June 13, 2010 at 4:50 pm (Fun, Movie Commentary, Recreation) (, , , )

The Tony awards are on tonight. I am greatly anticipating them. For decades, the Tonys have been my life-line to Broadway. What is playing, who is acting and what new shows I can anticipate seeing, somewhere, at some point.

I’ve never been to Broadway. As ticket prices constantly rise, I’m not sure if I’ll ever see a musical on Broadway.

The first musical I remember wanting to see was West Side Story. I have no idea where I first heard of the show, but there I was a poor, shy thirteen year old requesting the soundtrack album from my local library – and being able to get it. These days my local library will only ILL (inter-library loan) books as all the other formats are considered too fragile. Three years later, before VHS, I stayed up till two am to catch the movie version on TV. I was spending the summer working in Banff, close to where my father lived, and for some reason had the house to myself. So, I stayed up, watched the movie and was half-dazed at work the next day; both from staying up and finally getting to see my first musical.

From there on it was on to a love affair with the likes of Bernadette Peters, Mandy Patinkin, Stephen Sondheim, James Lapine and the like. Thank the stars for PBS and their commitment to bringing culture to the masses. It was because of them that I got to see Into the Woods and the London (UK) version of Jesus Christ Superstar – which is darker than the 1970s American movie version. And let”s not forget Hugh Jackman in Oklahoma … gives me shivers.

I regret that I’ve never seen all of Patti LuPone‘s performance in Sweeney Todd. I regret that I’ll never be in the balcony to watch Madeline Kahn in anything or Joel Grey in Wicked. I hope, someday, to see Stockard Channing perform live.

You have to have goals. Currently, I’ve keeping an eye out for a production of Wicked in my neighbourhood (or even in my country); though nothing can compare to Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda and Idina Menzel as Elphaba.

I could go on forever extolling the likes of Rent, Le Miserables, JC Superstar, Hairspray and linking to them; but you can find them yourself, here, in the wonderful world of the Web. Be grateful, it was a lot harder to learn about Musicals when I was young. 🙂

I was fortunate. I babysat for the local United Church minister. The family had about ten to twenty musicals on LP and cassette. After the children were asleep, I could spend hours listening to and memorizing the lyrics of classic musicals, such as Goodbye Mr. Chips, Auntie Mame and Hello, Dolly.

I’m listening to various musicals right now. I have over twenty hours worth on my hard-drive. Everything from Avenue Q to Wicked. My favourite, a recent library find, is Romeo & Juliet, the Musical and just this last year, I also discovered Forbidden Broadway, thanks to AccuRadio.

I have to leave you now, I’m ordering Chinese food for supper and the Tonys start at six pm, local time so I have just over an hour to get ready.

Maybe someday, I’ll see you on Broadway.


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