Friday, November 5, 2010

The Red Curtain vs. The Silver Screen

Growing up with a musical-loving mother has led me to become a Broadway baby.  I started performing when I was just five years old, singing for my church congregation.  After years of begging to take a little excursion to New York, my mother finally agreed to take me when we scored tickets to see Beauty and the Beast on broadway; a bus was taking a load of people to the big apple and two seats were left.  I saw it as fate. I was in fourth grade.

The splendor of the show, the dazzling and cheery music, and the imaginative atmosphere had me hooked.  From the minute I stepped into the theater, I knew I would never be able to get enough of Broadway.  It was my new addiction- my new drug of choice.  To this day, I still cannot get enough. At one point, I even wanted to be a Broadway star.  I've seen many shows, some even twice.  After Beauty and the Beast, I saw Mary Poppins (twice), Mamma Mia! (twice), the Lion King (twice), Hairspray, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular (at Radio City Music Hall. of course!), and The Wizard of Oz, and in April, I will be venturing to the city that never sleeps to see Jersey Boys.  New York is not the only place to see shows; I watched the Lion King on both Broadway and in Pittsburgh, PA, as well as the Wizard of Oz, and I watched Hairspray in State College, PA.  Traveling companies go just about everywhere at some point; when we don't have the time and/or the money to traverse to New York, we wait and see what's happening locally. It makes things more convient for us, and it is much easier on the family wallet and car tires.

Sadly, not many people in this area feel the same way that I do .  Most people would prefer a good movie (and sometimes not so good) to watch for some entertainment, and it's usually not a musical. (Don't forget: not all Broadway shows are musicals either!)  It's a crying shame; people really have no clue what they're missing out on.  It really is hard to beat the shine of all the marquee lights, the thrill of the city, and the excitement of the shows.  If you ever have the opportunity to go to NYC and see a show, DO NOT pass it up!  You could not possibly make a greater mistake.  While you are there, there's many other attractions, too, such as Fifth Avenue (where all your fashion dreams come true), Central Park, many museums, and food galore.  Movies may be cheaper, but they lack the thrill that live performance has.  Any show performed on or off Broadway, with a traveling company, in your high school auditorium, or any live show in general will never be the same show twice.  Actors can do any number of things during a performance: improv, mess up their lines, forget to make an entrance (which has happened to a play I worked with, and it was rather scary), or do whatever the heck they want!  Once they do it, they can't take it back. That's what makes live theater so spectacular: you never see the same show twice.  You can't experience that with a movie.

So next time  you're looking for something to do, why not try a play?  You could possibly find a new favorite pastime, like me!