds in Little Suzie's left-behind luggage, Norman does a well-pointed triple-axle, a crossover and a camel spin.

Ah, but little Milton Arbogast, one of the visiting children (who will grow up to be a private investigator one day) is suspicious about what's happened to his dad, the vacuum cleaner salesman.

Slipping away, he steals Mrs. Bates' keys and unlocks the door to the mysterious fruit cellar she never allowed anyone to enter.

And there, in the half-light, he sees Suzie and Jimmy and 15 other children, tied up among the fruit crates, gagged and crying.

He frees them one by one and they form a skating conga line to sing about their trials and tribulations, kidnapped at the hand of crazy Mrs. Bates.

This forms the basis for the Caribbean-styled hit musical extravaganza, "It's the Pits."

No adult will believe us
No grownup to know what she did
They'd think we make-believed it
'Cause who would believe a kid?

But we're happy and we're free now
And we'll all run away
And get years of psychotherapy
But for now you'll hear us say,

Living in a fruit bin is the pits
Living in a fruit bin is the pits
I don't care for a pear
And apple is crapple
Living in a fruit bin is the pits

The show closes as the kids skate off to safety, picked up by a traveling band of singing nuns who, coincidentally, run an orphanage.

Mrs. Bates is left with Norman, and they conclude the production with a "Sing To Me" reprise in duet form.


Yep, I think I have clearly proven this script is one that should hide quietly among hundreds of other musical Capades, in the great warehouse of rightfully-quashed dreams...

Of course, I also don't think necessarily it's any more terrifying than seeing, say, "Dora the Explorer in Live Action"... But, hey, that's me.

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So any suggestions for other "on ice" shows that should never, ever make the cut? Or do you recall seeing a show you thought was almost too bad to believe? I'd love hearing about it!

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26 comments:

freetheunicorns said...

How about Hannah Montana on ice, and in the end, she falls and someone "accidentally" steps on her neck.

Jenn Thorson said...

FreetheUnicorns- I'm not sure, but you may be walking that fine line between reality and wishful thinking. :)

Da Old Man said...

Jaws on Ice might give a more light hearted look to one of the scariest movies of the 70's.
Musical number ends the show as the shark and captain sing a duet of "Hit me with your best shot."

Jenn Thorson said...

DaOldMan- Genius as always! Yes, indeed, nothing like a giant shark costume powered by two singing speed skaters! :)

Shawn said...

I just watched Psycho 4 last week, which is somewhat of a prequel to the rest of the Psycho saga (yes, there was a 2 and 3). So I can say with certainty that Psycho Babies, as written by you, would not be worse.

Jenn Thorson said...

Shawn- Oh, gosh, I saw those non-Hitchcock "Psycho" movies a long time ago. As I recall the second one wasn't too, TOO bad, but things deteriorated badly after that. Was Psycho 4 the one where someone got killed and stuffed into the guests' ice freezer and people were still trying to get ice?

Blehhh...

Shawn said...

You're right about part 2, it was actually decent. Part 3, which is the one you remember with the ice chest, is, how do you say, quite terrible. 4 is better than 3, but not by much.

Jenn Thorson said...

Shawn- Ah, Psycho 3-- okay. You either have a very good memory or have been watching a marathon. :)

There's one, I'll have to look up the name of it-- which is actually a comedy. (One intended to be a comedy, that is.) It might be called "The Bates Motel." I recall catching half of it and thinking it was actually kind of quirky and likable...

Norman was rehabilitated after Psycho One and was having problems getting back into society, even though he was really all better.

Carl said...

How about Nightmare of Elm Street on Ice? It would be awesome to see Freddy chasing little children on ice. Run, children, run.

Jenn Thorson said...

Carl- The dude playing Freddie might have an interesting time, too, trying to skate and balance with those razor-blade hands! (And I thought it was bad enough they'd tried to make "Edward Scissorhands" into a stage production!)

Ian said...

It's like The Producers: 'Springtime for Hitler and Germany..'

jay said...

May I just say that you have an incredibly warped and twisted sense of humour? LOL!

I am happy to say that I've never seen a single 'on ice' show. Not one. And I plan it to stay that way.

Jenn Thorson said...

Ian- Heh-- Ah, yes Hitler, whose middle name is Elizabeth and was a vonderful dancer. (At least according to dear Mr. Brooks.) I think I might have been affected by seeing Steve Coogan's "Hamlet 2" recently, as well. :)

Jay- Yes, I had a vague sort of awareness of that when the idea popped into my head this morning over coffee...

And then I decided I had to write it, anyway. :)

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Well done! And then three years later you can watch them on Dancing With The Stars.

ReformingGeek said...

I felt like I was really there! Great job!

Hum....Lost on Ice. Kate just stands there looking hot (and melts the ice) and starts a girl fight with Juliet. Jack and Sawyer wrestle wild pigs while seeing ghostly figures in the ice.


Oh yeah. That works.

Jenn Thorson said...

Meg- Absolutely- I bet skating would translate well to general dance. :)

ReformingGeek- Ah, I like it! I particularly like how you've integrated the ice itself into scenery with importance! :)

Barry said...

So Jenn's Dark Side shows in this post :P

I always figured a zombie movie like dawn of the dead could be done this way :)

Jenn Thorson said...

Barry- Heh- dark side but, y'know, with singing and choreography... No reason black humor can't be peppy! :)

Nothinglikeit said...

To get the geeks interested I think a Battlestar Gallactica on ice would be great. I hear the show's going off the air so I'm sure the actors could use the work...maybe they'd bring their props :-)

Robin

Jenn Thorson said...

NothingLikeIt- Oh, I think you might be right. Just a good amount of relationshippy stuff for singing duets, plus how cool would a battle cruiser look coming out onto the ice?

Shawn said...

So back to the Psycho discussion. Yeah, "Bates Motel" was a TV movie, I think. Possibly planned to be a pilot for a series. I remember watching it as a kid. However, your description sounds more like Psycho 2. "Bates Motel" didn't actually feature Norman.

Maggie May said...

what have you done to me!?

Jenn Thorson said...

Shawn- HM... I do know it wasn't Psycho 2. But maybe it wasn't Norman, I was thinking of, but a relative of Norman's who inherited things. I will have to go look on Netflix and see if I can jog my memory.

Maggie May- Heh, sorry... :)

Tina said...

I just read theres a new Jane Austen book but re-written with zombies!

Jenn Thorson said...

Tina- You know, I just saw that, too. Made me do a double take, for sure! :)

grasshopper said...

that Evian video goes to show how much more you can do with old school skates over roller blades