Art in all forms is really enjoying being meta these days. For those of you who don’t know, “being meta” means that you refer to the making of the art in the art itself, such as a book that says something like “Dear reader” (like Les Miserables does), or when the fourth wall is broken.
Well, musical theatre has songs that refer to the making of musical theatre. There’s an entire show written about writing a musical – that’s right, [title of show].
But, new musical theatre also reflects on what it’s like to act and sing. Some songs that are “meta” this way:
- Bobby Chronin’s “Understudy”
- Goldrich and Heisler’s “Alto’s Lament”
- Kooman and Dimond’s show Howard Barnes
- Spamalot’s “Diva’s Lament”
Performing these songs is even more fun. When we’re in the midst of things, it’s nice to tell others what it’s like and how it goes on “behind the scenes”.
This week’s #NMTvotw sings a great song that makes fun of casting of the shows, in which one person in the whole cast is the only one of a different race. Here’s Ashley Arnold singing “Random Black Girl” by Kooman and Dimond.
What songs do you love that are meta?