Monday, June 16, 2014

How Musicals Brought Out My Inner Kinkster

I made it to M in the A-Z Blogging Challenge! Today I am talking about musicals!

The Tony's were on last weekend and I thought it was an excellent show. What I always hope the most when I am watching the Tony's is that some kid in the middle of America, with not a lot of opportunity to get to the theater, or get a lot of exposure to musicals tunes in and watches the Tony's. I really hope one of them saw this:

Neil Patrick Harris as Hedwig. Picture from

And thought. "Huh, I'd probably look killer in those heels too."

It would really be great for some kids to have an epiphany. I am not just talking about dreams of musical theater-- almost every actor who wins a Tony says they remember watching the Tony's when they were young and they used to practice their acceptance speech in the mirror, and they always knew this day would come!

That is great for those talented people who can sing, and dance, and act-- and do it all at the same time. This is not most of the population. 

I am going to share with you what musicals gave to me.

They helped me to find my inner kink.

I am not talking about the Rodgers and Hammerstein selection, The Sound of Music, The King and I, anything with Judy Garland, and My Fair Lady. I grew up on a steady diet of these musicals. Throw in a little Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Shirley Temple films and you are pretty much reliving my childhood. I watched them with my mom, she knew all the words and we both sang off-key together.

Then the musical Rent hit Broadway and became wildly popular. I bought the original cast recording and listened to it over and over in my bedroom.

It was loud and fast paced and Rock and Roll. It talked about sex, it had sex in it, it had all kinds of things I didn't understand but wanted to. I had no idea musicals could be like this. I was hooked!

Specifically the song La Vie Boheme. The characters all file into a restaurant after one of their friends has performed at a protest and they are singing this upbeat song that just makes you want to live life. Go listen to it here.

But here are some of the lyrics that made a nerdy kid who did not know much about life, or anything for that matter, sit up and take notice:

Bisexuals, trisexuals, homo sapiens,
Carcinogens, hallucinogens, men,
Pee Wee Herman
German wine, turpetine, Gertrude Stein
Antoniotti, Bertolucci, Kurosawa
Carmina Burana

To apathy, to entropy, to empathy, ecstacy
Vaclav Havel - The Sex Pistols, 8BC
To no shame - never playing the Fame Game

To marijuana

To sodomy, it's between God and me
To S & M

Yeah, that last part-- I actually remember asking my mom what S&M was, you know, just normal dinner table conversation. She wanted to know why I wanted to know, and then I knew it was something good!

I lied and told her I heard it at the school bus stop. 

She never did tell me. I did look it up in the encyclopedia though. As well as sodomy-- that was an education.

This same year my best friend introduced me to her mom's old VHS copy of Hair!

This just added to my education. And so my inner kinkster was kickstarted.

In truth, it was probably always lurking beneath the surface. I just had no idea up until then that so many people were having all of these thoughts. And putting them to music no less!

Some people might not relate to this post. And I get it, we can't all be people who like musicals. But take this as my public service announcement to not overlook the nerdy girl in love with musicals.

Theater nerds do it with a soundtrack.


  1. I like the nerds' love of musicals. I'm so glad we don't share all the same taste, otherwise life would be very boring, Casey!

  2. LOL, I guess I was the sheltered kid who was oblivious to all the words, even though I loved music and musicals.
    Yep, oblivious.

    It took me years to figure out what Madonna's songs meant. (You would have though "Like a virgin" would be simple enough). Not to me.
    I wonder how different my life would be if I actually had paid attention to any of the words.
    Great post, Casey.

  3. I love musicals, seen quite a few back in the 80s as a kid, but I didn't get taken to anything with raunchy words... more is the pity.

  4. :) That was awesome! You asked your mom what S&M was. I asked mine what a hooker was when we were watching General Hospital once. She told me to shut up I believe. We have an awesome relationship like that... :)

    Do you know One Night in Bangkok??? That one still gets me. Well, a lot of them do. A friend and I had a job in NY once and we each chose a show to go to. I chose the Phantom as I'm still obsessed and he chose Naked Boys Singing. That one is somehow still the more memorable!

  5. I think I was a pre-teen when my parents took me to see a production of "Hair"- their Catholic friends were horrified. However one of my memories from it was how the lighting was specifically done to make the nudity impossible to see. Anyway, I'd started devouring Greek mythology as a 6 year old, so I had at least the dictionary definition of words my parents wouldn't necessarily want me to have. You asking your mom what BDSM makes me think of a recent story with my teen and I though. I was reading a friend's book and he asked "Why would anyone chew glass?"- it fit into the scene I was reading. I explained that while he might be mature enough to understand the story, it was illegal for him to read it based on his age.
    Teen's vote is for Angel; he adores the character. I'm fond of Mimi.

  6. I freakin' LOVE musicals. In my next lifetime, I'm going to come back as a broadway musical performer. I prefer the dance line to a starring role, but you know, I'd take it any way I could get it.

    I saw Rent from the first row in NYC the summer it debuted. They saved the front two rows for the student rush tickets, and me and some other NYU summer dancers stood in line all day to get in. It truly represented the whole NYC experience for me. What a treat. Thanks for reminding me. I'd completely forgotten about that musical and that experience! :)

  7. Thanks, Han!

    Kate- Songs on the radio are an entirely different thing. I always sing the wrong words and replace words. I have ruined many songs for my husband :)

    Jaye- The first musical my parents took me to was Cats. It was my first Broadway experience so I was obsessed, but really? Adults dressed as cats, what's up with that?

  8. Natasha- One Night in Bangkok, you're a dork! I am not the hugest fan of Phantom, but it was a good show. Never saw the Naked Choir Boys one, but I remember when it was out.

    Joelle- I think Angel might be my favorite character. But I always did love the whole Roger/Mimi love affair. And Maureen, I love Maureen. Okay, I guess I can't pick a favorite.

    Renee- I got to see Rent twice, but we were always in the mezzanine! It is such a great show. Yeah in my next life I want to be able to sing, or dance, or act. One of any would be nice!