Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mutant Power Strikes Again! The Tony Awards Edition

I don't share my mutant ability with everyone, but I have one, I DEFINITELY have one. Over the last 20 plus years I have retained this mutant ability with impeccable clarity, to the point that I feel a little embarrassed.

I am a Broadway Musical Information Magnet, 

specifically "The Tony Awards."

I got interested in theater my 8th grade year. I pursued it pretty vigorously until my college years when I started focusing on writing instead, a decision I don't wholly regret, but sometimes makes me wistful. In those tender years of youth I got very involved with the happenings of Broadway, feeling that was the pinnacle of a stage performer's career, a MUST! And as a result I was fed on a diet of Hal Prince and Stephen Sondheim with a side of Lloyd Webber, (I say side because Evita was my favorite and I never truly loved Phantom - that is how I know people know theater like me - Phantom is NEVER their favorite), sipping it down with the newest thing to hit the Great White Way.

So somewhere in my brain holds a storage of information that is basically useless, unless you care about musical theater.

I know, not great for saving the world, but an impressive party trick, possibly, if people cared enough to listen. The power does have limitations. My first time in New York was last summer, so experiencing Broadway was a totally different magnet collecting thing, and can I say, totally mind blowing - and completely drives my husband crazy.

Marrying a NON-musical type has kept (some might say rescued) me from full blown Broadway maniac, but my mutant power has not gone away, it tends to come out in strange spontaneous moments...

For Example:

A few years ago I watched the Tonys, because I do (no apologies), and thoroughly enjoyed the little production number for "Spring Awakening" knowing Barely Breathing's Duncan Sheik, (which, BTW did win Best Musical 2007). Later, a few YEARS later, a little show started called Glee. I half-watched/half-listened to the commercials, thinking in the deep recesses of my mind that it would be something I would go for. (Singing and dancing down the school halls? Of course I'd love something so ridiculous.)  I see or better yet, HEAR the lead girl and instantly I knew her, I had seen her somewhere before. It took my brain about two seconds to connect that I thought she may have been on Broadway, possibly Spring Awakening. Thank goodness for You Tube or I would had to research my hunch. Yes! Lea Michelle was in there singing her heart out about sexual freedom in Germany. I remembered her because her voice was unforgettable!

Does this sound familiar to anyone???

Little things like this happen all the time, and I find conversations with my family rather silly.  

Who is that? "Don't you know her? That's Patti Lupone!" Who? "She's Broadway royalty! She was in the original cast of Evita with Mandy Patinkin." Who? "You know, Inigo Montoya - You killed my father, prepare to die." Oh, okay.

What else was that guy in? "He was in The Book of Mormon Musical."   ...crickets...

"Wait? Kristen Chenoweth is coming to Deer Valley?" Who? "She's in everything." Like what? "She was the original Glinda from Wicked with Idina Menzel." Who? "Umm... she was Elsa." Oh, cool. 

This kind of thing happens all the time. . . unless I am with theater people, then the exchange instead delves down into Nether Broadway, where only the true mutants survive. 

This again happened last Sunday watching the Tonys. Like everyone else, I was stunned by how amazing Fun Home was and how spellbound I felt listening to little Sydney Lucas sing. And as they went through the awards the Male Lead for a musical came on and I thought, "well that guy looks familiar." I recognized his name "Michael Cerveris." My Sherlock brain kicked in and I started deducting. I'd known that this wasn't someone I had seen recently. This had to do with my past life - as an actor, on stage. That pushes it back into the 90's, college, maybe high school. Where did I know him from? Something important. Something different. Wait . . . a moment in time flashed through my vision. I had a hunch and quickly picked up my phone and began to search.

I went to IMDB - I have the app you know, very, very useful and which I praise the collective that created this wonderful website, and looked him up. He was in various TV shows that I wouldn't have seen, but it did mention TV spots... like the 47th Annual Tony Awards. Bingo! This was what I needed, the little spark that my hunch might be true. I clicked the link and was transported in time. I remember very vividly watching this specific awards show at my friend Kirt's house. Liza, yes - THEE Liza, hosted and the musicals were very diverse. That year a lot of my friends were rooting for the Goodbye Girl starring Bernadette Peters and Martin Short. Me... ME? No, no, no, no... for me I wanted THE WHO'S TOMMY!

DING! Mutant power again! The Who's Tommy the Musical! I knew it! I remember secretly praying that they kept in the Baked Bean scene for the movie. I wanted it to win the entire night even though my friends thought I was crazy. Kiss of the Spider Woman won, and Chita Rivera also won (who, btw, didn't win on Sunday - boy, she's in everything!). This was the first listed show for Michael Cerveris on IBDB and though he had been on Broadway several times after, it was that first impression of him in my youth that stuck with me. I would always remember him. I bought the soundtrack and have loved every minute of it.

My mutant power may be about something utterly ridiculous, but it's important to me. Those details in our lives that happen at fundamental times shape us and define us. I wonder what your mutant power is.

1 comment:

Sue Johnson said...

My mutant power is the ability to dump exactly four ibuprophen from the bottle into my hand - even in the dark. I'll bet you're impressed!