So Long, Farewell
Well folks, this is my last post blogging for the NMT Green Room this fall, and it really has been a wonderful experience. I’ve loved getting to share my musical theatre thoughts and musings with all of you, who definitely appreciate it more than the non-theatre people in my life I usually harass (that’s totally on me, I woke up my roommate from a nap because I was so excited when I first noticed the trumpets in the background of the last chorus in “Another Hundred People” making the Bobby-baby-bobby-bubbie progression—but come on, that’s thrilling theatre!). For my last blog, I’m just going to leave off with some random final about this incredible art form, from one theatre lover to other theatre lovers. Keep wearing out your cast albums and saving ticket stubs, programs, and playbills.
1. Don’t let people tell you what shows you can and can’t like.
I’m aware that point will elicit at least one “duh,” but I think it’s easier said than done. We’re all on this site because we love new, original musicals, right? I mean, they’re just the best. The originality, the brilliance, the creativity involved. And we need to support them! But also…guys I saw Beautiful on Broadway and I loved it. For a while I felt guilty loving it: shouldn’t I be against jukebox musicals? Also, shouldn’t I be against musicals adapted from movies? But I really do love Hairspray too. Does that make me less of a proponent for original musicals?
Who cares. You love theatre, so love all of it. Don’t let people make you feel bad for what you like, especially if they act like you need to prove why you love what you love.
2. But feel free to argue with people if they don’t recommend a show because “you don’t leave the theater humming it” or “the characters really aren’t relatable.”
UGH! My two pet peeves. A) Are we paying for hearing a top 40 hit to get stuck in your head for a million years or paying for a story so complicated and rich it can only be told through music? The composer’s job isn’t to create music you can hum, it’s to create a musical story that makes sense for the characters and the time and place of the play. It’s to take you to another world. And I’m pretty sure if you pay attention during the show you can leave humming it. B) The point of a musical isn’t for you to relate to, necessarily! I think we as humans can get a little narcissistic at times looking for ourselves in who we see onstage, but a show doesn’t need to reflect you as a person to be great, it just needs to reflect humanity in general. How many of us are stage mothers in the 1920s who are so consumed by ambition we push our daughter into burlesque? Yet Gypsy has been performed like a bajillion times, so I rest my case. Fight those over-said comments.
3. In tough times, have a reminder of why you love theatre.
I think this takes shape differently depending on where you are in life. I know directors who make sure they see plays when they’re getting jaded from musicals; I know a producer who makes sure to watch at least one show a year where he knows there’s an audience of children so he can see the joy on their face. For me as a college student, I have moments where I get really exhausted when I spend all my time reading plays and librettos, seeing shows, working on shows, or working on my resume in order to actually get paid to work on a show one day. My trick is to listen to a cast album in the car. Just me and the wheel and someone belting while an orchestra takes me away, and I can sing as loud as I want and just think, “God I love this world.”
It’s totally okay to get tired or jaded. Just find your path back in every once in a while.