The thing you need to know about my brother is that he loves musical theater. I mean loves
it. He's seen virtually every show, can tell you who starred in what and where they did it and when. He even took shares out as a teenager in Andrew Lloyd-Webber's Really Useful Group
when it became a public company, and gathered in a tidy sum when it went private again. I tell you, the man is an original Broadway baby.
So, when he visited New York last week, what else would be our evening's entertainment but seeing a show? We saw two: Avenue Q
and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
. Both were small, alternative musicals, and both had a good line in skepticism about making it in this world, although Putnam County
had a very suburban optimism to its satire.
had better singing, better songs, and a snappier plot, although Spelling Bee
certainly had imaginative staging, and encouraged audience participation by having four audience members take part in the spelling bee itself, making sure that they got impossibly difficult words to spell so that the show could continue.
Naturally, yours truly being a total egghead, nerd, and ultra-competitive freak was spelling away under his breath before the cast could get the answer. What a delightful companion for the theater I was, although my brother, who's been used to it since we were wee nippers, took it in his stride. By the way, if you want to be ahead of the rest, learn up on your South American rodents. Enough said.