Monday, July 8, 2013

Broadway Musical Appreciation 101: Intro To Musical Theatre

Okay, clearly I'm bad at consistent blogging about random stuff.  I had intended to post an entry once or twice a month.  But my last post was over 6 months ago, so that obviously hasn't been working out.  I'm gonna try a new technique and narrow my subject matter down.  Way down.  I figure writing about one topic I truly care about would be a more effective incentive to keep this wilting ficus of a blog alive than randomly tossing the random fruits of my intellect to the interwebs wind.  Although I am aware that my blog is currently titled "Blog Like No One's Reading" and I shouldn't give a damn who reads (or doesn't read) it cuz I'm writing this stuff for me, it would honestly be nice to get at least few more readers.  Cuz I'm a good, funny, sharp-witted writer (well, I think I am, so you can go switch to some blog about puppies or something that redirected you from Pinterest if you don't think so!).

But I digress (I do that sometimes).  Anyway, I'm officially conducting a complete blog overhaul and dedicating it to the thing I've known and loved since I was a little fetus.  The subject I totally aced in college (101%, baby!).  The topic I possess more information than roughly 90% of the planet. And that topic is arguably the greatest thing on God's green earth: Musical Theatre!

I love Broadway. A lot.  You could say I have a borderline unhealthy obsession.  I have been listening to Original Cast Recordings and falling in love with Broadway since I was in the womb.  I saw my first Broadway show at 6 (The Secret Garden) and the theatre bug has been embedded under my skin ever since.  Nothing brings me more joy and adrenaline than seeing (or being on) a team of some of the most talented people on the planet coming together to take an empty stage and create a feast of light, sound, sight, and emotion.

So here's how this overhaul's gonna work.  Each entry is going to center on a show, a theme in a show, a song, a composer, a performer, etc. You get the idea.  You may think, "Why musical theatre? It's just like a play but with people breaking out into song. It makes no sense!"  Well, to the uneducated eye, that is what a musical theatre roughly is.  But that's what's so incredibly special about it!  It's said that in a musical, a character breaks into song when his/her emotion becomes too big for spoken words. That's why West Side Story, Carousel, and Follies have to be musicals; spoken words can't contain emotions that large.  I think that's a gorgeous sentiment.  In a movie or a play, the character can only express an emotion up until he/she literally explodes. In musicals, there's a whole other level of emotional intensity where the character is able to let the audience even further into his/her psyche by singing a song, ideally crafted for the situation the character is in.  In a straight play, you can only say, "Golly, June is here and I'm so happy." That's great, the audience gets the idea. But in a musical, the the cast is SO excited that it's June, they're beyond the point of mere happiness.  It has to be sung (and danced) to the rafters! Cuz it's bustin' out all over!

This blog is going to teach you why Oklahoma is one of the most monumental, groundbreaking musicals in history; how The Cradle Will Rock became the first show to raise its middle finger to "the man"; who Bernadette Peters, Joel Grey, Ethel Merman, Colm Wilkinson, Victoria Clark, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Marin Mazzie are; and why Stephen Sondheim is the Eric Clapton of musical theatre composition.  I want to share my love and appreciation for musical theatre with you and anyone else who will listen (does Seth Rudetsky read other people's blogs?).  So please join me on this journey of musical discovery!

So 'til next time, enjoy this recent snippet of B-way magic!

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