It’s been a while since I have written a RAGE/RANT post, but I am feeling inspired today and need to let that inspiration flow. As I recently started my new podcast “Are You Not Entertained?!” I have been having a lot of fun sharing some of my blog rants to my listening audience with my segment called “Ed’s Getting Upset!” and it has been incredibly cathartic for me. Whether it has been about people’s behaviors when flying, Disney World or Skiing, it has compelled me to put down in words some other things that get me “upset”. Lately, this rage inside me has been directed at Broadway. Why you ask? Well – first off I am being bombarded by musical soundtracks these days by my 11 year old daughter. Secondly, my wife has now also gotten “the bug” again and (along with my daughter) been attending play after play after play. I never understood plays. Yes – I did them as a kid (because girls) but as an adult I see absolutely zero appeal (more to come as to why). With this as the framework, let me explain why Broadway go right to hell with the following reasons as my case talking points:
– Cost if you listen on the podcast or read my prior rants, you know I am no fan of ridiculously expensive things that you can’t take home with you. Case in point – Broadway. A ticket to a Broadway (or local “Off Broadway” or “Touring” show) is STUPID expensive. We are talking (depending on seats location) – anywhere from $75- $1000 (!) bucks per ticket. What the actual fuck? What the hell are we talking about here – a play? Not a new computer. Not a monthly car payment. A PLAY. Something my kids (and yours) do at school – FOR FREE. Look – I am no fan of “plays” (more on that in a bit) but fan or no there is no way you can justify that cost unless I am eating filet mignon with lobster tails and getting a massage while I watch. No – strike that – even that would not get me to pay that kind of money – FOR A PLAY. Let’s continue on the cost – shall we? Parking in the city? 50 bucks easy. “Refreshments”? Just like in my Disney rant, once you enter those doors it is extortion city. Last but not least – let’s not forget that part of the “experience” is a dinner in the city before the show – which is another cool $100 – $200 bucks. FOR A PLAY. Here’s an idea – I will do a dramatic reading of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” in my family room with freshly cheesed Doritos and you can give me the $1500 instead.
– Dress Up I simply cannot understand this next one. My wife and daughter think it’s the goddamn prom they are going to when they go see a show. I have seen this when I have been forced (excuse me ) “attended” shows in the past too. People dress up like it’s a black tie event. Why? IT’S A PLAY. The performers sure as shit don’t care what the hell you are wearing. As I understand it there is no official “dress code” (and if there is fuck you). So what the hell is the reason people feel they have to pull out the tux and expensive dresses to attend A PLAY. Of couuuuurse, these fancy clothes cost lots of money which leads right back to the reason listed above. Moving on….
– The Absurdity I understand a ton about “suspension of disbelief”. After all, I love Star Wars for Christ sake. BUT – there is only so mush suspending of my disbelief I can do when every day normal situations all of the sudden turn into big song and dance numbers. Picture this for example: You and I are at a business lunch. We start discussing how the project we are working on might need more time and work before the deadline. THEN I JUMP UP ON THE LUNCH TABLE AND START SINGING ABOUT THE PROJECT. You then jump up with me, immediately knowing the tune and lyrics of my new “song” and we miraculously start choreographed dancing together too and an orchestra shows up out of nowhere. THEN THE REST OF THE RESTAURANT STARTS SINGING AND DANCING WITH US. When we finish, we all go back to our seats like the weirdest flash mob in the world never even happened. Right. I just basically described every single musical – ever. I may be in the minority, but that shit just makes me laugh every time.
– The Prestige I know there are tons of Broadway fans and I am probably in the huge minority on this but much like “skiing badges” where skiers love to collect these mountain passes like boy scout honor badges for the world to see, Broadway lovers LOVE to collect Playbills and tell anyone within earshot about how much “this show was fabulous on Broadway” or that they saw this show or that in it’s “theatrical run” or “limited run” or whatever the fuck. Sweet mercy make it stop. I, nor any other non Broadway fan could care any less. Yay. You saw a play. In New York. Mazel tov! Honestly, my son was in a play recently that I know was also on Broadway at some point. Either way – it’s a play. Whether I saw it in a Middle School or in “Insert Important Sounding Name” theater means a total of dick. Bonus points for those a-holes who say “I saw the run with “insert unknown Broadway star here” and the new actor/actress playing the role just isn’t the same”. URGE TO KILL…..GROWING.
– Lack of originality Coming soon to Broadway – “The Avengers: The Musical!”. Obviously I am no fan of plays, but every time my kid or wife tell me about some “hot new show” it is a movie being made into a PLAY. A PLAY (can’t stop – won’t stop). From “Mean Girls” to “Lion King” to whatever there is absolutely ZERO originality or new ideas. But Ed – “Hamilton” was never a movie. No – just ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FOUNDING FATHERS OF OUR COUNTRY AND ALSO BASED ON A BOOK WHICH IS WAY BETTER – and no spontaneous singing and dancing during duels. Movies over a play all day, every day.
EXTRA RANT – HAMILTON Now – take every point I listed above and multiply it by 10,000. Thousands of dollars for tickets for two years from now., Countless social posts with the playbill in half the shot or standing in front of the show signs. People talking about whatever the fuck his face is and how “I saw it with him” to the people who didn’t see the original show like “let them eat cake” style. The whatever fucking “sisters” song that my daughter WON’T STOP SINGING. The local city tour shows that still cost thousands. Way to go Hamilton. Make a US history fan like me hate Alexander Hamilton. Serious question – if he were miraculously resurrected today and saw this show what do you think he would say?
Sorry but not sorry. For all you Broadway lovers I have an idea. If you MUST see a musical, go to your local school where at most it will cost you 5 bucks. You can hear all these lovely show tunes you like, don’t have to dress like it’s prom night and get to see performances of kids doing their darndest (which is always cute). Then you will have seen the play, know the story, be able to sing the show tunes and you can tell all your bourgeois friends it was a “special theatrical run” at the “Ed Nathanson Ford Presented by IBM” theater. Only thing left is to go on to Amazon and order yourself that Playbill. Enjoy!