Saturday, May 9, 2009

Let's Hear it for the Ladies Who Lunch

I attended a sweet sixteen last night. Okay. I have to make a bit of social commentary here. (Don't hate me. I'm a people observer.) Sweet sixteens are all the same. At every single one, you are required to tell the birthday girl that she looks "absolutely beautiful." You have to drink ginger ale and pretend it's champagne. You sit through the candle lighting ceremony while the birthday girl gives the first candle to her parents and then thanks every single subsequent person "for always being there for me." Here's the thing, folks. Somehow I find it highly unlikely that EVERY SINGLE PERSON at the party will always be there for you.

But...I had fun last night. I really did. The Seven Dwarfs were there. I know that sounds like something you say after waking up from a drug-induced sleep, but it's the God's truth. Doc took an unusual liking to Lenora. I have pictures to prove it. Personally, I found that to be creepy as hell. He's a midget who lives with six other midgets and a fully grown woman. This is what you're showing your children, people. I have a confession to make. I danced. A lot. And I liked it. Previously, my attitude toward dancing could be summed up in a line from Company, "I don't consider bumping around making an ass of oneself to be dancing." Oh, Joanne. You and your cynicism and your wonderful songs are the highlight of the show. The very first time I've ever danced in my life was on stage at the Hirschfeld at the end of Hair. I don't know what possessed me. I'm starting to think there might be real drugs used in this production, and I was inhaling them. Or maybe it was the fact that Kacie Sheik and Anthony Hollock were spinning me around. Either way, I haven't so much fun in a long time. The hippies taught me how to dance. That may or may not be a good thing.

Trust me, people. Dancing with the Seven Dwarfs isn't as fun as you'd think it would be. It's basically just spinning and stomping amidst a bunch of eight-feet-tall midgets. I felt positively violated.

Lenora and I had a very serious conversation about what each show would perform at the Tonys. I said that I hoped Hair wouldn't do Aquarius or Let the Sunshine In, which caused her and berri (who is just desperate for me to mention her) to start harmonizing each song, singing to me and the bathroom mirrors. It was marvelous. For the record, I really hope Hair sings the title song, so the tribe can run out into the audience. I really want to see the hippies mess with Liza. Should be tons of fun. Yes, I know this most likely won't happen, and we'll be treated to yet another medley of Aquarius and Let the Sunshine In. But Spring Awakening did Totally F*cked. Anything can happen.

Also, I predict that:

Next to Normal will do Light
Shrek will do Who I'd Be, maybe a little bit of Morning Person and What's Up Duloc
Guys and Dolls will do Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat
West Side Story will do America or The Quintet
Rock of Ages will do a crowd-pleaser medley of 80's songs
Billy Elliot will do some bizarre mish-mash that shows off all three Billys

Hooray for Tony Night. I'll be wearing my excited face.

I'm starting to question Hair's chances of winning Best Revival. Let it never be said that I don't love the show, but I'm afraid it may get passed over in favor of the more crowd-friendly West Side Story. As we all know, the Tonys are all about getting butts in the seats. There was a reason Clay Aiken got cast in Spamalot, people. And let's face it. Given the option, tourists are gonna pick the shows they've actually heard of. I mean, really. Something tells me that Republicans from Nebraska will be turned off by a show that can be summarized in the lyrics, "Take trips. Get high. Laugh, joke, and good-bye. Beat drums and old tin pot. I am high on you-know-what." I think my biggest dream in life is to go see Hair and realize that Sarah Palin is sitting next to me. Seriously. I think it would be oodles of fun. But I'd probably have to explain to her why they're singing about Mary and Juana. It's great fun reading the scathing reviews that the prudish Conservatives post on One particular poster complained that nobody warned them when the nudity was coming. Wow. That's just adorable. I know the show breaks the fourth wall a lot, but what did you expect them to do? Pull a Big Edie and say, "Well, I'm gonna get naked in just a minute so you better watch out!"?

Anyway. Since tomorrow's Mother's Day, I thought I'd share some of my favorite Broadway moms. Disclaimer: Pregnant women, bipolar moms, and women who aborted their babies do SO count!

1. Diana - Next to Normal
The bipolar, hallucinating mother of Gabe and Natalie.
2. Barbara - August: Osage County
The mother of Jean, also the woman who gave us the immortal line, "You don't wanna break shit with me, muthaf*cka!"
3. Sally - Cabaret
The drug-addicted, hopelessly immature and irresponsible singer who aborts her baby after belting one of the greatest songs in Broadway history.
4. Jeanie- Hair
The pregnant drug addicted hippie.
5. Violet- August: Osage County
Yet another drug addict. I'm starting to see a pattern. The 'nasty-mean' mother of Barbara, Ivy, and Karen.
6. Wendla- Spring Awakening
The fourteen-year-old innocent who dies after her mother forces her into an abortion
7. Frau Bergmann - Spring Awakening
The woman who forced the aforementioned abortion, mother of Ina and Wendla.
8. Momma Rose - Gypsy
The pushy stage mother of Louise and June.
9. Big Edie- Grey Gardens
The selfish, fatalistic, dramatic mother of Edie, Phelan Jr, and Buddy.
10. Marmee- Little Women
The incredibly one-dimensional mother of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.
11. Stella - A Streetcar Named Desire
The abused wife of Stanley and sister of the spiraling Blanche.
12. Jenny - Company
The pot-smoking housewife who has to sing incredibly high notes at the beginning of "Getting Married Today."
13. Camila - In the Heights
The devoted, boring mother of Nina.
14. Mattie Fae - August: Osage County
The pushy, unforgiving mother of Little Charles, who knows more than she tells. Hell, I might as well just ruin it now: Charles and Ivy are brother and sister. There I said it. You're welcome.
15. Caroline- Caroline, or Change
She gets to sing "Lot's Wife." There are no other anecdotes necessary.
16. Mother - Ragtime
The inside-the-box mother of Edgar.
17. The Beggar Woman - Sweeney Todd
The loony, desperate mother of Johanna.
18. Margaret- The Light in the Piazza
The harried mother of Clara.
19. Mrs. Banks - Mary Poppins
Another one-sided character, the mother of Jane and Michael.
20. Claude's mom - Hair
She's only on the list because I wanted to have twenty, and because Megan Lawrence cracks me up.

Diana, as played by Alice Ripley

Violet, as played by Estelle Parsons

Rose, as played by Patti "Stop Taking Pictures" LuPone

Jeanie, as played by Kacie Sheik

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