'James Bond: The Musical' takes fun, deep dive in 007 fandom
Speaker 1: (00:00)
Actor, Tom Stewart put his obsession with James Bond into a 2018 San Diego international fringe show called one man bond for the show. He channeled all six actors who have played bond and condensed all the films into an hour. K P S arts reporter. Beth Amando has been following the evolution of the show, which now returns as James Bond, the musical at the car Playhouse this weekend,
Speaker 2: (00:28)
Mr. Bond. Oh, I'm sorry, Tom.
Speaker 3: (00:31)
Tom Stewart. Yeah, I go by both.
Speaker 2: (00:34)
You have a show now that you have been working on for a number of years, I was privileged and delighted to see the one man bond show at fringe, but what has it turned into
Speaker 3: (00:45)
Now? The current iteration, uh, James Bond, the musical is a musical cabaret comedy adaptation of one man bond or the bond show as it later became known and we've kind of musical, um, show. We have musical interludes, rejected bond themes and soundtrack, deep cuts and some original bond pasti songs.
Speaker 2: (01:13)
Now the original one, man bond condensed all of the bond movies into one show. So can people expect this from this show?
Speaker 3: (01:20)
Oh yeah, absolutely. We do all 25 at this point, including no time to die. We're gonna put that on a sticker on the poster of it now includes no time to die. So yeah, so you're getting the, the same experience with live music and, and musically themed sketches and skits as well. So explain
Speaker 2: (01:37)
To people what inspired this and what you wanted this show to kind of encompass
Speaker 3: (01:43)
Music is so central to the, to the James Bond films. And yet whenever you see, you know, a celebration of bond music, you know, it's, it's, it's the same songs, it's the theme songs because, you know, naturally they're as iconic as the films themselves. And that's what everyone wants to hear. I, on the other hand am very interested in this kind of shadow a world of bond music, which is the bond themes that were submitted to the producers, but rejected or, um, the, the songs that were specifically recorded as background To never really be heard. So I wanted to bring all that to light because the show has always been a kind of alternative skew perspective on the bond film. So I wanted, uh, a musical soundtrack that it also addressed that.
Speaker 2: (02:30)
So talk about the kind of research you did for this, because not just in terms of the music, but also you find like memos from producers and like really interesting little tidbits to throw into
Speaker 3: (02:42)
This. It started with rejected bond thing and going online and through, through YouTube and, and websites where you can find videos and demos of all these amazing and not so amazing songs that were submitted to the producer of the bond films, but for one reason or another, uh, never taken up, taken up. So yeah, it's a fascinating little niche culture that we've appeared to, uh, have tread into .
Speaker 2: (03:11)
And one of these is a rejected golden eye
Speaker 3: (03:14)
That's right? Yeah. By ASA bass, you
Speaker 4: (03:20)
Is the same war is replaced by different dancers using different
Speaker 3: (03:28)
News. It's an incredible piece of music making a very eighties sounding song to a very distinctly nineties movie. So it's not hard to see why the producers might have gone with, with, uh, with another artist.
Speaker 2: (03:41)
And you also do a little bit of a musical number to kind of sum up your feelings about specter well,
Speaker 3: (03:48)
not specifically my feelings about specter, uh, but yeah, it's in, in, in every version of this show, I do something different with specter every time based kind of show I'm doing. So because it's a musical, I wanted to have a, a kind of musical version of the film specter, and that's what we've done here. Specifically, a William Shatner spoken word version of the movie, uh, inspired by the Hollys. He ain't heavy. It's my brother, he's my brother , but
Speaker 5: (04:22)
Without bond enough to carry the film.
Speaker 2: (04:27)
And what inspired you to tackle bond is bond a character that you've always been obsessed with or life?
Speaker 3: (04:33)
Yes. Uh, to both I'm watching bond films, since I was a child, it's kind of ingrained in growing up as a, as a kind of British person, at least in my generation that, you know, these movies would be on, on TV all the time. They were big events when they were on. And, you know, over the years it sort of becomes like a lexicon that you carry with you through life. So when it came time to sort of devise a solo show for myself, like a, like a showcase, this was for me, at least the obvious choice, because I was so invested in it as, as an idea. And, and, you know, because I, I am a British person living in a foreign country thematically as well. It seemed to, uh, the idea of bonds seemed to jive, this kind of world traveler, who is also incredibly for better and worse, uh, representative Britain and its place in the world. And
Speaker 2: (05:23)
What do you think it is about bond, the films and the character that have captured everybody's imagination for decades?
Speaker 3: (05:32)
Uh, it's a really good question. I, I wish , I wish I had a good answer for it. See, he seems the, kind of the least, the least likely candidate to, to last so long, because he was already dated by the time the sixties came around that that type of, that type of hero, that type of personality and, and the ideas that he represented were already very dated. I think, you know, part of it is, is, you know, people's natural gravitation towards, towards nostalgia. You know, he's a naturally backwards looking character and, and I think that jives, but the, but the, the, uh, the film series has always been incredible at keeping up to date. They've always contemporized the, the setting. They've never kept it a period at piece. And, you know, we, you can, you can change the actor periodically, which is a, you know, a great formula for, uh, longevity in, in a media franchise. Uh, you're not tied to one, uh, specific actor and, you know, and they let the person playing it, do it for about 20 years or so, so, or what feels like 20 years. So, so it, it works with, you know, with the way that the industry works as well. And
Speaker 2: (06:41)
Talk about the journey that your bond show has had because it started at fringe. Yeah. And this was a 60 minute piece that was in a tiny little theater, and now you're here at the Corona Playhouse.
Speaker 3: (06:52)
It started as a show that was as, as basic as could be that, you know, I could literally take a anywhere and do, you know, theoretically I could set up on a street corner and, and, uh, perform it before being arrested. So because of that, it's always been extremely flexible and adaptable to, you know, to take, to theaters and say, uh, I, you know, I have, I have this show and we can make it as big as you want, or as small as you on. And that's kind of very attractive to, to theaters because you know, that you can work with what they have. And the joy of this show is always kind of reinventing it each time based on the place that you're performing, performing with and what kind of a show you want to do. And so, you know, when, when the possibility of working with Cando Playhouse came up, uh, I immediately thought that I needed to turn it into a musical. So it's very much about, um, it it's, it's a piece that travels well, like, like bond himself.
Speaker 2: (07:52)
All right. Well, I wanna thank you very much for talking about the James Bond musical. You're very welcome.
Speaker 1: (07:59)
That was Beth Amando speaking with actor and brighter, Tom Stewart, his James Bond, the musical runs this Friday through Sunday at the car Playhouse.
Speaker 5: (08:39)
The, the, the, the, I.
Actor Tom Steward turns his SD Fringe one-man show into a musical for Coronado Playhouse this weekend
In 2018, actor Tom Steward condensed all 24 Bond movies into a one-hour, one-man San Diego International Fringe show. Now he has revamped the show to create "James Bond: The Musical" for Coronado Playhouse.
Sometimes actors have to be creative in order to showcase their talents. Back in 2018, Tom Steward was looking for something to do and decided to tap into his obsession with and knowledge of Ian Fleming's James Bond for a San Diego International Fringe show.
"It started as a show that was as basic as could be that I could literally take anywhere and do," Steward recalled. "Theoretically, I could set up on a street corner and perform it before being arrested. So because of that, it's always been extremely flexible and adaptable to take to theaters and say, 'I have this show and we can make it as big as you want or as small as you want.' And that's kind of very attractive to theaters. Because you can work with what they have. And the joy of this show is it is always kind of reinventing it each time based on the place that you're performing. And so when the possibility of working with Coronado Playhouse came up, I immediately thought that I needed to turn it into a musical."
That made sense since Bond is closely tied to music with each film showcasing an artist and song. But Steward did not want to go for the obvious.
"Whenever you see a celebration of Bond music, it's the theme songs because naturally, they're as iconic as the films themselves, and that's what everyone wants to hear," Steward said. "I, on the other hand, am very interested in this kind of shadow world of Bond music, which are the Bond themes that were submitted to the producers but rejected or the songs that were specifically recorded as background to never really be heard. So I wanted to bring all that to light because the show has always been a kind of alternative, skewed perspective on the Bond films. So I wanted a musical soundtrack, and it also addressed that."
There are also comic flights of fancy as with a musical summary of "Spectre."
"I do something different with 'Spectre' every time based on the kind of show I'm doing," Steward explained. "So because it's a musical, I wanted to have a kind of musical version of the film 'Spectre' and that's what we've done here, specifically, a William Shatner spoken word version of the movie, inspired by the Hollies' 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother.'"
Steward has done intense research to find not only obscure musical tidbits but also fascinating behind the scenes trivia about the Bond movies. So whether you are a casual consumer of 007 or a diehard fan, the show will entertain you with facts, humorous insights, and one fan's obsessive examination of decades of Bond films.
The show requires Steward to impersonate all six Bond actors from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, and this new show also includes the latest Bond movie, "No Time to Die."
"James Bond: The Musical" runs Friday through Sunday at Coronado Playhouse. And technically, you could call it a Christmas show since "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" does take place during Christmas.
As a long-time Bond fan I put my nerdy seal of approval on this hilarious and surprisingly informative summation of all things 007.
Here's a video clip of Steward's fringe Show.