John Hughes: For the Record
By Jerry Portwood
If you're like me, you grew up idolizing Ferris Bueller, worshipping at the feet of Molly Ringwald, and wishing you could have your very own Breakfast Club. Well a clever group of creatives out in L.A. have found a way to tap into that nostalgia captured by director John Hughes in his iconic high school films that shaped generations of us and continue to hold sway over the imaginations of millions.
Titled John Hughes: For the Record, the show is a mashup of the best musical moments from the films, with actors tackling the jock, nerd, pretty girl archetypes. It was originally conceived and created by Shane Scheel and Christopher Lloyd Bratten, the “For the Record” series -- which brings a director's soundtracks to life "in a stunning 360-degree live theatrical concert experience," with actors mingling with the crowd, jumping on tables.
During its original run, the John Hughes program was a crowd favorite. So now it's time for a return, with a script "re-invention" by co-writers Barrett Foa (NCIS: Los Angeles, Avenue Q) and Chad Hodge (The Playboy Club). We caught up with Hodge to ask him about his involvement in the project, which hits pretty close to home.
"When I was 6 or 7 years old, they were filming these films near my home. I grew up in John Hughes-land, in Highland Park, Illinois," Hodge explains. "I remember Anthony Michael Hall, he was on an apple box, trying to look taller. And a block from that, that's where the car crashes through the glass in Ferris Bueller. And I was, like, 6 years old!"
What does Hodge think about Ringwald's comments that Duckie from Pretty in Pink was in fact a closeted gay kid? Will that show up in some way in the script for the characters?
"Are there any characters that were closeted like that? It’s funny, as a writer, you’re allowed to make up everything about your character," Hodge explains. "I would feel weird, saying that some character was gay if it's not in the original material. It’s hilarious, laugh-out-loud funny—to poke fun of it in some ways. But this is a giant love letter to Hughes's films."
So if you're looking to relive those days when Sixteen Candles was all you wanted to do on a Friday night, this is probably the musical event for you. "These films still hold up," Hodge says. "It is so perfect."