I made another theatre pilgrimage to NYC yesterday to see South Pacific at the Lincoln Center with my friends Juliet and Jill. At some point during the return trip, one of them asked me about my best musical theatre experience. It was hard to narrow it down to just one or two. Here are a few:
Les Miserable in New Orleans- around 1987. The blockbuster London import finally toured down South and the whole Sawyer family piled in the car to go see it. And yes, I paid $20 for a shirt with a starving pauper on it. And my jaw dropped at the turntable, the rotating barricade, and Javert's drop to his death.
Scarlet Pimpernel on Broadway- January 1, 1999. My first show on Broadway. Fell in love with Doug Sills and became addicted to the DC-NYC trek.
Mamma Mia at Kennedy Center with Ryan Zempel- June 2002. It's a silly show, really, and totally undeserving of any critical acclaim. But it's fun. And I decided that Ryan kid was a keeper.
Sunday in the Park With George on Broadway- 2008. One of my favorite musicals of all time. Perhaps the favorite. It's about the art of making art. And somehow, God spoke clearly through the experience to tell me to stop procrastinating and start creating.
Mary Poppins on Broadway- 2009. I saw my child hood theatre geek friend perform the role of Bert in Mary Poppins on Broadway. So proud of him.
Ragtime at the Kennedy Center- 2009. I saw the original in 1999. This version was even better. Honestly, it might have been the best musical performance I have ever seen.
Close runners up: Company. The Light in the Piazza. Wicked. In the Heights. Godspell.