I once thought I was dating a guy who was strangely prim yet chivalrous. We never kissed or held hands. He opened car doors for me and talked a lot about his mother. On our last meeting, he grilled salmon and sautéed vegetables for us and then invited me to his bedroom, where he opened his closet doors and showed me his prized collection of expensive Japanese denim. Much of it had elaborate flower embroidery. I got bored and my eyes wandered to his bookshelf where I saw, in a neat little row, all five seasons of Sex and the City, Magnolia, and Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project.
“Why,” I asked, pointing at Sex and the City.
He was in the middle of folding a five-hundred dollar pair of jeans but paused to raise an eyebrow at me.
“Why not? It’s a good show.”
On my way out, I saw a pink highlighter on his desk. Sally Hansen Cuticle Oil.
He shrugged again, “My cuticles get dry.”
I borrowed The Happiness Project from him (“It’s pretty inspiring,” he said). I never got a chance to return it.
When Tom and I first started dating he told me he liked going to shows. Concerts, sure. Comedy clubs, of course. But mostly, he loved musicals.
“Avenue Q is my favorite.”
At the time, I had never seen Avenue Q, but knew that it involved gay puppets. I remember eyeing Tom’s slim-fitted polo and tapered trousers, his long lashes and clean fingernails. I considered his gaggle of close female friends, a few with whom he once took a Broadway inspired dance class called Broadway Bodies (“Unleash your inner Superstar.”)
I recalled the numerous times in my past when my gaydar was off when it should have been on, but it’s now been two years and I’m happy to say, “I’m not a beard.”
Tom likes women and he likes musicals. I’m a woman and thanks to Tom, I also like musicals. I’ve seen more musicals in these past two years than the rest of my years combined, and two weeks ago, we added two more to our favorites: The King and I, Tom’s Christmas gift to me, and Hamilton, a musical Tom had been eyeing since its off Broadway days. Thankfully, he bought tickets back in August, because it is now completely sold out unless you have a gazillion dollars.
Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda read Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton and decided it would be a good idea to adapt it into a hip-hop inspired musical. It was a fantastic idea. For anyone who has a gazillion dollars: Go watch Hamilton. The King and I is a classic. Hamilton will become a classic. At least I hope so.
Anyway, below are some photos from our nights at the theater and, in case you were wondering, Tom’s favorite and least favorite musicals.
Tom’s Favorites aka Ones That Were “Pretty Good”:
1. Avenue Q (now off-Broadway)
2. Hamilton (good luck getting tickets)
3. Les Miserables
4. Here Lies Love (no longer playing)
5. Jeeves and Wooster (a play, not a musical, now touring the UK)
I’d like to add A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Something Rotten, both of which made me laugh until my face hurt.
Tom’s Least Favorites aka “Steaming Sacks of Shit”:
1. The Bodyguard, in London’s West End) and Kinky Boots (tie)
2. Violet (Short-lived, no longer playing, thank God).
I’d like to know, what are some of your favorite musicals? Happy Thursday 🙂
Also: Tom’s Thoughts on Anniversaries, Problem Solving and Classical Music.
6 thoughts on “Thom’s Thursday Thoughts on Musicals”
When I was very young my parents used to take me, sister, and brother, to see musical theater in downtown Cleveland. You know, the town that just ended a 52 year drought of not having any kind of national championship. This is kind of a big deal for me, because I’m 51. It’s been a long, long, wait. Even if you don’t like sports, you have to be happy for this town. But I digress. Having that exposure to broadway musicals, and then seeing some of these plays performed later in high school, even somewhat participating, I was once a salesman on a train in The Music Man; it was my breakout role. Around that same era, I thought Oklahoma was a classic. I’m guessing no theaters in New York even perform this anymore. Would be cool to see a revival. Another one with great music, fun, and magic is Pippin. Check out the soundtrack when you get a chance, you may even recognize some of the songs. Lastly, Brigadoon is a highly underrated show. It’s a great story and the music is moving.
My dad was a pretty good jazz and 40s & 50s style pianist so I had music playing in my house quite often. Now days I can’t even be in one place for any too long without having some kind of music playing. Pandora saved my life, although now I’m a Spotify subscriber. At the moment. listening to Rage against The Machine, Wake Up, but probably in a few songs it’ll be Sia, and now, an obscure group called Tentemoeller, you just never know.
Some people say they like all music except Country. I used to be one of those actually. Until one day I heard someone say, that if you say this, then you don’t like music. I thought about it a bit, and realized he’s right, there’s just music you like and some you don’t, but that music could come from anywhere.
This is beautiful! Thanks for sharing Brad!
I loved the way this post started. Hilarious.
Pretty Good: “Guys and Dolls”; “Show Boat”; “Chicago”
I’ve only seen “Chicago”! I would love to see “Guys and Dolls” and “Show Boat” if they ever returned to Broadway.
Also, agree re: “Wicked.” I really did not enjoy it despite it being super famous.