The best thing about having your own blog (which is not sponsored by fancy companies, or paid for by ad networks) is that you get to do what YOU want with it. And I told you the other day, what I want is not to tell you so much about what we’re eating (which is largely because you’ve seen it here in the past6.5 years. 6.5 years!). And what I do want is to make random lists for you, because I sat around during a lot of snowy weather, and gathered a lot of information that I’d like to compartmentalize for you. So welcome to Monday of Random List Week, dear readers. You’re in for a treat, obviously.
We’re starting with a bang. I don’t know if you know this, dear readers. I am a huge musical theater nerd. Like, the nerdiest.
It all started when my family saw Damn Yankees when I was about 8. I was hooked, and fell instantly in love with Broadway. My city-dwelling aunt was kind and generous enough to fuel my love by taking me to a couple of shows each year, and as I got old enough to take the train on my own, I’ve found other ways to get to Broadway as well (looking at you, Queen Cupcake). Favorite moments include seeing Bernadette Peters in Annie Get Your Gun, bawling my eyes out next to an Irish lady during the final scene of Once, watching Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes actually love each other during Promises, Promises, running up on stage with Jessie, the woman sitting in front of me, to sing at the end of Hair, and almost peeing my pants from laughing so hard during Avenue Q. (Seriously, if you’re not easily offended, this is the show for you. Skip Book of Mormon, and go straight to this one.)
On one of my snow day mornings last week, I spent way too much time watching YouTube videos of some of my favorite Broadway performances. Have you seen any, dear readers?
This is Andrew Rannells, who I swear, Wooden Nickels thinks she discovered when he was in Jersey Boys (are you looking up your photo together, so you can remind us that you’re best friends, WN?). He is obviously immensely talented, but this performance is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s on another level. And there’s a moment in the song, right around the 2 minute mark, where he knows it, too.
The most recent show I’ve seen is Beautiful, which is about the life of Carole King, and I just can’t even. I love pretty much everything she’s ever sung, and this one is just a feel good show. Jessie Mueller originated If you’ve seen shows over school winter/spring break times then you know the cast comes out after the final curtain to raise money for Broadway Cares, Equity Fights AIDS. Only at this particular performance, Carole herself came on stage and surprised the cast. When she and Jessie hug, I sob. And when she asks Jessie to sing with her, I melt into a puddle of Broadway-loving emotion and can’t handle life for at least the next ten minutes.
I mean, while we’re crying, we might as well get it all out of our systems, no?* Here’s the thing with Wicked. I don’t love it. I don’t even really like it. Eek. I’m sorry. Maybe it’s that The Wizard of Oz is pretty much my favorite movie, and maybe it’s that I couldn’t get through the book, or maybe I’m just odd, but I don’t like it. And I really don’t like this song. But I will not deny that Kristin and Idina can belt it like no other. What I love about this (is not the quality, because it’s clearly someone’s illegal recording from up in the balcony) is that while K&I were rumored to have a bit of a rivalry thing going on during their tenure at the show, it’s clear there’s some love and respect on this, Kristin’s last show. I cry when they do, because I cry at everything.
For the love of what’s good, we need some relief. So. The Circle of Life, from The Lion King, being sung on the subway. Much like Cameron, from Modern Family, my life goal is to be somewhere a flash mob magically appears. While not technically a flash mob, this is SO MUCH BETTER THAN THAT! First of all, this Rafiki girl can sing like it’s no one’s business. And second of all, those passengers should have known they were in for something amazing. I have been on the New York Subway a zillion times and the crowd, on the whole, is never, ever that attractive. My fave in this one are the little girls who sit on the side of the car.
This song. Forever and always. I love that it’s different enough from the movie version, but still has that crazy, intensely emotional, while still completely simple and beautiful feel, you know?
*ps, one time, I drafted a blog post in which I listed out a bunch of YouTube videos that make me cry uncontrollably. And then I realized I am crazy, and no one else needs to know about my neuroses.