Thursday, March 15, 2007

Some people are Methodists.
Some people are Socialists.
Some people are nudists.
Some people are extremists.
I'm a show queen.

I can't help it. I mean, I love plays and films, but I am an absolute slave to the show tune. It's dated. It's trite. It's effete. And I don't care. I am what I am and what I am needs no excuses! See?

When my grandmother died, I swear to God, devastated and bereft in the funeral home, I quoted lines from the musical Mame to myself. It amused and comforted me. Show queen that I am, it gave me strength. Afterall, there's no people like show people. You get the word before the show has started, that your favorite uncle died at dawn; on top of that your ma and pa have parted, you're broken hearted but you go on. There's no people like show people they smile when they are low...

La Cage, Mame, Annie Get Your Gun - It's all part of me. Show tunes comfort, inspire, and encourage me. The bravado, the connection to some sense of purpose, the raw emotion, the fact that one need not be a perfect musician to pull them off (Jack Klugman in Gypsy? Excuse me! Or Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady? Please!)...what's better?! The average guy can be a star! The brassy lady commands the stage. The musical makes room for the queer, the obese, the odd (Tommy Tune? Harvey Fierstein?). It's magical and inclusive and empowering. It's divine.

The Broadway musical is where reality and fantasy intersect to form a witness to potential and possibility. It may not be deep or fashionable. It may even be a tragic longing for days gone by, but it's my world that I'd like to have a little pride in; my world and its not a place I have to hide in. That's the point, isn't it? The musical is a doorway to new worlds, inner worlds, sacred worlds. It may one day die out, like the 5 Act play or the morality play, but the Showtune Cult will always have at least one high priest. If there's only one, I'm proud to be the one (singular sensation, every little step he takes. One thrilling combination, every move that he makes. One smile and suddenly nobody else will do;you know you'll never be lonely with you know who.One moment in his presence and you can forget the rest, for the guy is second best to none,Son. Ooooh! Sigh! Give him your attention. Do...I...really have to mention? He's the One!).

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