Sunday, July 20, 2008
[post about self referential musical]
Last night, Ana and Sarah took me to see [title of show] for my birthday. For those of you who don't know, [title of show] is a musical by two guys (Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen) who decided to write a musical about two guys writing a musical. The names, places and characters have not been changed. They are literally recording exactly what they said at the time and repeating it in the show (or at least I assume they are). "Wait, so everything I say from now on could actually be in our show?" "Yeah." "Like this?" "Like this." "And this?" "And this." It's all very meta.
This is the kind of musical that's written for people like me - giant musical theatre dorks. There's a reference to "Henry, Sweet Henry" in the first five minutes of the play. (I assume that most of you have no idea what that is, and so, I recommend that you watch this. But back to the point.)
I enjoyed the show, especially the first half. The second half veered off into a fairly typical "showbiz drama" plot line, which was a little predictable, but what can you do. The whole "will we compromise our ideals to get to Broadway?" thing was a little silly. I mean, they're already on Broadway. They left in all the swearing and nakedness and insider jokes. Obviously, it all was fine.
A lot of the show really resonated with me - especially the song "Nine People's Favorite Things." The lyric goes "I'd rather be nine people's favorite thing than a hundred people's ninth favorite thing." If only the rest of the song had touched me so much. But I couldn't help but see this show, just two ex-temps who dreamed of making a Broadway show, finally doing their Broadway show, and think, "maybe that will be me some day." And then I felt very naive.
I would really like it if someone who doesn't like musicals (or at least, doesn't have an insane fan's knowledge of it) would see this show and tell me what they think of it. I'm so curious to see if it really is a universal story or if I just think that it could be since I'm so close to it. That's your homework for the evening. Go see it and let me know.