This is Rent. Rent sucks. That's all I have to say about that.
This is Spring Awakening. Spring Awakening does not suck. Contrary to what most of you probably believe, Wicked is not the be all and end all of musical theatre. (I cannot tell you how gay I feel for saying that.) It isn't. Trust me. Go see Gypsy or something. I promise it won't suck. But I digress. Before Juno, before The Secret Life of the American Teenager, there was Spring's Awakening, a banned play by some German guy I can guarantee you've never heard of. It was written in 1891 and banned for a hundred years. Fast forward to 2006: subtract the 's, add a "ravishing pop-rock score" and throw in some nudity to shock the tourists. You've got what is currently known as Spring Awakening, and, as far as rock musicals about teenagers in oppressive German societies, this one takes the cake. Eight Tonys (that's good, for the theatre-ignorant among us), 600 performances, and four visits from me later, it's still running. Check it out if you get the chance.
On to my second favorite musical! SIDE SHOW! SIDE SHOW (yes, I always write it all big and obnoxious like that) was the third biggest flop in history. No, I do not know what flops one and two are. SIDE SHOW chronicles the story of Daisy and Violet Hilton, Siamese twins who went into vaudeville during the twenties and thirties. It features such classics as "Come Look at the Freaks" and "Say Good-bye to the Freak Show." Oh, and who could forget that great, soulful ballad "I Will Never Leave You", sung by the twins as they, at twenty-four years old, finally accept the incredibly obvious. Those of you who aren't picking up on the sarcasm here need not read any further. I do honestly love SIDE SHOW, though. Daisy and Violet really did exist. They were the original Hilton freaks. They are my heroes, after God and Cloris Leachman. Don't mock me. You're all just jealous cause none of you thought to have a pair of Siamese twins as your heroes. So there.
As a final thought, I leave you with this. I've had this song stuck in my head for weeks. The girl singing it is named Krysta Rodriguez and apparently she is a friend of a friend of a cousin I hardly know. I met her once. She tried to sell me bread pudding. I am NOT making this up here, kids. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WQIM6sTbt0 Just listen to the lyrics. "I'm gonna do what I want to/and I wanna dye my hair blue." True genius here, people.