If you thought it was impossible to create catchy musical numbers out of outré art films, Late Late Show host James Corden is here to make you think again. The host, perhaps best known for his “Carpool Karaoke” segments, has always had a penchant for musical theatrics—after all, the One Man, Two Guvnors Best Actor winner hosted the Tonys in 2016 to much acclaim. He’s been creating “Inappropriate Musicals” segments on the Late Late Show for about as long, where he teams up with two other actors to adapt unlikely works for the stage. Personal favorites include Rachel Bloom and Nathan Lane in The Exorcist, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Alan Cumming in Stranger Things, and now Audra McDonald and Dan Stevens in A Quiet Place.
Monday night’s “Inappropriate” fare began with a jaunty “You Talkin’ to Me?” number from the hypothetical Taxi Driver musical, followed by a moving-yet-odd The Shape of Water love ballad. Through both, Dan Stevens and Audra McDonald give the silly roles their all—especially McDonald, as she belts out lines like, “I want your hands on me/ I mean your fish fingers” with characteristic gusto. The pièce de résistance, however, comes in the form of the final number, an A Quiet Place send-up in which James Corden is a boisterous performer who just can’t keep silent. Despite Audra and Dan’s whispered cautions that “It’s a quiet place/ It’s a really quiet place,” Corden can’t resist a good opportunity for a “Zow!” and jazz hands.
The film’s dour premise makes it perfect for musical lampooning, and the Late Late Show’s impromptu musical sets are impressive, as always. If you want to see some bizarrely hilarious showtunes, James Corden’s got you covered.