I didn’t know the movie, I own the original Broadway recording, but I never really loved it because basically if you just listen to it it’s only a collection of folk songs. So I never had a TOTAL blast listening to it. Another but: BUT I literally cried back then when I saw the trailer for the first time. Well….everything was fun and games until the guy danced while playing his cello.
So we got our tickets at the TKTS booth down at South Seaport (because we basically wanted to go downtown that day anyways plus there was that free open air concert “Broadway on Hudson”…) which was rather convenient.
So after a whole day of walking we hurried over to the theatre (basically only one block to the west) not knowing that poeple would actually line up in front of the theatre. So we went past the whole line and sneeked in without waiting (to our defense: we did not know – and yes, we felt bad) and when we entered the stage was already filled up with performers playing their instruments and singing to each other as well as with audience members just chilling over there watching them. It was a chaotic, a little bit like watching musicians rehearse or developing something new.
Later on the two stage managers asked the audience members to leave the stage, but the jam session continued until Arthus Darvill (playing GUY) suddenly stood there (alone) playing Leave with the lights in the audience still on. Only when his song was almost finished the lights slowly went off. That way it wasn’t like “Shut up, the performance starts!”, the performance slowly fought its way into the audience and that was kinda brilliant. And it made it so much about the music right from the beginning.
And as of today I can totally localize my urge to cry at that exact spot. I mean the story of course is sad and I totally cried about that, too, because after all I’m a girl but I’ve never seen anything more about pure music and the joy it can bring to the people than that! Wow! Every instrument to hear throughout the performance is played by the actors on stage: violins (the actresses playing the violins actually sing while playing the violin….just sayin’), the already mentioned cello, a number of guitars, bass, the piano, various percussion, accordion…it was pure joy to watch them performing and embracing the music in every possible way and it actually showed me again why I love musical theatre so much and why I chose (or better: want to choose) it as my business in the first place.
I could go on and on about that and about those small fabulous things that are going on during the show. I love the characters especially those of GUY and GIRL, they are great and lovable and kind of true to life although I had a feeling I couldn’t really ‘grab’ them as characters – which actually is a good sign of true to life characters, right? They just “felt right” (BOY, that is a poor discription for someone who just finished her BA studies in theatre studies!).
I really don’t want to go into all the other small details (like this scene when GUY comes home with GIRL or her great way to talk and her dry humour), because then I’d totally write a performance analysis and that’s not for a blogpost. That’s a whole paper for university (no, more like two thirds).
So, read you later!