Friday, July 31, 2009

My Obsession

I had a friend tell me once that I was obsessed with New York City. I couldn't deny it. But I have to say, my love of NYC isn't so much the city itself (although it is fantastically fun!), but my sick obsession with theater.

And where is the best place in the world to experience theater: Broadway.

As a child, my mom used to sing me to sleep many times. Most of the songs she sang to me were from musicals. In among the "Rock-a-Bye Baby" were songs like "I Feel Pretty", "Do-Re-Mi", and "My Favorite Things".

In high school, I took drama, which consisted of performing in a couple of really lame plays. But it was so much fun for me. I never had to audition for the plays in high school, so when it came time to go to college, I could never muster up the courage to try out for any plays on my own.

But, I had been bitten by the bug.

On my senior trip in high school, my class went to Washington, D.C., Hershey, PA, and NYC. While we were in New York, we got to see a Broadway show. You're a Good Man Charlie Brown. I don't remember a lot about that show. But I do remember running into Charlie on the street after the show. I was too shocked to speak to him and he was on a cell phone at the time. But I had no idea who he was, really. In reality, he was Anthony Rapp. Original Broadway Cast member of Rent.

As I look back on it now, I also realize that Kristin Chenoweth was in that show. Kristin won a Tony for her role. And later went on to originate the role of Galinda/Glinda in Wicked.
And B.D. Wong was also in the show. He now has a recurring role on Law & Order: SVU, which is a favorite show of mine.

That show made me want to go back to NYC. It would be 6 years before I made it back to New York. In 2005, I was able to go back to New York. The play I chose to see was Steel Magnolias (all my diabetic readers...wait, that's ALL my readers. Don't hate me. I love the movie.). My mother hates the movie. She says it morbid. I am inclined to agree that the movie is morbid. But I've aways loved it. And I wanted to see it on Broadway. Delta Burke, Christine Ebersole, and Rebecca Gayheart were some of the talents that I was able to see in that show.

Again in 2007, I went to New York. This time I saw Mary Poppins. In fact, the picture on my profile was taken after the show when my friend and I went to dinner. (side note: my blood sugar was over 400. I had MAJORLY overcorrected a low right before the show)

Then, just this past May, I returned. I was able to see two plays on this trip. Next to Normal (thanks a million times over to Allison, who went with me!), and The Little Mermaid (that I went to see w/ my traveling buddy, Amanda).
Next to Normal was a fantastic show. I'm putting a clip of one of my favorite songs/scenes in the show if you guys would like to watch it. Alice Ripley won a Tony for her role in this show. It's a truly moving show about the effect of a mother's bi-polar disorder on her family.

That same vacation I also saw Rent on tour in Washington, D.C. This show had two original cast members, Anthony Rapp (who I saw in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown 10 years ago!) and Adam Pascal. This is the last tour for Rent and it closed on Broadway last September. I felt blessed to get to go to this show. (oh, another side note: the director of Rent is the same director of Next to Normal.)

At this point the ball is rolling wide open.

1st play = 1999
2nd = 2005
3rd = 2007
4th, 5th, and 6th = May of 2009

When I got back home in May, tickets for Wicked: The Musical were going on sale for the September tour stop in Nashville. I, of course, bought them (only 48 more days!!!!).

But, before September could get here, Legally Blonde: The Musical made a stop in Nashville. I had no plans to go see this one, but Laura Bell Bundy, who originated the role of Elle on Broadway, stepped in to reprise her role for the week. She is currently living in Nashville, recording a country album (HOW COOL!). When I found out that she would be stepping in, I got tickets as soon as I could. My seats were crap, but it was opening night and very fun. As I put it in a Tweet, it was 2 hours of pink, sparkly goodness. Oh, and Laura Bell also originated the role of Amber VonTussle in Hairspray, which I would have loved to have seen on Broadway, but never got the chance.

7th show = June 2009

8th show = (projected, of course) September 2009.

So, as you can see, it official. I am obsessed. None of my friends really understand it. And that's okay. I just have to find a willing soul to drag along with me. :)

My perfect life: winning the lotto (oh wait, I don't play) and buying a place in NYC where I could just watch plays all the time.


Karen said...

Ooohh, here's another thing we have in common. :) I love theatre and I've been to many plays on Broadway. How many can I remember? Rent, Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, Midsummer Nights Dream, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Blood Brothers, Love Valor Compassion, Showboat, SideShow, Spamalot . . . . ummm, that might be all, but it's likely there are a few more I've forgotten about. And that's just ON Broadway. :) Of course, I'm fortunate enough to be just a short train ride away. Now, if only I was rich - the list would be much longer!!

Cherise said...


Hello! Please forgive me if you see any typo's but I'm commenting while low. I've never seen a Broadway play:( but if you play the lotto and win. I'm staying at your house you purchase in NYC next year for blogher;)

Cara said...

Karen, we are so much alike it's funny! On my next trip, you should go w/ me to a show! :) And then we can compare knitting. LOL

Cherise, if I win the lotto, you can totally stay w/ me for BlogHer. I'll fit as many D-friends in the place as I can! LOL

Layne said...

I love theater also. I usually drag my husband along but he's actually starting to like (some) what we see. My favorite is Les Mis, which I've seen once off-Broadway. I've seen two shows in NYC and three on tour shows including Les Mis, Rent, Phantom of the Opera, Satellites and I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.

It's funny that you mention Steel Magnolias because I saw that movie before I was diagnosed and was convinced in was DYING. (I was 8, cut me some slack.) Anyway, since then I still like the movie but hate the portrayal of diabetes. I assumed every diabetic did. Check out this article from Wikipedia about the movie. I don't know anyone who feels this way!

Cara said...

Layne, this is NUTS!!!!!! I can't believe anyone who is a diabetic would think that this was an accurate portrayal of life with D. I do love the movie. And the play was fantastic. But I agree that in NO WAY is it an accurate portrayal of our lives. Thanks for the link. I never would have read that otherwise.

Diabetic awareness
Steel Magnolias is utilized by the diabetic community as an expression of their experiences [citation?]. The film portrays the seriousness and the reality of Type 1 diabetes [type 1 specified?], and this honest portrayal of one woman's experience with being pregnant and having diabetes has created an awareness in diabetic women to be more cautious in regards to pregnancy. Additional disability websites recommend Steel Magnolias as realistic portrayal of diabetes in women[2]. The movie is endorsed by The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation[3] and The Joslin Diabetes Center[4]. [better citation for these last two? "endorsed" how?]