Anybody who vaguely knows me will know how much I love musicals. If there's even just an opportunity to sing showtunes, then I'm in... I'm always the guy at the karaoke bar who'll inevitably be belting everything from Heaven on their minds to Part of that world.
So, on the weekend, I saw that my local cinema was showing the National Theatre's production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies, as part of their NT Live series. I'm familiar with quite a number of Sondheim's shows, but Follies was not one of them - with the exception of the songs 'I'm still here' and 'Buddy's blues', which were both standout performances. But, damn it, why does every Sondheim musical have to be so depressing? Sure, Phillip Quast and Imelda Staunton were both incredible on stage, but I stepped out the theatre feeling like my life was already over and all my youth had been wasted - all I had left were memories and regrets. Yep, it's that kind of Sondheim musical.
On the other hand, this Friday I have tickets to see In the Heights on the big screen. Now this is something that I'm really looking forward to, being the big screen adaptation of Lin Manuel Miranda's *first* Tony-award-winning musical (you know, before he went and wrote Hamilton). Yes, Hamilton is a intricately layered work of lyrical and theatrical genius, but In the Heights is still my personal favourite - it just has so much passion and heart... it's raw and honest, full of joy and fear and hope, with its central theme of community. I already know that this will be one of my favourite nights out at the movies this year - there will be much laugher and tears.
As for Hamilton... I'm definitely looking forward to seeing it live on stage next month. I just wish that it'd happened sooner - like six years ago when I was so obsessed with it and I had it playing on repeat for months. Part of me has definitely moved on, but hey, I'll probably be absolutely wowed by the choreography, set changes and surprise reinterpretations by the Aussie cast.
Finally, I myself am going to be in a musical soon. My first musical theatre production in... *counts on fingers* over 15 years! Though it hasn't been for lack of trying. The local community theatre scene is definitely a tightknit community, and I've been occasionally auditioning for a few years now with no luck... until now. So, if you're in the Canberra region, keep an eye out for Oklahoma! in October...