Saturday, September 01, 2007

Showtunes and Coolness

Photo: Courtesans and Marcus Lycus, backstage, before last performance of "Forum"

I'm listening to the soundtrack from "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum", the musical I was in last March. When I listen to the songs I can remember every dance step, every entrance cue, every nuance of every moment of the show. I'd like to think it's because I have an astounding memory and aptitude for such things. More likely, it's because it was my one big hurrah and I relive it like the town drunk relives the amazing game-winning touchdown he made in the final seconds of the homecoming game back in '76. In other words, it's probably only a big deal to me. But hey, let me have my moment, would ya?

I've always had an affinity for soundtracks, especially showtunes. I've been known to get hooked on a showtune or two and belt them out at the top of my lungs, to which Jonathan shakes his fists in the air and commands, "Mom... MOM... STOP!"


Singing is something I can't help but do, especially in the car. Or to Jonathan's loud iTunes music, or to late night retro music on car rides home. When we drove to Colorado for family vacations when I was young, we'd throw on some John Denver as soon as we crossed the Colorado border from Nebraska. We'd get excited thinking we were almost there, when after 2 or 3 go-rounds with the John Denver tape and we *still* couldn't see mountains, we'd all grumble back to our books or sibling-poking or thumb-sucking. But we did harmonize a mean
Wild Montana Skies.

Now when I harmonize, my music-loving but singing-ignorant husband just thinks I'm singing off-key. Sheesh - tone-deaf chump. He joins Jonathan in wishing I'd stop. Sometimes I have to sing very quietly, almost under my breath, in the car so I don't bother the other riders. Kinda like a dog wearing a bark-collar who is jones'n to howl.

Once I found myself in a whole tubful of fellow showtune-loving grrrls, and we sang every tune we could think of until the wee hours of the morning. Yes, I said tubful - we were in a hot-tub, at a women's retreat at a B&B many years ago.

But the other day when we were driving to Willow, van loaded down with coolers and tents and yard games and lawn chairs, growing more eager by the mile, Rob popped in his iPod. And on came the Wicked soundtrack, blasting forth. So naturally, Jonathan began belting out the lyrics since he knows the entire album. Brady wasn't quite as enthusiastic about the choice, and when we pulled into a gas station for ice and beverages, he started laughing uncontrollably. Here we were, piling out of our van, ready for our hippy-dippy festival, with Defying Gravity filling the air. And of course, there were dudes on motorcycles and vans full of teens nearby, who looked at us like we were the strangest things to be seen in these parts since, like, ever.

And Brady, gearing up for a weekend with friends (including a former grrlfriend) and needing to exude coolness, begged - begged - us to turn it off as he dove for cover in the back of the van.

Hey, at least we can harmonize.


Anonymous said...

Doncha know that my kids are still young enough that they think my singing voice is actually pretty. gotta love my little groupies! And I don't think the thought I could ever embarrass them has entered our reality yet. Aren't these the days of pure gold?

Laura said...

Yes! And it's about time I see you here on my blog, grrrl... :)