‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Monday, April 9, 2007

Musicals

Last night my friend Randy asked me to help him write a musical. I am weirdly excited about doing it. I would be totally excited about doing it if it weren't for one small catch.

I hate musicals.

I don't know why I hate musicals. It can't be the way they inexplicably burst into song because I rather like opera - which is much worse since they sing the whole time. Or most of it.

I think it was childhood trauma - although I can't think what was so bad about my "going to musicals" experience, other than the musicals themselves.

My mother was in the local chorale, and so we went to see all the productions (whether or not she was in them). My sister and I sold lemonade at intermission. We were not allowed to keep the money.

The shows were in this small, cabiny theatre on the side of a hill. It was heated by a pot belly stove and had benches for seats. I am not making this up.

There was no parking at the (theatre is really too strong a word. "Venue" doesn't work either).... on site. You had to park across the street by the Episcopalian church and walk through one of those corrugated metal tubes that goes under the road. This was probably the best part of the whole night - if you happened to be 8 or so and liked barking like a dog in echoey places. When you came out of the tunnel you walked up these steep stairs made with railroad ties placed sporadically up the side of the hill. It was a long climb.

We always had to get there early to help set things up and it was invariably freezing. The band (also too strong a word) would set up - generally a piano, a snare drum and an oboe, or similar combination. We'd set up our lemonade and snack table and hover near the stove.

They did some of my all-time least favorite musicals there, specifically (in order of magnitude) Oklahoma!, Music Man, Carousel, South Pacific and Most Happy Fella. I did kind of like Guys and Dolls and sang "Take Back Your Mink" for days after.

Who would have guessed that this would all just be background research for my big writing break. My epitaph will refer to me as a writer of musicals and champion of the genre, I just know it.

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