04 June 2013

Calling Dick Tracy

“Calling Dick Tracy!” If you just started singing, chances are you have some vague memory of seeing Dick Tracy and the Diamond Double-Cross. If, however, your thoughts simply turned to the yellow-clad detective, then you’ve never had the joy of seeing this short lived stage production. While not a scene from the actual show, you can tell by the fact that they’re standing in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard, Dick Tracy has corralled Big Boy Caprice and two of his henchmen, Flattop and Mumbles, for no doubt some sort of dastardly deed.

Dick Tracy and the Diamond Double-Cross was the in park attraction that tied to the Touchstone movie that was released in June of 1990. In fact, Disney was so certain that they had a hit on their hands, the Diamond Double-Cross production actually began running two weeks before the movie had its general release to theaters! It was shown in the Theater of the Stars in the theater’s original location on Hollywood Boulevard near The Brown Derby, the theater would later move down towards the end of Sunset Boulevard. The production ran for less than a year, beginning in May of 1990 and ending in February of 1991, just after the initial VHS release of the Dick Tracy Film.

As the tale of Dick Tracy and the Diamond Double-Cross goes, the Balonian Diamond, a rock that’s as big as your head, is stolen while on display in a tamper-proof case. Big Boy had planned to steal the diamond for Breathless Mahoney, but after the heist no one is quite sure who has the diamond. Dick Tracy is on the case and, after a chase sequence that makes the most out of every part of the stage and scenery, he is able to pinpoint the real criminal masterminds and return the diamond to the Balonian royalty!

The 28 minute stage show made use of the same bold color palate and two dimensional set pieces that were utilized for the feature film. While “Calling Dick Tracy” was the main musical number, written by Tom Child and Don Harper, the Diamond Double-Cross made extensive use of the Dick Tracy soundtrack as well. “Back in Business,” “More,” and “Sooner or Later,” were all belted out at some point during the production.

Dick Tracy and the Diamond Double-Cross enjoyed the same mass appeal that its namesake movie garnered, which is to say it seemed to miss the mark with audiences somewhere. That being said, both have gone on to enjoy a cult status and seem to only become more beloved with each passing year. So, put on your wrist-watch communicators, it’s time to pay a visit to the Club Ritz!

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