Dancin’ with the (“Scrubs”) stars

How much fun was that “Scrubs” musical?

The best since “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer” and probably a little more accessible to the “Scrubs” fans.

“The musical is all original music. It’s written — a lot of the songs are written by the gentleman that wrote in “Avenue Q,” big Broadway musical,” says Bill Lawrence, creator of “Scrubs,” when he talked to critics the day before the show aired last week. “The
writing staff, Debra Fordham, who wrote the show, and the writing staff wrote the lyrics.”

While Bill praises the singing talents of most of the actors, he took a little jab at Sarah Chalke’s pipes.

“You may ask Zach to sing today because he’s got a
good voice,” Bill says. “You may not ask Sarah to sing because I’m
very close to her.”

Sarah says her first indication that perhaps her love of music was greater than her talents was when she was 10 and singing Christmas Carols with her school choir at the mall.

“The teacher said, `Chalke girl, if you could just
mouth the words for this performance, that would be
great,’ ” Sarah says. “So I actually did mouth the words. I’m like (mouthing) `Here comes Santa Claus’ for an hour. It was so sad.”

Parts of the episode started popping up on the Internet well before the show aired last Thursday, which brought about a strange encounter for Zach Braff.

“You know you’ve made it when Perez Hilton almost talks to you,” Zach says. “His quote apparently — I didn’t read it. I just heard it. His quote was `This is so gay I love it.’ ”

Th episode took a week of rehearsal, six or seven days of shooting, and a full 50-piece orchestra recorded at Capitol Records. All of the actors had voice lessons and were in the studio with a guy who
spends most of his time teaching Broadway people how to
sing.

Zach says that he actually went to theater camp at Stagedoor Manor in Loch Sheldrake, New York.

“If you’re a kid and you couldn’t care less about Little League and you want to sing and dance, I highly recommend it,” Zach says. “As my father used to say slightly disappointed, I don’t
think you need to bring a mitt.”

Bill says the “Scrubs” writing staff is mostly kind of frat-boyish
former “jock-y” guys.

“One of the reasons that you feel safe in a comedy room is when the door closes, we could all admit the fact that we love musical theater,” Bill says. “Even though I spent most of my time in high school, you know, and someone would be like, “Did you see that
musical ‘Annie’?” And you would be like, “Lame.” And
then you would walk away, (Bill singing) “It’s a hard knock life.’ ”

Zach say that when he first met Bill, he was “pretty “jock-y” and “alpha-male-y” and the two bonded over Bill knowing the lyrics to “Les Miserables” in French.

Each one of the songs was an homage to a specific song to a specific musical that one of the writers loved, including of course the big Act I closer from “Les Miserables.”

“That sort of roughly happens in Act I of our show that everyone
has their own melody,” Zach says. “And at the end, they all sort of come together.”

Bill admits it’s still uncomfortable for him to talk about loving musicals.

“You’re out. You’re out of the musical closet,” Zach says.

Bill says the reason why they finally did the musical episode this season was because he was convinced this would be the last season of “Scrubs.”

“The neat thing is, yes, we did it because going in, I said this might be the last year. That will be our special one this year, but now, very oddly, you know, “Scrubs” is actually doing better
than it’s done in recent years,” Bill says of the sixth season surge. “And the decision seems to have kind of come back into our lap as to whether or not we are going to go forward. I think we’ll probably
do another big special one next year, and I would imagine
that next year will be the last year of the show.”

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