My inner campy boy just wanted to revel in Broadway musicals. However, my more jaded side didn’t want to hear anything that had to do with a lavish Broadway number. I just wanted to listen to cool people music. Mr. Campy pants persisted, tugging at my pea coat begging to play.
For years, I proudly proclaimed, ” I don’t like show tunes.” During my lunch breaks in Times Square, I would walk around unfazed by the extravagant advertisements for the hottest Broadway shows. It made me the gay Scrooge of Times Square. “Bah humbug,” I proudly proclaimed while passing the theatre marquis. It was a far cry from my youth.
As a teenager, show tunes were a campy escape from my conservative Catholic school upbringing. I secretly daydreamed of performing lavish Broadway numbers to adoring fans. In my head, I was the master of ceremonies from Cabaret, joined the cast of Rent and even tap danced in performance of Chicago.
When I didn’t tap dance and sign autographs for brain cells posing as fans, I eagerly bought tickets to every musical imaginable. One day, I simply lost interest and didn’t appreciate the art of a good show tune.
Then, my alter ego, Mr. Campy pants spoke to my heart. “You’re feeling down and stressed, remember your youth?” he said to me. ” Oh shit, I don’t wanna go there,” I replied. “C’mon, you know you wanna be the Patti Lupone of your brain’s Broadway stage.” he said while throwing Playbills in my face. “The key to happiness is through a song note.” I rolled my eyes “fine, here we go.”
I pulled out my iPhone and listened to the Cabaret music station on Pandora. Something spectacular jammed my brain. Songs from Anything goes, A Chorus Line, Avenue Q, West Side Story and even Phantom of the Opera emerged after years of being buried in the cemetery of quirky interests.
The whimsical show tunes brought me to a land long forgotten about. Sitting in the balcony of a New York theatre, while eagerly anticipating the first musical number. Standing in line for Cats. It even brought me back to that theatre in Madrid, where I watched Cabaret performed entirely in Castilian. Therefore, the music lifted me from a state of perpetual back to a happier time in life.
After a journey into show tunes land, Mr. Campy pants and I felt satisfied. The adventure even tickled my creative senses. It made me think about my life as a musical.
The set would have the Manhattan skyline one side and rugged mountains on the other side signifying my life in New York & California. There would be dancing copy machines, flight attendants and coffee cups.” Oy, I got dumped,” ” I’m nervous, somebody get me coffee,” & ” the Catholic school waltz” would be featured on the soundtrack.
Show tunes has delighted audiences for years. Thanks to Mr. Campy pants for getting me back to a happy place. Today, I have a renewed love of all things Broadway.