With all the movie musicals on the rise, 2014 is undeniably the Year Of Much Geeking Out for all musical theater fans. Just this morning, I woke up to see that no fewer than sixteen of my friends had shared the link to the trailer for the movie version The Last Five Years, and I'm pretty sure I could hear the rabid shrieking from fellow theater nerds a hundred miles in every direction. In fact, if I were ever to write a field guide on how to spot one of us, it would probably start with a chapter on excessive screaming, lead into a chapter on painful enthusiasm, and end with everyone's eardrums shattering from the force of our uncontrollable belting (regardless of our singing talent levels).
The problem is that there is no such thing as a casual musical theater fan. When you're one of us, you're one of us, and you can't help but defend the sanctity of musical theater as if it's your full-time job. The CD slots in your car are loaded with soundtracks, half the words you use to communicate are show tune lyrics, you worship at the altar of Audra McDonald. It's not just a hobby. It's a way of life. And that's why you can't help but get up in arms every time someone says something like this:
"What's the big deal about Les Mis, anyway?"
My friend said this to me the other day and it's the closest I've ever come to jumping out of a moving vehicle.
"Aaron Tveit's not even that hot."
Oh sweetie, oh honey, oh punkin'...*quietly hits unfriend button*
Is it ILLEGAL for me to be belting the entire soundtrack to Next To Normal while playing all the individual parts until my voice gives out? No? Then step off, y'all.
"You can't date every single guy from Broadway's Newsies."
But I can TRY. (And if that doesn't work, someone can just fly me to Neverland).
"Can't we just listen to Top 40?"
Don't you want to feel something when you listen to music? Pure joy, soul-shattering heartache, gut-busting hilarity?!? Or, you know, we could just listen to Jason DeRulo say "talk dirty to me" for the thousandth time.
"The only musical I like is Wicked."
This is about as basic as theater geekdom gets. I'm not knocking on Wicked—it is prolific and I was pretty much raised on Idina and Kristen belting that soundtrack in the car. But Wicked is just the tip of the amazing musical iceberg! If it's your only favorite musical it's because it's the only one you've seen.
"Russell Crowe was such a great Javert."
YOU KNOW NOTHING OF JAVERT. (Will Swenson does, in case anyone was wondering. Hot damn.)
"What do you think you're going to do with a musical theater degree?"
Hmmm, I was thinking I'd open a dental practice. What the hell do you think I'm going to do with it, douchenozzle? SING MUSICAL THEATER.
"Your friends are weird."
Um, duh. But also they outnumber you by dozens, so you better watch out before we go start snapping like the Jets while stalking you and your judgey self down the block.
"We're out of honey."
I guess my vocal chords are just going to rub together like sandpaper for the rest of the year, but no, don't feel bad for me, it'll be fine.
"I'm so glad Smash got canceled."
Yeah, me too. So I could identify arch nemeses like you a lot easier after you say nonsense like that.
Anything That Sounds Vaguely Reminiscent Of a Song Lyric
I'm adding this one for the protection of anyone who doesn't want us to belt in their faces. Words you should avoid: all of them.
"Musicals are boring."
Bye, haters. You don't know what you're missing.
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