I was seven years old the first time I saw a Broadway musical. The entire Bassett clan made its way to Atlanta’s Fox Theatre to see the Secret Garden and that’s where the obsession began. I don’t think I ever felt so fancy in my life. It was one of those “lacy ankle socks and patent leather shoes” occasions, you know? I’d never seen a bigger or more ornately beautiful building in my little life. We found our seats and I settled in, giddy with anticipation. That excitement was only momentarily ebbed when a woman with a hat that would shame Carmen Miranda sat down right in front of me. I spent the rest of the night propped up on my knees peering over her shoulder, and discovered my love of musical theatre. The Secret Garden soundtrack didn’t leave our boombox for at least a year and Mandy Patinkin (Archibald Craven) and Daisy Eagan (Mary) became household names. For years I desperately wanted hazel eyes so I could be like Lily in the song…(it’s not the OBC, but you get the idea).
Since then, musicals have been a, ahem, significant part of my life (Do you know how many collective hours I've spent on YouTube watching Tony footage? Neither do I, but I bet it's a lot)…but it wasn’t until recently that I truly expanded my collection from the good ol’ standards (Secret Garden, Phantom of the Opera, My Fair Lady, Oklahoma, etc…) to something well, more expansive. Oh you want to know all of my musicals? You want to take a tour inside my musicals CD case? (Yeah I have one…Don’t judge). I’d be happy to share:
A Chorus Line*
In the Heights**
My Fair Lady
Next to Normal*
Phantom of the Opera
Rock of Ages
Thoroughly Modern Millie*
West Side Story
The Wild Party
*Listen to on regular basis
**Kick you in the crotch spit on your neck fantastic
(no star) Still frickin awesome
And those are just the ones in the book, people… And yeah they’re in alphabetical order. As is my DVD collection. Don’t judge. That’s my job here!
Last weekend I got the highlight of the year. Seriously, this was better than finishing grad school. Sister calls me bright and early Saturday morning saying that (Time out: she and her friend, EA have season tickets to Broadway Across America at the Fox. Time in.), EA can’t make it to their show Sunday, which just happens to be In the Heights. Oh m’gah. One of my recent faves. Needless to say, I shower, pack a bag and book it to Atlanta to not only catch the LSU game (hell yeah) but to see the best show I’ve ever seen! After they performed the first number Sunday night, I looked over to Sister and just mouthed “AWESOME.” (She could tell I said it in all caps…What?)
I’ve got to say, I was giddy after finally seeing Wicked last year since I’d been listening to the music for so long, but I swear, Heights made me ridiculously uber-giddy. Hands down, this was the best performance I’d ever seen. Wicked may have won if I’d seen the OBC, but things being the way they are, Heights totally wins. Ok great. Now I have a desire to sell coffee in the barrio. And rap about it. No pare, sigue sigue! Hasta luego!