The Danger Of Loving Musicals

Are you a musical nut? I’m afraid I’m one. I’m in love with musicals in the worst way. It’s really pretty bad. You can’t say certain words in my presence without me segueing the conversation into a popular show tune. If you end your sentence with “Papa”, I would start singing “Papa, papa! I do not understand. Are you alright? Why did you go away?” (Les Miserables) or “Papa, can you hear me?” (Yentl) It really depends on where you put the accent. I remember lying on my back in stretching class when the instructor made the mistake of saying “Slowly.” I couldn’t help myself, I followed it with “… Gently, night unfurls its splendor.” (Phantom of the Opera) Were you there? Yeah, I was that weirdo.

Let’s blame my mother yet again. She got my sister and myself started early. I couldn’t have been older than five when she tried to ward off a tantrum from me because the video (Betamax) rental shop was all out of their copies of The Sound of Music. She showed me the video tape of Grease and promised me that it was also good.

My early years were filled with repeated viewings of Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Annie, The Wizard of Oz, The Music Man, Hello Dolly, Singing in the Rain, etc. The fascination got more serious as I got older. Trust me, I would have aimed for theater stardom if it hadn’t been made clear to me early on that I had no talent whatsoever in performing. As such, I had to relegate myself to forever avid fan status.

When I entered my teens, I started a rabid obsession with Les Miserables. I got into the musical before I even read the book. I loved Les Miz so much that I used to claim that it was also my favorite novel. It wasn’t, but it doesn’t really matter. I was pretentious and affected about a lot of things at that age anyway.

I also liked other musicals, but Les Miz was the ultimate for me. I have opinions on every area of the show. I used to actively shoot off my mouth (or typing fingers) in Les Miz chatrooms and quip about everything from the wigs used in the show to casting. Why does Marius have to sport a mullet? Why does Fantene have cornrows? We used to be snide and say that they should have brought in some slimming machines to make Marius and Eponine look more authentic. They were supposed to be starving, right?

If you want to send me into an apoplectic rage, start talking to me about the 25th anniversary concert where they had the (my gaaaaahd, my blood pressure is rising just thinking about it) audacity to cast one of those Jonas kids as Marius. I mean, really? What the heck?

Like I said, I’m the worst kind of fan. I’m obsessed and pugnacious. Bad combo right there. I’m not sure that a straitjacket is not in order.

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