Andrew Hamm: the Bipolar Express

Ruminations on theatre, music, and just about anything else that crosses my bipolar brain.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

[title of blog entry]

I saw the Broadway production of [title of show] at the Lyceum Theatre last night. It's a real privilege to see a Broadway show less than a week after its opening show, especially when it's a multiple Tony nominee.

The show has a well-chronicled history, from New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2004 to Off-Broadway to finally Broadway. Of course, if you don't know the show's history, all you have to do it see it. [title of show] is about its own creation; it's "a musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical."

It's also the most delightful experience I've had in a theater in years.

I'm so glad Karen recommended I see [title of show] after she saw a preview a couple weeks ago. It's a decidedly simple show, just four actors, an accompanist with a keyboard, four chairs, a box set, very little tech, and a simple story: two friends decide to write a play for a new musical theatre festival despite the fact that the entry deadline is only three weeks away. They opt to write about writing a musical in three weeks. The play currently stars the original performers, Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen (the show's writers) and Susan Blackwell and Heidi Blickenstaff (their friends, also playing themselves).

But that's not really what [title of show] is about. It's about the creative process. It's about perseverance. It's about finding the joy in what you do or finding something joyful to do. It's about finding a way to work with your friends. It's about musical theatre, and people who love musical theatre. It's about the enormous challenge and social stigma of trying something new in a culture that praises innovators of the past but punishes innovators here and now. It's about shouting down your critics, both external and internal. It's about counting the F-bombs. It's about imagining how you would accept a Tony.

It's about writing, which makes it particularly appealing to me. It's about loving words, and playing with a friend who loves words as much as you do, which is also particularly appealing to me. It has inspired me to take my writing one hell of a lot more seriously. I'm getting back to the treatment of Gift of Light tonight, and as soon as I have a studio again I'm going to catch up on A Week in the Suburbs.

Mostly, [title of show] is about just how much you can thrill and delight an audience with four voices, four chairs, one pianist, and a box set. It's for artists and audiences. It's for anyone who has ever dreamed an unrealistic dream. It's for anyone who needs to learn how to shout "Die, vampire, die!"

It is one of the most beautiful plays I've ever seen.



  • At 7/24/2008 2:48 PM , Blogger Wayne Conners said...

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