Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How About That?

I just realized I want to see 9 to 5. We're not talking a burning desire here, just a tiny little trifle. I think it would be fun. Not life changing or anything, but enjoyable. It's been a while since I actually spent a light, fun afternoon or evening at the theatre. The last two shows I saw were Next to Normal and Hair. There's no denying that they're both wonderful, and I enjoyed them immensely, but they're deep shows. It takes a lot of energy and emotional participation to sit through them. I think the last show I saw in which I was not totally emotionally invested was Guys and Dolls. I don't get the hate for that show. It was not perfect, of course, and it was not the best I've ever seen. But I enjoyed it. Kate Jennings Grant and Craig Bierko gave remarkable performances. I don't know. Maybe it was me. But back to 9 to 5. This isn't the kind of show I usually go for. It's got a score by Dolly Parton and stars a former Elphaba and Glinda. Not exactly up my alley. I'm actually pretty fond of Megan Hilty, though, and now that Alice Ripley won the Tony I have no reason to resent Allison Janney. Maybe I'll pay a visit to the Marquis this summer. I've actually never been inside the Marquis. Outside it, sure, but never in. But I hear the stories, stories of lost souls wandering helplessly around the hotel that some genius decided to put a theatre in.

I'm one of those people who cannot see a show without examining the theatre. If I remember correctly, I've been inside:

the Palace
the August Wilson, back when it was still the Virginia
the Neil Simon
the New Amsterdam
the Majestic
the Eugene O'Neill
the Richard Rodgers
the Music Box
the Booth
the St. James
the Nederlander

I'm sure there are more, but I seem to have misplaced the little book where I keep track of all the shows I've seen. Out of the ones I listed, though, my favorite is definitely the O'Neill, and NOT just because it housed Spring Awakening. Okay, it's partly because of that. But it really is a beautiful theatre. The seats are purple. Come on. I'm also pretty fond of the Richard Rodgers, and the delightfully orange August Wilson. On the negative side, I really don't like the Majestic. The St. James isn't that great, either.

Another thing. One of my greatest regrets in life is that I was not born early enough to be a Follies girl. I am absolutely fascinated by all things related to the Ziegfeld Follies. I think the one in the back right corner kinda looks like me. See? I could have made it in the Follies. This was the precursor to the American musical, and it's a genre in our entertainment history that I don't think gets enough love. There's a really great snapshot of one of the old dancers standing with her arms raised in the wreckage of the New Amsterdam, before Disney took it over. It inspired the Sondheim musical. I wish I could find it now, but I can't. Oh, well. Maybe some day.
Four days till August. My one regret is that I didn't discover it sooner. I like to refer to August: Osage County as the electroshock therapy of contemporary Broadway. It has the power to wipe out your memory of all else and turn you into a completely new person. "First the rush will resurrect you, then the shock will rock you right to your soul." I don't care what anybody says. The could have figured out a way to keep Feeling Electric.

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