Musical Interlude

Totally on an non-typical note, I have to share some thoughts I have had while listening to Sirius radio in our swagger wagon.

We received a free 6 month subscription to Sirius when we got the van back in August of last year.  We quickly fell in love with the idea of having non-commercial radio that had a multitude of listening options at our fingertips. Over the months I got used to being able to go between kiddie songs, Broadway showtunes, 90’s hits, and alt rock. (I call it hipster lite) As a gift for me around Christmas time, Todd extended the subscription (through another deal, of course, that is how the Putmans roll) Sometimes I find it to be a little repetitive, you can tell that they have a master list they pick from and often there are repeats. Luckily, I manage to cycle through the stations often enough not to care.

But I digress…..if I am  being honest, I really do listen to the Broadway station most of all. Since Evan loves music, especially ones with lively melodies, changing tones, etc- it works out for both of us. 

Yesterday one of my absolute favorite songs came on, the West Side Story Quintet. You know the one (well probably a small percentage of you do), where Anita sings, “Anita’s gonna get her kicks tonightttttt…..we’ll have a private little mix tonighttttt……..”
Yup, that one. I attempt to  sing all five parts. Loudly, and without abandon. I kept looking in my rear view mirror to see if it was making E laugh, or possibly cry. He was not moved to either emotion, he played with a truck, quietly intrigued with it.

The song ends and immediately they go into “Stars” from Les Miserables. Okay……….
Really, Sirius? You go from my one of my favorites to one of the songs I despise the most in musical theater? Ugh……and I hear a little voice from the backseat. Evan is babble/singing along with Javert from the 1987 soundtrack.  The strength and even tone of his voice seemed to appeal to little E. He smiled and made his voice modulate along with the vocalist.  It made me listen to the song again with a different ear. Oh Evan, there you go again changing your mama’s stubborn point of view.

Today I heard “At the Ballet” from Chorus Line. Christine Pedi, who talks in between songs occasionally, gave such an interesting intro to the song. She said that she would love for there to be a concert version of this show so that non dancers could sing some of the songs. This song is sung by three of the actresses in the show, and it is another one of my favorites. The harmony is haunting and the feeling behind the lyrics is painful and beautiful at the same time. Christine suggested Betty Buckley, Patti LuPone and I can’t remember the other actress.  Man I love me some LuPone….I’ll save my story for meeting her for another day. Alas, I didn’t say much at all…..
I found this awesome you tube of Kelly Bishop (Lorelei’s mom on Gilmore Girls!) singing lead in the song. She won a Tony for this performance. Love her.  Maybe one day I’ll find a reason and way to sing this song. (no dancing required of course)

Lastly, “Rent” came on, the opening song. Of course, having not heard this song in quite some time, I turned it up and sang my heart out. Evey word, every harmony came back to me.  Back in 1997 when I was a freshman in college, I began my obsess….ahem…love of this musical.  I was at a prime age to fall in love with “Rent.” I can remember seeing it for the first time on Broadway, having never listened to the soundtrack once. I knew nothing about it really, except that we were going to be sitting up close because the first two rows were saved for “student rush.” We waited in line for almost an entire day and then took our seats. I can remember feeling like the musical “spoke” directly to me. I feel silly saying that now, but at the time, as a young, headstrong, insecure college student, it was true. Jesse L. Martin who played Tom Collins in the original Broadway cast pointed right at me! (he did, right? don’t answer that….)
In 1997, I was a hot mess of fears, excitements, heartbreak, and risk. I feel like “Rent” is all of those things too. The theme of the show, “No Day But Today,” still feels applicable and accessible to me as a thirty five year old mother and wife. Many other things about the show feel very outdated and silly to me now, but that could also be because I saw the show over 20 times on stage. Sigh………………Ah youth. I have to REALLY want to see a show now to consider shelling out the money for tickets. And sleeping on a sidewalk over night for student rush? Not so sure I would be up for that.

Another memory I had while singing along to the song, was driving with my friend Joe up to NYC, and singing the entire sound track together. We would choose which part to sing for each song. Now, that I would be up for today. 🙂

Thank you for indulging my musical tangent……I will be back to regular blogging very soon.

2 Comments on Musical Interlude

  1. Denise Riley
    April 26, 2013 at 11:17 pm (7 years ago)

    Oh, I miss those days. Ditto on doing the road trip soundtrack singalong with friends (but our musical selections were “Les Miserables” and “Phantom of the Opera”). Good times!

  2. Erin Putman
    April 27, 2013 at 12:57 am (7 years ago)

    I didn’t know you were also a musical fan, Denise! So glad to find out! We should make sure to do a singalong very soon. PS, I do enjoy Les Mis very much, just not the song Stars. ;-P


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