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The magnificent, otherworldly force of greatness that is Broadway

June 24, 2011

Of all the places in New York City that thrive on the talent and greatness of those that walk its streets, Times Square and Broadway are the places where you can most literally feel the streets pulsing with creativity. You can see the buildings sweating out brilliance, shining their message to the millions of wide-eyed tourists who come to be part of the greatness for a night.

I’ve felt that way ever since I first went to Broadway at age 9. I took a trip to the city with my Mom, Aunt and cousin — en experience that has entirely eluded my memory, except for my memories of Broadway. I was in the city for a week, and the only things I remember are the two Broadway shows I saw: The Lion King and Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk. That is how powerful Broadway is. It is so penetrating, so vibrant and precise in its excellence, that it even had the ability, all those years ago, to make it into and build a home in

Me capturing the greatness and being amazed by it all at once. Photo cred: Mom

the memory bank of a 9-year-old girl who, admittedly, is quite oblivious and forgetful. I’ll never forget the wild tapping and overpowering coolness that oozed from the dancers in Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk. The rhythmic tapping, heads bowed, feet furious, souls dancing as wildly as their bodies — at the innocent age of 9, I knew that for that one night, I was a part of something that was greater than anything I’d seen before. It was the same with Lion King. The images created through lights and set decoration that brought to life the moment Simba loses his father in a Wildebeest stampede shook me and moved me in a way that still sends shivers through my fingers even as I type!

Two years ago I saw God of Carnage on Broadway, which was also incredible compelling, raucous and hilarious — everything it was meant to be. But still — for me, there’s something about the Broadway musical that is so inspiring that it eclipses the beauty of the straight play. Maybe it’s the fact that I am in such awe of the talent of the actors in the musicals — the perfection and precision of their voices and movements, the strength of their acting, and their perseverance, endurance and dedication that allows them to perform the same show at top quality 9 times a week for months on end. It’s an incredible feat. Even still, I can’t understand how people can do it. It must be the most physically, mentally and emotionally taxing thing to do, and yet they do it because they love the art of it, they love making the audience laugh, they love how it feels to sing on a stage with the stage lights creating a theatrical halo around their faces as they sing perfectly on pitch with a perfect tone for an audience that loves them as much as they love what they’re doing.

Andrew Rannells as Elder Price

So I don’t think its any surprise to anyone reading this blog that ever since I saw The Book of Mormon on Broadway, I have been able to think of nothing else. I saw The Book of Mormon a week ago today, and there has not been an hour that has gone by since I saw the musical that I have not thought about it, youtubed it, googled it, sang it or spoken about it. That is the honest to God truth. I’ve dreamed about it. I’ve read every article ever written about it. I’ve downloaded the soundtrack and The Book of Mormon playlist is exclusively being played on my iPod. I’m desperately in love with the man who plays the protagonist named Elder Price. The real man’s name is Andrew Rannells, but I prefer to imagine him as Elder Price forever — Elder Price with the smile that reminds me what happiness means and the voice that could postpone the apocalypse — or eliminate it altogether.

The musical was so outrageously good that I am actually at a loss for words when I think of all the ways I want to praise it. For starters, read the New York Times’ review of the musical here. That guy seems pretty damned jazzed about his experience at the Eugene O’Neill theatre seeing that musical, doesn’t he? Well, take the jazzy melody he’s singin’ in his article, multiply it by a thousand, and raise it to the power of the numerical value of the heat of the sun, and then you have HALF of how much I love this musical. I love it so much, I’m not going to go into detail about my love for it. I love it so dearly there are literally no words, and I wouldn’t want to do my love any injustice by placing weak words upon it that don’t convey my true emotions. All I can say is that by some force of nature — either the grace of God or by me breaking the law — I have to see it again. Just one more time. And then another time after that. And possibly again after that. And then more and more and more and more and — okay, fine, I’ll stop after 17. But at least 17 times. Until then, I’ll have to content myself with this YouTube video of the Broadway wonder Rannells singing in a perfect tenor the song “I Believe” at the Tony’s. May Heavenly Father bless you, The Book of Mormon cast and crew. You guys are going to heaven FOR SURE.

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 27, 2011 3:49 pm

    Times Square and Broadway are two big reasons they call NYC “the city that never sleeps”. And ya gotta love a town where “The Book of Mormon” is a big hit!

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