'Psych' fans get a two-hour musical special
After waiting years, the "Psychos" are victorious!
Die-hard fans of USA Network's "Psych" finally get to see "Psych: The Musical" on Sunday at 9 p.m.
For those who know Dule Hill only from "The West Wing," he's a smooth tap-dancer now starring on Broadway in "After Midnight." He, James Roday, Timothy Omundson (who has a particularly rich baritone) and the rest of the cast also prove they can sing in the two-hour special.
"After Season 5, we were at Comic-Con, and put it out there to fans: 'Do you want a musical?' And everyone screamed," Roday says.
Franks recalls he toyed with the idea of creating a musical episode since the beginning.
"We had started on the pilot, talking about doing a musical, and it was just a weird, off-in-the-distance idea," Franks says.
"We talked about it because after the last shot of the pilot, James and Dule had done a lot of singing and performed Michael Jackson's 'Man in the Mirror.'"
In the special, Shawn and Gus (Roday and Hill) track down crazed playwright Z (guest star Anthony Rapp, "Rent"). Z is accused of acting out every scorned playwright's fantasy -- OK, maybe only the most delusional, scorned playwrights -- of burning a theater to the ground with a critic inside.
Z was institutionalized in a hospital for the criminally insane, where he had, conveniently, confided in Mr. Yang (Ally Sheedy).
As usual, "Psych" does not take itself too seriously, and the musical does not require knowing the series' back stories.
"I designed everything I wrote in this episode, every character in a song or dialogue, every character is introduced as if this is the first time," Franks says. "If you never watched an episode of 'Psych,' this is the perfect one to get introduced."
The show stayed on its regular schedule while shooting the special, which features 14 original songs. Franks credits composer Adam Cohen for taking Franks' "acoustic guitar songs and turning them into these amazing orchestral pieces, and it into a huge, magical final piece."
The payoff for fans will be in watching actors they've long come to love revealing more talents.
"I was always in bands in high school and college, and I certainly enjoyed singing," Roday says. "I thought of myself as a dude who could sing in a pinch."