Monday, October 12, 2009

The Musical Question

From September 2006; This has been a fascination of mine and an inside joke since summers on the Cape in the early 90's and the subject of many a hungover breakfast

Musicals are those strange worlds where at the drop of the hat people go from speaking and moving normally to singing and dancing to express their feelings. Everyone’s seen Grease, Singing in the Rain, Chicago, the Music Man, the Wizard of Oz, or more recently, High School Musical. Did you ever stop to notice the bit players tho? You know, the ones who have little to do with the main characters but join in the singing and dancing because they are obligate to do so? It’s simply the law of Musical Land. So, it got me to thinking, what if life WAS a musical??

I think it would be aggravating as hell. I mean, sure, if it’s you singing out and all those around you are joining in the singing and dancing that’s pretty cool. But when you have to join in and you’re simply not in the mood, it’s got to suck! Let’s say you’re running late to work. You speed all the way there, get to the parking lot and as soon as you get out…bang, a musical number breaks out. Now you spend 10 minutes dancing on the hood of your car using your briefcase as an impromptu prop in a large production number. When it ends you rush in to your waiting boss with an explanation and he’s like, “well, that’s the 3rd musical this week”. Or you wake up and have 2 large black coffees and a bran muffin and a musical breaks out. You’re doing cartwheels, splits and back flips all the time just trying to hold your mud. Or you’re having a casual swim at the Y and a musical breaks out forcing you into a Busby Berkley-like giant 50 person synchronized swimming number. These are all real and grave possibilities if life was a musical.

I think in some ways, all those aggravations aside, maybe the world would be a better place. Gang fights become giant dance routines. Heartache is handled with a song and not tears. Most of all, just by being nearby, your singing, dancing, and acrobatic skills increase exponentially if only for a short period of time. Well, we’ll probably never know…oh crap, the guy I work with who’s having house issues just broke out into song…better limber up!

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