The best feeling in the world is sitting in a dark theater as the curtain opens to reveal a brand new life, new people, new music and a new story.
I grew up on "Showtune Saturday Night" and listening to musicals before bed. I practically lived on Broadway if you know what I mean. My dad loved Broadway and show tunes, a love he instilled in his kids. My bedtime movies were "Phantom of the Opera" and "Cats." My brother and I would sing "Les Miserables" to each other while doing the dishes in the kitchen! If you get my point, I love Broadway.
I was absolutely enthralled when I saw my first play; eyes as big as saucers, gripping the edge of my seat, fixated on the brightly lit stage. I watched as grown adults played make believe.
However, their version was much more extravagant than the miniscule games my cousins and I would play. In the adult world, make-believe was full of splendid costumes, wonderful sets and beautiful voices. It was all so amazing. I had been introduced into a whole new world and I was not leaving.
I devoured all the material about musicals I could get my hands on. My family calls them my "obsessive stages" and looking back, I will admit I was slightly obsessive. I would, and even continue to, become fixated on one play, musical, or story and then I learn everything there is to know about it. First it was "Phantom of the Opera," then "Aida," "Wicked," "Les Miserables," then "West Side Story" and "Romeo and Juliet" -- the list goes on. I Google, research, listen, read, ask or talk about the specific play that I'm on until I am satisfied. I eventually surpassed my dad in the Broadway knowledge, which is saying a lot.
I realize that to some teens "Guys and Dolls" or "South Pacific" may not be as cool as the next Katy Perry single or Nickleback album, but to me they are. Show tunes have this unique ability of making the audience come alive when they watch. My dad said it best when he described musicals as "country music," meaning every song tells a story, but in a whole play rather than one song.
What would life be without Aida and Radames' forbidden romance in "Aida" or Elphaba and Glinda's daring friendship in "Wicked"? To me, season tickets to the Hale Center Theatre are totally better than a season pass to Lagoon. I went to every play that I could and I thrived in the theater atmosphere. Within each show, a brand new story waits there patiently, completely untapped, ready for me to dive in with all enthusiasm and gusto.
Just think about it: Why do a bunch of strangers get together in a dark room and watch more strangers act as other people on stage, and actually pay for it? Simply put, because the audience loves it as much as the actors. You can't help but lose yourself in the sweeping love story, the gripping fights and the swelling music. There is a raw beauty that accompanies theater. It is majestic, beautiful and full of jaw-dropping talent.
I guess the point I am trying to make is give musical theater a chance. If you let it, Broadway can be the coolest thing out there. Take it from someone who knows.
Lynette Randall is a junior at Clearfield High School. She loves river rafting, rock climbing, wave running and reading. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.