You've mentioned several times in your blog that you are seeing Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark again, and also have talked about seeing next to normal several times. Besides it costing a lot of money, why do you like seeing shows more than once, and sometimes much more than twice?
Curious and envious,
Well, Teri C. that is an interesting question. One that I have given some thought to lately, in particular with regards to Spider-Man and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and the recently closed next to normal. I think my multiple trips to shows can be categorized into three groups:
Hairspray: A personal favorite and a great "first show"
A. Taking friends and theatre newbies: This used to happen much more than it does now, but many times, I'll go to a show a second (or third or more) time because a friend will have an extra ticket to a show he/she knows I like. Sometimes, I'm the "Bobby-baby-Bobby" who takes the wife of a friend to the show because the husband isn't interested. (I'm gay and they realize I am no threat, plus they are relieved to not have to go!) And many times, I'll go a specific show that I know would be a great starting point for friends who are just getting their feet wet with going to plays and musicals. My sister and I, for example, saw both The Full Monty and Hairspray together because I felt pretty safe that she'd get the humor and sweetness of both, and you really can't beat male strippers and moms in drag! It is funny that while she doesn't go with me often - we don't live close together and she has two small children - we have still managed to see 5 different productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! (It is her absolute favorite.)
Passion: From Snooze to Thrilling
B. Some shows are complicated and really need to be seen more than once to really absorb them: I find all of Sondheim's musicals to be in this category - even shows I've seen before, because each director has a new take on it. Passion is a show that DEFINITELY fits this category. I saw a late preview of it. I HATED IT. I mean HATED it. BUT I knew that it was a Sondheim show and that you can't even scratch the surface of understanding, let alone deeper meaning on one viewing. So I dutifully purchased a second ticket and saw it right after it opened. A world of difference! I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. I knew what I was in for, and what to look for and what I could pay less attention to and more attention to, etc. I ended up seeing Passion 7 or 8 times. I often joke that I kept the show running a week longer. (There are only two other composers that I, without even thinking about it, will give a second chance viewing to no matter what: Michael John Lachuisa and Adam Guettel.) Both Spider-Man and Women on the Verge fall into this category. The former because I have to see what they fixed, and I have a feeling there is much more to it, just that the special effects overwhelm the content; the latter because I wanted to see the end result, and because I think they were so close to something awesome.
John Doyle's direction of this Company
really needed more than one viewing to
take in the sheer brilliance of the concept.
Women on the Verge: Were they on the verge of making
it all make more sense? More funny? More meaningful?
C. They strike a chord in me and I love them so much I have to see them again and again: Now mind you, I will never be one of those fans that sees every single performance of a show, or one of those obsessed ones that honestly believes that the cast will miss them if they aren't in Row A, Seat 1 at every Saturday matinee. I have been the kind of fan of a show that I go back to see replacements or specific understudies (both A Little Night Music and next to normal fit in this category). Over the years I have had several of those: The Mystery of Edwin Drood, A Chorus Line, Sweeney Todd, West Side Story to name a few.
A Chorus Line, Drood, West Side Story:
I just can't get enough!
It is this last category that even some of my friends think is odd. But I always say, "Don't you have favorite movies that you watch over and over?" "Yes," they always say and launch into a list. Well a show is the same thing for me. The difference is that most shows aren't on DVD so I can't just buy it and watch it over and over that way. And don't get me started on movie versions of musicals.
An embarrassing sub-category - I won't publicly disclose how many times I've seen Cats and Les Miserables. Both shows I'm not even sure I can say I like anymore...
Thanks for writing, Teri, and for letting me share with everyone!
Now it is your turn! What shows have you seen many times? Why? What shows to you wish you had seen more than once? Write in and tell me. (If you don't want your response blogged, tell me that, too and I won't share.) Am I the only odd ball out there who sees shows over and over, and every different production I can get to?
Answer here, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tweet me!