The Washington Post

The musical version of ‘The Wire’ is greatest thing you will see today

Bunk and Omar . . . are putting on a show! (Paul Schiraldi/HBO)

HBO’s “The Wire” is one of the finest television dramas of all time and a deeply intricate, unflinching look at the complexities of drug dealing on Baltimore’s city streets.

It’s also a simply delightful musical!

Yes, “The Wire: The Musical” is launching off-Broadway this summer. At least it is according to this Funny or Die preview of this wonderful production, which boasts several original cast members — including Michael K. Williams, Sonya Sohn, Andre Royo, Larry Gilliard Jr. and Felicia Pearson — reprising their roles.

More specifically, it includes Omar Little (Williams) engaging in spirited choreography to “The Farmer in the Dell,” prepaid cellphones and syringes that get their own solos, and D’Angelo Barksdale (Gilliard) sing-explaining how chess is a metaphor for drug deals. (He has a very pleasant voice, by the way, which makes it that much sadder that — spoiler alert — he got killed in prison.)

My only complaints are that: (a) the video neglects to show us the inevitable drunken Bunk power ballad that will serve as the show’s climax; and (b) that the mere existence of this satirical piece of work may convince someone that a serious “Wire” musical should be made. I actually fear this.

But let’s not worry about that right now. Just watch the clip and pretty soon, you too will be singing “Come on, Bubs. Stop doing drugs!”

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.


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