As I’ve stated before, there is nothing I love more in this world than singing at top volume like I’m about to win a Grammy. Usually while driving or doing the dishes.
I will be the first to admit that outside my own head, I don’t sound like a Grammy winner. But neither does Mary J. Blige, and that’s not slowing her down. So my neighbors and immediate housemates are often treated to some rousing renditions of Aretha, Katy Perry, Bonnie Raitt, Beyonce–hell, I’ll even throw in some Flo Rida or Fiona Apple if I’m feeling saucy. But I always save a special nerdy corner of my heart for the show tunes.
Ahhhhhh, the show tunes. It is a sad fact of my childhood that I didn’t listen to anything other than show tunes for probably the first 10 years of my life. I think I may have dabbled in my older sister’s Pat Benatar records, but I always got sucked back into Grease and Annie. The first song I ever learned was the theme to 42nd Street. I know way too much about South Pacific and The Sound of Music.
Yes, while my cooler compatriots were clamoring for NKOTB tickets, I was singing the Andrew Lloyd Weber medley while my best friend accompanied me on the piano. I’ll just let that image sink in for a minute and let you wonder how I didn’t grow up to be a cat hoarding musical theater critic.
But other than one bit part in a high school edition of Guys and Dolls, the only chance I ever got to sing some show tunes for a (real, willing) audience was middle school chorus. My eighth grade year Mr. Lang the music teacher broke out the Les Miserables medley and every single alto and soprano girl collectively squealed to the brink of combustion. Dear lord in heaven I wanted to sing that Fantine solo more than I wanted my braces off, more than I wanted nice bangs, even more than I wanted to “go with” the older, extremely cute boy who lived next door. And that’s saying a lot.
Alas, I did not get to sing the Fantine solo. Actually, I think Mr. Lang wisely made it a group number, to prevent the girls from clawing each other’s eyes out in a jealous rage. But I never stopped dreaming about that song, secretly holding out hope that a Broadway bigwig would hear me singing it out the car window and ask me to join the cast of the upcoming world tour.
And then today I watched the Les Mis movie trailer. I immediately wanted to claw out Anne Hathaway’s eyes and watch it 100 more times. My inner show tunes nerd is currently squealing with glee in between throaty riffs of “but the tigers come at nigggggggghhhhhht…” I might have to get Husband some earplugs so he doesn’t divorce me.