Tuesday, February 5, 2008

I'm it!

Ok, Sarah's done it, Steve's done it. Even though I'm nowhere near as knowledgeable about musical theater as my blogbuddies, and I've only seen a small fraction of the shows they've seen, I'll give this meme a try. I think by the end, I'll have mentioned just about every musical I've ever seen on Broadway!

1. The first musical I ever saw on Broadway was: Whew, glad we're starting off with an easy question. It was Curtains, on April 13, 2007. Who says Friday the 13th isn't a lucky day! The first Broadway musical I ever saw was A Chorus Line, in Boston. I don't remember the year, but I was in college, so it was the late '70s or early '80s.

2. The musical I would most like to see again is: I wish I'd been able to see Spring Awakening from the on-stage seats, sitting right next to John Gallagher Jr. I've only seen Wicked and Hairspray on tour, so I'd really like to see both of them on Broadway someday.

3. The musical I never want to see again is: Probably the one I saw on Sunday, the touring production of Spamalot. Perhaps I've just outgrown Monty Python. Or maybe it's just that I've seen so many musicals over the past year, I have a much better idea of what I like and what I don't like. And I've seen so many that are just so much better than Spamalot.

4. The best performance in a Broadway musical by a woman I've ever seen is There's no way I can pick just one. I loved Patti LuPone in Gypsy at City Center last summer, and Audra McDonald in 110 in the Shade. They have amazing voices. Honorable mentions: Christine Ebersole in Grey Gardens, Laura Benanti in Gypsy and Saycon Sengbloh in The Color Purple. Each one took me on a memorable journey through the course of an evening. Can I go on? Debra Monk's brilliant comic turn in Curtains. I love listening to her in "It's a Business" on the cast recording.

5. The best performance in a Broadway musical by a man I've ever seen is: No contest here. My main man, Tony winner David Hyde Pierce, in Curtains. The singing, the dancing, the deft comic touch. A genuinely talented actor and a genuinely nice person. I loved the casts of Spring Awakening and 110 in the Shade, but there's just something so special about David Hyde Pierce and Curtains. Thinking about his performance as Boston police Lt. Frank Cioffi still makes me smile.

6. The person I wish they never cast was: Roger Bart in Young Frankenstein. It's too bad, because I liked him on Desperate Housewives. But he never made me forget Gene Wilder.

7. The person they should have cast was: I really don't know, but I'm open to suggestions. Matthew Broderick?

8. My favorite Broadway choreography was in the show: Wow, hard to pick just one. Of course, I loved Rob Ashford's work in Curtains and Tony winner Bill T. Jones in Spring Awakening, especially for "The Bitch of Living." But I'm a big fan of Matthew Bourne's choreography in Mary Poppins. I loved what he did with numbers like "Step in Time." And if you've never seen his Swan Lake, rent it on DVD. Such athletic, agile, hunky swans.

9. The lyric/line that always brings a lump to my throat is: There's only one. "For Good" from Wicked always makes me cry. Especially these lines: "It well may be that we'll never meet again in this lifetime. So let me say before we part, so much of me is made of what I learned from you. You'll be with me like a handprint on my heart. And now whatever way our stories end, I know you have rewritten mine by being my friend."

10. The stupidest lyric/line I've ever heard is: Since I've just seen Spamalot, those are the lyrics that are freshest in my mind. Probably something from "You Won't Succeed on Broadway." There are so many to choose from. How about this: "There's a very small percentile who enjoys a dancing gentile." Granted, it makes me chuckle. But it is stupid.

11. The first musical I had to go back and see twice was: Haven't done it yet, but I will next month when I see Gypsy with Patti LuPone. I can't wait!

12. The first musical I ever walked out of was: I've never walked out and I probably never would. I'd be much too self-conscious, unless I were sitting way in the back on the aisle, and I could get up and leave discreetly, without causing a disturbance.

13. The most underpraised and overly deserving show in my opinion is: Ok, these aren't underpraised, but how did Wicked lose out to Avenue Q and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee lose to Spamalot for the Best Musical Tony?

14. The most overly praised and under deserving show in my opinion is: Spamalot. Although I haven't seen Avenue Q. Or Cats.

15. The show tune song I'm most likely to sing while dancing around the house is: Something from Oklahoma or Hair. Even though I don't always feel like it's such a beautiful morning or a beautiful day, I do like singing those lines.

16. If I could recast any role in a current Broadway musical with a performer of the past it would be: Wow, this is a tough one. No one really comes to mind immediately. There are so many actors from the past that I wish I'd had a chance to see on stage, like Marlon Brando. I wonder what Brando would have done with Edna Turnblad from Hairspray, or Jack Lemmon with Lt. Frank Cioffi from Curtains. (Ok, I'm really just kidding about Brando in Hairspray and I don't even know whether Jack Lemmon could sing.)

17. If I could recast a current actor in a Broadway musical that was before their time it would be: Ditto. But since I loved Kevin Spacey's singing and dancing in Beyond the Sea, I'd love to see him do a Broadway musical - past, present or future.

18. The show they should never change a word of because it is already perfect is: Hairspray and Wicked. While I've never actually seen them on Broadway, yet, they're two of the musicals I've enjoyed the most. I wouldn't change anything in either one. And I can't argue with the perfection of Gypsy either.

19. The show I'd most like to get my hands on and rewrite is: Spamalot.

20. The role I was born to play on Broadway is: Wow, I've never thought about it. Perhaps, in a bit of nontraditional casting, Hildy Johnson in The Front Page? There hasn't been a revival since 1987. Get me rewrite!

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