Saturday, June 25, 2011

The 30-Day Musical Theater Song Challenge, Part 7

I came across this challenge on Facebook and thought I'd give it a try. By now, it should be no secret that I'm an avid fan of musical theater, which is not the case for many people in this country (and it's easy to understand why). If you're a Broadway junkie like myself, then my 'repertoire' is yours to sample. Otherwise, you're in for some 'new' music to... add to your playlist, perhaps?

Note: The instructions say to post this on your 'Wall', one song per day, but since we're in Blogger, I'm having it my way.

A song from your 'guilty pleasure' musical.

"TOUCH MY SOUL" from Bare
by Jenna Leigh Green and James Snyder

I read online that Bare has developed a cult following worldwide, so it got me all excited thinking that I'm actually part of a cult. But that's beside the point. Here's a musical that's nearly a decade due on Broadway (it had an Off-Broadway outing in 2004, but failed to make it to Broadway itself). Instead, it's received numerous productions worldwide and has become a favorite for amateur and regional theaters. For all I know, the youth's a huge part of its fanbase (or cult membership) - and really, there is something about this musical that appeals to young people. 

Perhaps it's because, like Spring Awakening (but without the global fame), Bare is about teenagers struggling to find their place in society. There's contemporary music - and it's quite good, I should say. Combine these two elements and you have the perfect recipe to get young people hooked to a piece of musical theater.

The main story arc in Bare is a love triangle, between Peter, Jason, and Ivy. The pairings are as follows: Peter and Jason, Jason and Ivy. Peter's gay, Jason's confused as to whether he's gay or straight, and Ivy is straight, flirty, and female all the way. In Touch My Soul, Ivy tells Jason about her feelings and her two cents on the world she runs, and Jason sings back to her (though it's hardly welcome).

P.S. The above clip is from the Off-Broadway Production with Jenna Leigh Green as Ivy and John Hill as Jason, dubbed with the 2007 Studio Cast Recording by Green and James Snyder as Jason.

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A song from the musical which you think everyone should see performed live.

"MAYBE" from Next to Normal
by Alice Ripley and Jennifer Damiano

Watch Next to Normal. I say that to everyone out there who lives with a functional and happy family, and to those who'd rather stay away from home because home's such a terrible place. Maybe, after watching this, you'll realize that your problems aren't that major at all. You'll be able to appreciate and love your moms better. You'll realize how lucky you are to have a dad who's not a punching bag for your mom. You'll realize that in the future, it'll just be you and your siblings together. The moral of Next to Normal goes something like this: Treasure your family, for how fortunate you are that you're not a Goodman.

I watched the musical twice in March 2011, and for both times, you could hear the sobs and sniffles during Maybe. Here, Diana and Natalie (mother and daughter) reconcile their differences and resign themselves to the fact that maybe, a normal life's never meant for them. "I don't need a life that's normal," Natalie sings, "but something next to normal would be okay."

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and Bea Garcia return in October for a rerun of the Manila production of this musical. Any theater fan out there would be crazy to miss this. The emotions that Lauchengco-Yulo and Garcia evoke in this scene are of the highest and purest level.

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