Any fan of HBO’s The Wire knows that the show sticks with you in ways you couldn’t imagine. Every day, you run into situations, meet people, observe interactions—work hierarchies, egos, personalities—that make you go, “This is just like The Wire.”
So, you can imagine that devotees of the drama are probably going to go crazy over the latest incarnation of the beloved show. Folks, it’s The Wire: The Musical with Michael Kenneth Williams.
Highlights from the Funny or Die video include: Michael K. Williams reprising his role as the incomparable Omar — but singing and doing jazz hands; Felicia “Snoop” Pearson looking “as you’ve never seen her before,” wearing a hot dress (!); and Larry Gilliard, Jr. (D’Angelo) schooling the young Pit boys in chess.
“Chess is a metaphor for drug deals/ Avon is the king and we’re the pawns,” D’Angelo sings to actors playing “Bodie” and “Wallace” (WALLACE!).
Sadly, Idris Elba—who plays Stringer Bell—is not in the mix, but comedian Faizon Love makes a hilarious (and surprisingly lithe) appearance as the drug syndicate’s scheming #2. (Note: There is currently a cat named Stringer Bell up for adoption, for anyone interested.) Also in the clip are Sonja Sohn (Kima) and the great Andre Royo (Bubbles).
The gang also gathers for a Chorus Line-esque group song: “There are complex problems / Inherent in the bureaucratic institutions of the state / But there’s no one to blame / It’s a vast array of personal interests that conflict in a way that undermines the overall system.”
We’re not sure The Wire would have resonated the same way if it’d been set to show tunes, but it sure is fun to see what it would have looked like.
Plus: Omar tap dancing. Enough said.