Monday, May 14, 2007

Birthdays and Broadway

First of all, happy birthday to Mark, whose blog—which at the time featured a daily photo of what he was wearing—was the first I ever read. Way back in the 1990s. He was so ahead of the curve, in fact, that his blog probably predated the word blog. My then-boss in Iowa found Mark's site somehow and sent the link to me because I was gay and this Mark person was gay and therefore we should become instant best friends. And while my boss—for the record—was joking, Mark and I did become friends. I’ve been out to San Francisco to visit him and his husband Rich and their furry little ward Trixie, and various combinations of their family have come to Chicago to visit me and/or do business-type things to justify the fact that their employers paid for their plane tickets, hotels and meals. Employers can be so demanding that way.

Speaking of cities on the coast or homosexuals or things I’m writing about in this blog post or any number of equally threadbare options for transitioning between two completely unrelated topics, the boyfriend and I joined a handful of friends to see a touring company of Forbidden Broadway on Saturday. Forbidden Broadway, for my heterosexual readers (both of you), is an ongoing cabaret act that usually cleverly satirizes performers, shows, directors, producers and anything else related to Broadway. I listened to many Forbidden Broadway albums I checked out from the library when I was a kid, but I’d never seen one of the shows live. And while some of the material in this show was pretty dated (do we really need a 2004 Tony Awards spoof in an age where Phil Collins just celebrated a year-long Broadway run of Tarzan?), most of it was laugh-out-loud clever. I was thoroughly impressed by the cast members, whose endless versatility as actors was trumped only by their powerhouse singing voices. (I am a sucker for big Broadway belters, and these four threw me against the back of my chair so often I may qualify for applauders’ compensation.) The best part, though, was when we got to meet them. In the middle of the show. In the middle of the Les Miz segment, in fact. Valjean was just starting to milk the laughs from “God, it’s High” when the stage manager turned on the house lights and stopped the show with words to the effect of: “There’s a fire in the building. Everyone please leave.” So we all ran screaming traipsed leisurely out to the street for about half an hour to chat with the performers and watch a bunch of firemen climb huge ladders and put out what we can only assume was an imaginary fire because we never saw any smoke or smelled any burning corpses. Then we traipsed back in, the show picked up where it had left off, and then one of the actors who looked like he might have a rockin’ body appeared half-naked in a Lion King outfit … and I basically can’t remember anything else from that point on.

Sigh. If only the fire drill had happened after we knew what his abs looked like. Then we wouldn’t have wasted so much time talking to the other cast members on the street. I blame it on the 2004 Tony Awards segment. Stupid timing. Stupid fire. Stupid abs.

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