madness of musical theatre

I'm posting for 60 days straight, leading up to my early December birthday, and I'm making the time to write on behalf of slain UCC Professor and aspiring novelist, Larry Levine. And now we have CSU Long Beach design student Nohemi Gonzalezgunned down in Paris.

Have you ever been so overcome with emotion that you just can't contain yourself? So much so, that you burst into song?

Me neither.

Yet, apparently, millions like to watch plays where the characters do just that. Over and over again. While moving around the stage with the backup singers / chorus / other people in the scene.

The artificiality of it all kills me. And tonight's experience starred the incredible singer Idina Menzel. Who I know next to nothing about, except that she presented at the 2014 Oscars, and poor ol' John Travolta butchered her name in his introduction, calling her 'Adele Kazeem.'

But I digress. Menzel's voice is amazing, the show and its music, not so much.

There are three musicals I've enjoyed over the years: The Sound of Music, Grease, and Return to the Forbidden Planet. The first two were consumed in their movie forms, and Forbidden Planet is a campy parody of sci fi featuring 50s and 60s rock and roll. So the artificial musical theatre convention kinda works.

But for tonight's show? And most of the others I've seen? Not to much. Given me a production of Harold Pinter, David Mamet, August Wilson, or Shakespeare any day.

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