Friday, April 10, 2015

Why I Like Showtunes???

Straight people seem to ask me this question frequently. My answer? It's complicated. I'm not completely sure how I began to love show music but two events in my life stand out in my mind.

1- My dad's favorite movie of all time was The Sound of Music and every time it was on TV, he made sure it was loud enough to be heard throughout the neighborhood. To this day, I can sing and quote complete scenes from the film, note for note, word for word without cues or lyric sheets.
2- My discovery of a cassette tape of The Premiere Collection The Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber from a flea market. The stories within the songs spoke to me and it all just clicked. Several years later I heard the complete score of The Phantom of the Opera and became obsessed to the point that one of my goals was to make it to New York to see the show on Broadway. During the summer of 1992 my goal was realized and I not only saw the show once, by January of 1993, I'd seen the show 35 times.
My love for show music could also be contributed to the fact that it's the genre I initially learned to sing. The natural tone of my voice, unaltered, seems to fit into theatrical music than most any other genre.

I discovered early on that not everyone shares my affinity to show music and it's not exactly a genre that's appreciated during karaoke night at a bar...even if it's remixed...I will never make THAT mistake again.

The mention of show music tends to also baffle the mind of many individuals also. I've had many people tell me they don't care for opera when I've asked if they've ever seen a Broadway musical. Though show music takes skill and a degree of training to sing, it's certainly NOT of the opera genre, though there are some shows that contain "operatic" parts within the show...this doesn't make it an opera though.
To further confusion, technically Les Miserables, Evita, Miss Saigon, RENT and Jesus Christ Superstar ARE operas but yet The Phantom of the Opera is NOT an opera. Why you ask? While The Phantom of the Opera contains opera scenes, it contains a good bit of spoken dialogue and non-musical scenes. Les Miz and the others I mention are completely sung through with no actual non-sung dialogue which technically means, they are modern day operas.

With all that said...Why do I love show music? I just fucking do.

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