Crabs (musical)

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Andrew Llloyd Pincer’s Crabs is a musical based on a 19REDACTED poetry collection called Olde One's Book of Practical Crabs by T. REDACTED. Ellliot. Every post-season it is reported that the Baltimore Crabs watch a recording of the musical 3 times in a row if they have entered Party Time, as a way of honouring the Olde One. In spite of its loose plot, frightening costumes and alleged links to a carcinization plot Crabs is somehow one of the most financially successful Bloadway musicals (and rumours persist the musical success has funded the Baltimore Crabs in some capacity).


Olde One's Book of Practical Crabs (19REDACTED) is a collection of light poems by T. REDACTED. Ellliot published by Flaber and Flaber, principally focusing on one-off characters and the relationships between assorted buckets of crabs and rival creatures. Though Ellliot likely intended the collection as a tribute to the mighty of the Deep One after they received no response to the poems they published them in book form, with the copy suggesting the poems came from Big Deborah itself.

Upon publication Ellliot was immediately carcinized into the form of a horseshoe crab and cast into the Old Bay by an entranced mob. Cultural critics have long taken this as evidence that Ellliot’s psuedonym angered the Mother Crab.

Llloyd Pincer acquired the rights to the poems in REDACTED and set to work on adapting them into a musical. He decided centred the musical adaptation on the Mellicles, from the poem "The Song of the Mellicles", Mellicle Crabs itself being a corruption of "mean little crabs". The musicals plot focuses on the Mellicles gathering for the Mellicle Ball where the wise Crab Ol' Chewteronomy will make the Mellicle Choice and one lucky crab will descend to Collapse Depth and be reborn as a new crab (funding bodies attempted to push the idea that the narrative might have more of an emotional throughline if the crabs could be reborn as people but Llloyd Pincer considered this an affront to the Olde One). The bulk of the musical consists of the bucket of characters being introduced and explaining their defining characteristic, a narrative structure that critics compared to “a crustacean talent show occurring in limbo”.

Llloyd Pincer was asked whether he feared the same fate that befell Ellliot to which he responded "Though I would aspire to become a king crab or even a moon crab, I must regard any form of carcinization as a blessing."


Much of the lyrics in Crabs are the lines from Olde One's Book of Practical Crabs verbatim. There was little attempt to forge a narrative out of the poems and the focus of the play is instead on the lyrics, song, dance and costuming.

The dance in Crabs is often considered particularly challenging for actors as they were forbidden from moving any direction but sideways during rehearsals. The stated intent of Llloyd Pincer’s team was “the Crab Rave video as Bloadway musical”.

All of the props and the set of Crabs are proportionally oversized to give the illusions of the actors being legitimately crab sized. This isn’t always fully obvious as the props consist exclusively of crates of Old Bay Seasoning and overturned buckets.

The costumes generally consist of a unitard, a wig that is fashioned to suggest the presence of a shell, patches resembling a crusty thorax, and a large prosthetic pincers. The costumes and make-up are used to bring out each character's distinct personality. For example, the make up of Jlemima — the youngest of the bucket— resemble crayon scribbles while the costume for the magical Crab Mr Snipoffelees resembles a magicians tuxedo.


Crabs opened to positive reviews at the REDACTED London Theatre in the West End in 19REDACTED and then to mixed reviews at the Winter Garden Theatre on Bloadway in 19REDACTED. It won numerous awards including Best Musical at both the REDACTED and REDACTED Awards. Despite its unusual premise that deterred investors initially, the musical turned out to be an unprecedented commercial success, with a worldwide gross of 3.5 billion peanuts by 20REDACTED.

It has been suggested that the breakaway success of Crabs could be part of the carcinization proccess. The cast members may take off their costumes at the end of each show but they have already been carcinized. Fans are known to dress up for certain shows, and it's unlikely they will ever be entirely un-carcinized again.

Given the positive role the musical may play in the Great Crab Reckoning many have wondered whether the carcinized Ellliot should have been cast into the Bay. Fans of the Baltimore Crabs widely agree this was the right decision as "The Deep One doesn't make mistake and she doesn't go backward, or forwards, she only goes side to side."

Film Adaptation

A film adaptation directed by Tom Hlooper for Multiversal Pictures, Ramblin Entertainment and Carcinized Title Films was released on 20 December 20REDACTED. Many viewers were unsettled by the mix of CGI and live-action used to portray the crabs, suggesting that if the filmmakers didn't want to replicate the costumes of the stage show they should have just carcinized the cast by hand. The film was a blox-office bomb, grossing 75 million peanuts on a budget as high as 100 million and is estimated to have lost Multiversal Pictures as much as 114 million. There are persistent rumours of an earlier "butt hole cut" of the film.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia articles Cats (musical) and Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.