The story of one man's iPod and the 125 cast recordings on it. And why you should be as crazy as him.
By Michael Kras (Actor/Playwright/Director/Broadway-Fanboy)
Show of hands: Who listens to at least one musical cast recording a day? Keep 'em up.
If you didn't hilariously raise your hand in front of your computer screen, you are one of two things:
A) Not insane.
B) Missing out.
Let's look at my own iPod for a second. I have just under 200 albums on there, total. Of those 200 albums, 125 of them are cast recordings. Maybe I have a problem. I admit I don't like much of today's "normal music." I don't pump myself up in the morning to Maneater by Nelly Furtado (that song's still popular... right?), I get dressed and cleaned up to Spring Awakening.
It's safe to say I kind of love musicals. And if you're reading this blog right now, I think it's safe to say you do too. This is why I present a challenge to you: Listen to one cast recording a day. Why, you ask? Well, I'm glad you asked that question.
I live in Canada. I've never seen a Broadway show in my life. I know many of you reading right now live in New York and have better access to the Great White Way, and I'm sure there are just as many of you reading this right now that are in the same boat as me. Sure, I've seen plenty of musicals, but I've never had the Broadway experience. For the time being, my collection of cast recordings is all I've got.
The reason you should listen to one cast album every day is because it gives you an opportunity to do something we all sometimes take for granted: Immerse yourself in a story. There is literally no excuse for you not to listen to a cast album a day. It's one hour of your life and you can do anything you want as you're listening... after all, you're only listening. It's not as though you're sitting in a Broadway house with no escape. The sky's the limit, and you can get lost in the awesomeness that is a Broadway musical whenever and wherever you want.
I'm listening to something right now! As I write my very first Crazytown blog post, I'm taking in the sweet sounds of Raise the Roof from the 1999 musical The Wild Party (Lippa's score, not LaChiusa's).
And I've gotta tell you, as I listen, I'm pretty pumped. This just might be the best I feel all day (Hey, you never know!)
Of course, you have to be selective about your listening experience. If you're in an awful mood, it's probably not a good idea to listen to something by Sondheim, Guettel, or LaChiusa. All three composers are effing brilliant, but let's face it: If you need some pumping up, reach into your Stephen Schwartz, your Jonathan Larson, your Ryan Scott Oliver. Hell, I've listened to Rent at least 525,600 times. Stuff like that does the trick.
And of course, if you're in the mood to listen to just about anything, go for the meatier stuff. Adam Guettel's Floyd Collins is my all-time favourite musical, but you wouldn't catch me dead listening to How Glory Goes in a bad mood.
Make your day awesome. Take yourself on a journey that only a good Broadway musical album can provide. Thank me later.
Question of the Day: What's YOUR favourite cast album to listen to? And better yet, why? I'd love to hear from you guys. Drop a comment!