Musical Theatre

Musical Theatre

“There’s a kid in the middle of nowhere who’s sitting there living for Tony performances. Singing and flipping along with the Pippins, and Wickeds, and Kinkys, Matildas, and Mormons’s. So we might reassure that kid, and do something to spur that kid, ‘cause I promise you, all of us up here tonight, we were that kid.”  Neil Patrick Harris

 Anyone who knows me, knows that I love theatre. My mother is to blame for this. Now I prefer plays but I used to love musicals. We weren’t in a position to buy tickets to Broadway shows when I was very young so we listened to the albums and watched them on TV.  I knew all the words to the songs before I ever saw the shows.

The first musical that I saw when I was twelve years old  was The Fantasticks. I sat in the the theatre for two hours entirely mesmerized by the story. it is the impossible unfolding before your eyes propelled by the energy of a live audience. You cannot help but appreciate all the work and love that goes into that one performance.

   My all time favorite musicals and only some of the ones that I can sing the cast albums of are Gypsy, Guys And Dolls, West Side Story, The Fantasticks, Fiddler On The Roof , King And I, Pajama Game, Singing In The Rain, Annie Get Your Gun, Funny Girl, Damn Yankees, Bye Bye Birdie, Man Of La Mancha,  Sweet Charity, Cabaret, A  Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, Hair,  Jacques Brel…, Godspell, PIPPIN, Chorus Line, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, EVITA, CATS, LES MIZ, Miss Saigon, Ragtime, Rent, Lion King,  Book Of Mormon and In The Heights. I have  favorites  that I don’t know all the words to ever song such as  Zoot Suit, Jelly’s Last Jam, Spring Awakenings, Contact, Noise Funk,  Come From Away, Putnam County Spelling Bee, Next To Normal,  Something’s Rotten, Fun Home, Hamilton and Evan Hansen.

I know I will never be Gwen Verdon or Lea Salonga or even one of the Schuyler Sisters. But there is nothing like a song you can sing full belt and in my case off-key in the shower and pretend to be one of the many great Broadway divas.

The very premise of  musical theatre defies all reality.  It attempts to imitate life (as theatre tends to do) and then suddenly, a character bursts out in song.and everyone on the street knows the words.  Secretly, I  have always clung to the hope that I will someday be able to break into song at the market, department store, a parent-teacher conference,  a restaurant or during a mammogram and everyone will know the words. (enjoy Lin Manuel Miranda)

Fly safe,

JAZ

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6 thoughts on “Musical Theatre

  1. Oh Jayne. Thank you for posting this. Your mother (my favorite aunt) had such a wonderful lasting influence on so many of us. When my mother (her sister) moved to the Catskills, Frances said “Your children are going to be culturally deprived.” But she made sure we weren’t. She took me to my first ballet, first play, first musical, first opera, first concert. Like you, we listened to cast albums and to this day, like you, I know the lyrics to so many if them. Look forward to a sing-along with you.

  2. You know, of course, i loved this post. My sister, my husband were both theatre STARS and like you i have loved live theatre since childhood. When I lived on Okinawa our elementary school performed “The King and I”. A 6th grade girl was Anna (I was a 5th grader and i helped paint scenery) and a NINTH GRADER played the King. We all had a crush on him and it is still my favorite musical. I have the soundtrack album (on vinyl) and remember all the words. I remember going to the Apollo when I was 14, and sitting in the nosebleed seats and seeing Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and Patti LaBelle and the Bluebells and being transported to another place – these weren’t records of songs I knew well – these were folks standing onstage in front of me singing live. It wasn’t a play, but it hooked me on sharing the theatre experience forever.

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