Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Broad-Way

My earliest memories of exposure to Broadway is dancing around the living room to the Cats soundtrack.  I would sing along and dance around the couch and coffee table in my pajamas- I don't really dance anymore but if Broadway is on I'm most likely singing to it.  The On Broadway station on Sirius XM is either the greatest thing or the worst thing ever invented.  I love it because I get to listen to Broadway whenever I'm in my car!  I hate it because it makes me miss it, I miss singing and dancing...

I guess it never really leaves you- I've always loved Broadway music because of the passion behind the music- it's all about the subtext regular music doesn't have it...or at least not to me.  Cats was probably the first show I saw in a theatre, followed by Chorusline, Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar.  JCS is still one of my favorite musicals ever but the other three I'll see if I can  but I don't really actively search them out.  I'd drive to Houston if there was a production of JCS that I really wanted to see.  Growing up my grandma used to buy season tickets to the Majestic and I always got to pick what shows I wanted to see.  I saw dozens of shows with her and thats what really sparked my love for the theatre.  I remember going to church with Mimi so we could go right afterwards to the Sunday matinee shows, I'd get all dressed up and sit at the edge of my seat for every note.

The first musical I was ever in was The Sound of Music and it will forever be on that list of faves because it's just so beautiful.  Is there a prettier countryside waltz than Edelweiss?  I remember on opening night my dad brought me the collectors edition VHS, apparently its one of his favorite musicals too.  In high school I was usually just ensemble which is totally fine with me because to me it was so less stressful and so much fun.  The musicals we did at NESA though were more of the popular shows or shows with lots of dancing, things people wanted to see to feel good, not really the serious shows that I now am obsessed with.  In school my friend Katie used to burn me CDs of shows she really loved and eventually I came to love them too.  She introduced me to Jason Robert Brown which lead me to the plethora of musicals that are just truly heartbreaking.

The classics fall into another category, they usually end happily but have their moments where they are tear jerkers- Funny Girl is probably my favorite movie musical and the song Funny Girls always makes me cry then My Man makes me bawl.  If I could find The Sound of Music on DVD I would buy it, but it is evading my grasp.  Meet Me In St. Louis is wonderful, makes me cry but ends on a happy note. I love Cabaret, my mom bought it for me on VHS when I was sick in high school and I could watch it over and over.

Just about two years ago I took Hail to see Wicked for her Optometry School Graduation gift.  I just sat there in the audience with her and Jenn just crying the whole time.  Pretty much from start to finish I cried, the words just get to me.  My fave song...

There are just some songs from shows that just get me every time, I can just hear the start of it and I'll start getting misty.  I love the happy cheery musicals that are just for fun like Mama Mia and Hairspray- too much fun and I love them and am in the mood for them sometimes.  But give me a musical that pulls at my heartstrings and I'll listen to it a hundred time over and over just to feel that pain.  Does that make me a musical masochist?  Next to Normal, The Last Five Years, Songs for a New World just break my heart- 

For Good- Wicked
No One is Alone- Into the Woods
I'm Still Hurting- Last Five Years
Song of Forgetting- Next to Normal
Breathe- In the Heights
Funny Girl- Funny Girl
Kiss Today Goodbye- Chorusline
21 Guns- American Idiot
I'll Cover You (reprise)- Rent
The Winner Takes it All- Mama Mia
Something Good- Sound of Music

I find myself so often wondering if everyone else hears what I hear.  Why am I always the only one driving down the highway listening to Wicked and crying their eyes out?  Why doesn't everyone else leaving the theatre have mascara streaks down their cheeks?  Maybe they're just smarter than me and wear waterproof mascara.  I wonder who I'd be if I wasn't raised surrounded by music.