Call it music therapy: For its upcoming sixth season,
Scrubs is staging a full-blown musical episode. And get this: The powers-that-be have hired the brilliantly warped minds behind Broadway's
Avenue Q to help them do it. Series creator
Bill Lawrence got on the phone with me yesterday to preview the big event.
Ausiello: How'd this come about?
We always wanted to do a musical on the show, because you see how we use music and dance and stuff already. We're a bunch of musical-theater nerds, and we all loved not only Team America: World Police and South Park, but especially what those guys did with Avenue Q, which was kind of a traditional Broadway musical that was really funny and edgy. We can obviously help with lyrics, but we needed somebody not only to write, like, incredibly well-produced, musical-quality numbers, but also [to make them] funny. And if you saw Avenue Q, their songs will fit in with us.
Ausiello: How does the cast feel about this?
The only one who's mad is Sarah Chalke, because aside from Sarah and my wife, Christa, everybody on the show can sing and dance, and have all done musicals in the past and stuff. Zach Braff is obviously a theater nerd. The surprising ones are that John C. McGinley and Neil Flynn can carry a tune. They're both good at this stuff, too. And Ken Jenkins [I actually saw] on Broadway when I was a kid.
Ausiello: Let's go back to Sarah. Why is she mad?
We told her she's not allowed to sing, and she's annoying us every day and saying we could do something funny in which she could sing badly and that would be the joke. I'm like, "Sarah, we'll see." I don't think she's going to be opening her mouth much.
Ausiello: You're not going to let her sing?
We'll find a way for her to do it. I can't leave her on the sidelines; she's too much of a gamer.
Ausiello: What can you tell me about the plot?
We found an actual medical case of a woman who had an aneurism and [started] seeing everything as a musical. In her head, anytime someone spoke to her, they were singing.
Ausiello: What episode is it?
It's the sixth episode. We start [shooting] in a month or so. They'll be rehearsals and recordings. It'll be a big pain in the ass that nobody but my family will watch.