Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I dreamed a dream.

I love a good musical.
Always have, always will.

West Side Story came on HBO the other night at 11:00 and I was screwed, knowing I had a long night of Jets, Sharks and Natalie Wood ahead of me.

I of course always strived to star in a musical, but knew deep down I didn't have the pipes for it.

I took voice lessons all though high school, in preparation of becoming the next Barbara Streisand. I once sang a very offensive rendition of “Can’t Help Lovin’ ‘dat Man ‘o Mine” from Showboat at a recital. It was not good.

As with most things (dancing, cheerleading, speech and debate) I was much better in my mind at singing than I was in real life.

The musical bug bit me when I was eight years old and my parents took me to see Annie on Broadway, starring none other than the future Carrie Bradshaw as Annie.

I was hooked from the get go.

I will never forget that truck driving on stage, seriously.

Phantom of the Opera.
Holy shit did I love The Phantom of the Opera. It was more than a musical to me,  Phantom was also very Phashionable. I had the sweatshirt with the glow-in-the-dark mask on it, the mug, the t-shirt, the pin, and the earrings shaped like the Phantom’s mask, which also glowed in the dark. Phantom got me super-obsessed with all things Andrew Lloyd Webber including Jesus Christ Superstar (yay!) and CATS (boo!). I loved the music from Phantom and if I am pms-ing I can still get a little teary listening to Michael Crawford sing “Music of the Night.” I have seen that chandelier do that painfully slow fall more times than I can count, but I still think back to being a senior in high school and seeing it on Broadway for the first time and how magical it was.

Les Misérables.
My dear, sweet Les Misérables - what eighteen-year-old-girl doesn’t love a musical about convicts, love and redemption in the early nineteenth century France? Oh Lord, again, I had the Les Mis sweatshirt and t-shirt but this one meant a little more to me than Phantom did. I waited outside in the rain and the cold after seeing it for the first time to get the actors autographs. I cried through half of it. I envisioned myself in every single female (and male) part in that show. I sang “Master of the House” around my house so much my dad threw his slipper at me one time to get me to stop. I pictured myself in that opening scene, doing that box step on the giant lazy-susan stage, I was obsessed. And I guess I still kinda am.

The other afternoon I was flipping around on TV and on public broadcasting there was a 25th Anniversary production of Les Mis on. It was pretty far into Act II and I called my six and three year old in to watch it with me. Because six and three year olds don’t want that Shrek the Musical crap, they want “Castle on a Cloud” and a little boy with a cockney accent singing “Little People”, right?

My older son immediately left the room - but my younger one seemed interested. He asked a lot of questions and wondered when the girl with the pretty voice (Cosette) was coming back on stage. But then he kind of began to lose interest too, asking, “Can we change this? Is Sponge Bob on?”

I made him watch the rest with me - listening to that music that still got to me - just like it did when I was eighteen. He was ready for me to change the channel.

I had made him misérables.

Tonight I’m going to root around for those Phantom glow-in-the-dark earrings; I swear I still have them. Maybe if I put those on I can interest them in Phantom.

Halloween is right around the corner and all, seems appropriate.

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