Cheerio, my delightful and fascinating friends!
I am so thrilled to be back amongst you.
As many of you may know, it is currently summer. As some of you may also know, summer can be a difficult time for theatre geeks. For one, The Tonys, which are the epitome, aka the last big Hurrah of the Broadway Season, have come and gone, and so the Theatrical Season, or the wave of new shows coming to Broadway has slowed way down.
This is exciting because we can look forward to new shows starting to appear in the fall, but for now, there is a sense of stagnancy, like the air in 101 Degrees in The Shade.
Speaking of, are you one of those eternal black-turtleneck-wearers? I really hope that I am not the only one. Summer can be difficult for those of us who would prefer to be slinky black panthers for our entire lives. I think we can all agree that Summer, in spite of it’s alluring promise of Another Day of Sun, is somewhat difficult to get through.
Not to worry. Summer may try to bring us down, but theatre geeks can’t be conquered.
And neither can my blog!
A Theatre Geek’s Guide To Surviving Summer (tips and tricks for the theatrically inclined)
If you’re even a little bit like me, you love Summer reading, and even if one is just as busy during the summer as they are during the rest of the year, there’s definitely something about summertime that calls for an amazing book and a fizzy drink, sipped on a stairwell. My neighbors have a really nice stairwell that I sit on quite often, especially for pictures, and it’s really quite fun to pretend you’re sitting on the fire escape in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn or something while you read, although I think my neighbors find me quite annoying.
If you identify as a theatre geek, and are in the market for some more theatrical books to chip away at this year, here is a list of some absolute must-reads, compiled by me, Broadway Lil.
A Little Bit Wicked by Kristin Chenoweth
If you’re in the market for some lighthearted, humorous fabulousness, (and who isn’t, really? If we’re being honest) Kristin Chenoweth’s autobiography is absolutely perfect for you. She has always inspired me so much and so I really adored reading her story.
Laughter on the 23rd Floor by Neil Simon
Friends, I get that we’re Musical Theatre people. But straight theatre has always been a love of mine too, and I’ve always especially loved reading plays. Laughter on the 23rd floor is the hilariously bittersweet story of a group of wacky comedy writers and their relationships. It has some musical theatre vibes and reminded me a little bit of the show 30 Rock, which is a favorite of mine. I think there was also a movie made based on this play, and although I haven’t seen it, I hear that it’s pretty good, so, ya know.
*tried to smile like she knows anything about movies*
Clothing Options (Combatting Black Turtleneck Tendencies)
When the summer heat hits it can be difficult for Certain People to find clothing to wear. By Certain People, I mainly mean, me, obsessed with sweaters and turtlenecks as I am. Thank Gosh for La La Land, though. With it’s bevy of theatrically classy outfit inspirations we are all saved. Skater dresses with especially poofy skirts can pass for ‘40’s-style dresses, and if you want to, you can even flip your hair up at the ends and toss on some cat-eyed sunglasses and go full-out Audry Hepburn (I know she’s ‘60’s). Also: if you tie a thin scarf around your neck sideways you will automatically be very French and fabulous.
You can also go the route (and I have gone this route many-a-time) of denying that is summer and not even going outside! Or if you simply must go outside, I find that instead of wearing a long-sleeved black turtleneck one can buy a short-sleeved one!
*wishes she knew cool slang*
On the other side of things, if you like to dress more simply and are not a huge fan of getting strange looks from members of your generation and wide smiles from Baby Boomers, jeans and shorts with geeky t-shirts that say things like “If you don’t like Les Miz I am 24601% done with you” or have the Hamilton logo on them, will work absolutely wonderfully. I actually used to be rather sad about the geeky t-shirts thing because I really love geeky t-shirts, but I am poor and geeky t-shirts cost a lot. But then, my friends, I discovered that whenever you get out of shows at the Pantages Theater in LA, there are guys standing right outside selling show-shirts for five dollars apiece. Five dollars! I know! And you don’t even have to see the shows, you can just drive out to Hollywood Boulevard at eleven o’clock at night and buy t-shirts! It’s a little frightening, but only in the best way. The things we must do for fashion, amiright? I know you might not not live in Los Angeles, but there are usually places you can buy t-shirts cheaply elsewhere, and if you can’t, do what I did before I started shopping at Hollywood Boulevard Inc. and buy an official Hamilton t-shirt for thirty five smackeroos and wear it everyday. I call it the Theatrical Albert Einstein look.
If, in the course of your summer gallivanting, you find that even after all the books and clothing and fizzy drinks, you lack forms of entertainment, I have several suggestions for you to remedy this. My first is this: host a garden party.
*blushes like the dork that she is*
The thing about hosting a garden party is this: it is quite easy to be the epitome of fabulous and the center of attention and you can also make appetizers. Of course, the real key to hosting a successful party of the garden variety is the music. Aka: jazz. Jazz, preferably Miles Davis, is the only option. You can buy a small speaker from Target for five dollars, set it up in a small green foliage area, plug it into an electronic device of some sort, and vavoom, there you go. Instant party! If you don’t want to be the only guest at your party (and although this has been known to happen, it is not really recommended) you can make invitations or send texts with lots of celebratory emojis, and invite your whole squad. I realize that I am assuming that you have a squad. I realize that this is an unfair presumption. If you do not have a squad (and I know the feeling, kid), then I really recommend inviting any and all neighbors in your general vicinity who are over the age of sixty. They will appreciate your effort, will probably not make fun of your flipped-up hair, and may even dance the jitterbug with you. That was a joke. The last one was a joke, of course. Dance the jitterbug? What kind of freak do you think I am?
I can only dance the jitterbug.
Serving alcohol is, of course an option, but because of my lack of experience and under-age tendencies, I really recommend serving sparkling apple cider in champagne glasses. Champagne glasses are really quite easy to get your hands on, any reputable Goodwill will have a bevy and I think it’s really cute to have a few different styles to add some variety and quirkiness to your lil’ setup.
Conversation Starters (Once You’ve Achieved a party)
Now, once you’ve achieved a party or gathering of some sort, or even in the case that you have been invited to a party yourself, you probably are in the market for one thing and that is To Be The Most Fabulous Person In The Room. This is a common desire, especially prominent in those of us who identify as theatrical, and so I have achieved a small list of tips on achieving the state. I find that they are most effective if they are employed with the addition of a pair of gigantic and terrifying glasses. Now, before I get into Revealing All My Secrets on Le Tres Fabuleux (didn’t think I could get any more spectacular, did you? I just said “fabulous” in French) I would like to bequeath you all with a small story.
A Small Story Involving A Shy Near-Sighted Child
When I was quite young, I wore out my eyes. This was due partially to my reading of fiction in dim light and due partially to a deliberate decision of mine to stop eating carrots. Because of this wearing out of my eyes, I had to wear glasses and this is really where everything changed. After my fateful eye exam, back in 2012, I picked out a pair of very small rectangular glasses which, while being perfectly fine and also a rather nice shade of blue, were NOT tres fabuleux In The Least. I didn’t have much self awareness at this point but I think I knew something was Wrong and so several years later, I achieved a new pair of glasses. These were thick and black but they were not very empowering. They were like the fakest hipster in the world. So I got a new pair, the pair that I currently wear every day with reckless abandon. Now here is where the really fascinating bit comes in. After I achieved my current pair of glasses, I truly became more myself. I felt like I could have a fake New York accent. I felt like I could speak my mind. I felt like I could encourage people and express my thoughts. I don’t want to give my glasses all the credit but…I kind of do.
End Of Story
Anyway, back to Being The Most Fabulous Person In The Room. I find, and I really believe this, that if you believe that you are the most fabulous person in the room, you will be the most fabulous person in the room. I know it’s a lot harder to actually go out and do, but believe me, it works. It helps to have Feeling Good by Nina Simone playing on repeat in your head, but it’s not paramount. And then, if you just ask people questions about themselves, preferably in a fake (or real, you super rad human!) New York accent, people will talk to you, and bamo, you’ve achieved supreme fabuleuxness. Sorry if you’re actually French. I’ve been listening to French pop music in the hopes that I will absorb something, but I feel pretty doubtful that it’s effective.
Bonus (aka Stagedoor) Summer Tips and Tricks
And to wrap this thing up, here are a couple more tips and tricks for retaining your theatricality during the summer, mes cheris!
Go to a show
Even if you are broke (and most of us are) there are Ways for you to see at least on good theatre show this year. May I recommend seeing the filmed revival of Falsettos, now in movie theaters near you? They literally filmed a Broadway show and are showing it in movie theaters. I have no words.
Write a letter to a cast member from your fav musical/play
If you haven’t written a long and heartfelt Thank You For Being Born letter to Ben Platt, here is your chance. I still need to do this. I haven’t don this yet. WHAT? WHO AM I BECOMING THAT I HAVEN’T WRITTEN A THANK YOU FOR BEING BORN LETTER TO BEN PLATT YET?!
Sometimes I just disgust myself.
Throw a Broadway Karaoke Night
For my most recent birthday, I did Broadway Karaoke. It was incredible. I tried to sing Elphaba and no one died. All you need to achieve Broadway Karaoke is an iphone, a small PA, a mic, and a couple people who are, at the very least, all madly in love with Lin-Manuel Miranda. If you don’t have a PA (and who does, really?) I am almost positive you can find someone who does. Or maybe all my friends are just super-talented music people.
Just kidding. All of my friends are super-talented music people, but I’m sure it will not be hard for you to find a PA.
Read My Blog
If worst comes to worst this summer you can always just read my blog. Not that I’m plugging here, I just really want to spread helpful tips with the-
Please read my blog.
I love you all. Will you tell me what you like doing during the summer? I would really love to hear, and of course, I love you all!