If you’re interested in participating in the Geek Out Challenge, read this post here! Each day I will be posting a question for that day for the next 30 days. Follow along each day with your own post or feel free to wait until the entire challenge has been released and take it on when you like! Be sure to link back to the master post at the end or link back to each post for each day.
Day Seven: What fandom do you love that you didn’t think you would?
A challenging question today in a fun, sort of way. I’ll concede as you grow older you do become slightly set in your ways with the things you enjoy. Or, conversely, you come to realise in the absence of peer pressure you can simply just enjoy the things you like without ever pushing yourself forward to try new experiences. I’m content with the series and genres I watch and enjoy, they are the ones that bring me pleasure but every once in a while something comes along that challenges your existing predication, for me that was musical’s, definitely a fandom I hadn’t believed I would enjoy or appreciate to any great degree but one that certainly, I can be found humming a memorable show tune or theme for days or weeks after.
In retrospect, it’s probably self evident I would enjoy this particular form of entertainment, as a child I was a regular at church with my family and joined the choir for a number of years. Certainly as the years pass you do remember fewer clear aspects of your childhood, but for whatever reason one of the clear things I do remember vividly is singing the solo to Once in Royal David City in front of a full church at Christmas full of nerves but so proud to have the privilege of doing so. Ever since, I do enjoy a memorable tune and will often or sing something at work that pops into my head.
If I remember the first musical I saw through choice was Blood Brothers by Willy Russell, a birthday present for an old girlfriend who wanted to see it. I had no real inclination or desire but for those you care about you make sacrifices. And actually, I really enjoyed it. A real emotional rollercoaster of a production with some great catchy tunes I still think about today nearly a decade later. From there it was the plethora of the West Ends greatest hits, Chicago, Les Miserable, Phantom of the Opera, I do have a soft spot for Lloyd Webber’s score though a fun aside, I had wanted to see Les Mis for a long time but kept running into various blocks along the way.
Eventually when I visited New York for the very first time I decided if I was going to see any show on Broadway it had to be one of the classics. And so my first production of Les Miserables, itself an English production of a French novel was embellished to include American theatre stage actors. I’m not saying I necessarily wanted everyone to speak in faux French accents however when you are accustomed to songs in a certain accent, hearing them in American, well, it’s an experience.
Of course there’s something about the razzmatazz of the theatre, the razzle dazzle of the actors and songs overwhelming your senses to some degree and an enthusiastic knowing audience. I’ll concede concerning my cinematic preferences I was a little more snobbier and reticent to pay to see a musical film for a long time. However, to test my resolve I took my partner to see the recent musical version of Les Miserable, I realise it has its detractors and critics but I enjoyed it, certainly some actors could hold a tune better than others, I’m looking at your Russell Crowe but thankfully you had the good grace to throw yourself to your death off a Parisian bridge so you had an apt, fate. I also found myself enjoying The Greatest Showman, what can I say, I have a weakness for Hugh Jackman and his lyrical prowess.
Whatever your feelings about the real life exploits and notoriety of P.T Barnum, as the film gained prominence certainly there were detractors to his real life conduct, as a film and musical it was a great score and soundtrack of original and memorable songs that resonated with a great many people. Whether through good fortune, luck or wise choice I don’t believe I’ve had a bad musical experience yet, certainly I’ll say defiantly I’ve avoided the various plethora of high school musicals and glee clubs, I’ll leave those to my siblings. But on the grand stages of the West End and Broadway, I certainly have some great memories of great shows.
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