Cue Janice's iconic "Oh... my... God" soundbite for days, because a Friends musical parody is due to hit the off-Broadway theatre scene in this fall, and we could not be any more excited.
From Bob and Tobly McSmith, the same duo that presented riffs on Saved by the Bell and the Kardashians, Friends! The Musical will focus on everything from the familiar storyline of the 10-season sensation to the behind-the-scenes goings on of the cast's personal lives. The show is expected to debut this fall with both familiar and new tunes, and, as producers told Entertainment Weekly, Phoebe Buffay's hit single "Smelly Cat" is going to get a wink, even if it doesn't get direct play time during the show (probably due to licensing issues, since this is categorically "unauthorized").
The original set list for the show provided to EW also seems to serve as a chapter guide for how the series will play out on the stage in a self-aware way:
- "The Only Coffee Shop in New York City"
- "45 Grove Street — How Can We Afford This Place?"
- "How You Doing, Ladies?" — Joey
- "Hey Ugly Naked Guy Who Lives Across the Street!"
- "We Were On a Break!"
- "I'm Gonna Hump U" — Marcel
- "Oh. My. God. It's Janice!" — Janice
- "Will They or Won't They" — Ross and Rachel
- "The Ballad of Fat Monica"
- "Could I BE Anymore.....in Love with Monica" — Chandler
- "The One Where We Make a Million Dollars An Episode"
- "We'll Always Be There For You"
And while their original song tracklist for the series does not include Buffay's video hit by name (nor The Rembrandts' earworm-y theme song), there's still reason to believe "Smelly Cat" and some of Buffay's other memorable numbers might get some love as well, even if not in lyrical form. "There will be a smelly cat, there will be Janice, and there will be Fat Monica," Tobly McSmith told the mag.
Here are some other tracks from the Phoebe Buffay ditty collection that really should make it into the musical as well, seeing as Phoebe was the only musically-inclined member of the Central Perk six (well, except for Ross and his "Sound," and his college band days with Way, No Way).
For starters, "Two of Them Kissed Last Night" seems like a must-have item for the "We Were On a Break" extravaganza, since the tune highlights the complicated trifecta of Neil, Betty, and Lulie at a time when Ross was double-timing Julie and Rachel (for the first of many moments when he'd be a, as Chandler might call him, "wang"). While they might not be able to play the actual tune, we wouldn't be too surprised to hear the trio referred to by their sing-song titles instead of their real names, as a bit of an homage to Buffay's melodic encapsulation of the situation.
And when Chandler's segment comes along to showcase him falling in love with Monica, well, Phoebe's lyrics to "First Time I Met Chandler" seem like a fitting tribute about the series' frequent allusions to the character's occasional sexual ambiguity. So, don't be too surprised if Phoebe's mellifluous moment of confusion makes an impact on that moment as well.
We can probably also count on Phoebe's dead mother's eyelashes, Joey's snowy Christmas, and that giant pigeon crapping on everyone's hearts to make a sound splash somewhere in there too. Another epic Easter egg that they could do to satisfy the most devoted of Friends fans is to finally produce some of Way, No Way's un-aired singles, like "Betrayal in the Common Room," "Emotional Knapsack," and "She Feels Weird Since I've Been Gone" (the latter of which would be a perfect fit for the Fat Monica flashbacks, no?).
Looks like we'll all have to ready our sticky shoes to hit the ground running for this show when it debuts this fall at the Triad Theater.