funny how...

(This is long.)

...I was terrified that Sunshine's copy of Spring Awakening: In The Flesh was going to make me realize I only like the National Tour Cast and not the show itself. Especially after reading the original script by Wedekind (in translation), I really doubted the - how shall I put this? - artistic merit (?) of the show, considering the Masked Man (Why is he there?) and the total disconnect between scenes (something I think a theater script is totally not allowed to do, although I read somewhere Wedekind intended it to be a "reading" play). Even after watching an online bootleg of one of the early performances pre-"The Guilty Ones" (seriously, so illegal, I don't know if I should be pleased or upset at the blatant disrespect for live theater), I thought maybe I was swept up in the shock factor.

I mean, sex onstage, boy-on-boy action, two masturbation scenes, suicide, rape, and a lot of cussing? 1890s schoolboys and girls pulling microphones out of their clothes to rock out to songs entitled "Bitch of Living," "Touch Me," "Totally Fucked," and "The Word Of Your Body"? Lines like "Now I am plagued by labia majora" and "Take these sticky dreams away from me"? Not to mention an extremely talented, young, inexplicably (and somewhat upsettingly) good-looking tour cast? (Cue really attractive cast photos.)

Above, Kyle Riabko and Christy Altomare. Honestly, I don't know where Kyle's looking.

Above, Ben Freaking Moss and his Eyes of Adorable and Christy Altomare and her fierce eyebrows.

Above, Blake Talented Bashoff and Gabrielle Garza.

Above, Andy Freaking Mientus, Christy Altomare, Ben Freaking Moss looking like the teenager he still is (swoon), and Blake Bashoff. Don't know where Andy's looking.

But no. Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik and whoever else - Susan Hilferty, the costume designer who did Wicked as well, and Michael Mayer the director, and whoever the choreographer was, and everyone - is just... blowing me away. The songs work even though they're completely anachronistic because they're internal monologues. No, this isn't musical theater as it's been done well before. They're not there to further the plot; they're for the characters to break the fourth wall. And that's why there's onstage seating and cast members sitting among the audience. I am totally enamored with this particular manifestation of experimental theater. I don't know. Are the characters actually actors playing characters or are they the actors being themselves but not playing anything? How sad is it that kids in 1890s Germany seem totally at home belting out modern rock music about being alone and frustrated and too young to understand everything but too old to be innocent? [ETA: And parental pressure. I think that's what really got me. Come on, Asian kids, you know what I'm talking about.]

AUGH. So artistically right. HOW MASTERFUL.

I've probably lost all credibility with the photos and that last statement.

P. S. It took me until today to figure out what Hanschen was singing and what it meant in "My Junk" when he says "I go up to my room, turn the stereo on, / Shoot up some you in the 'you' of some song" as in "You are my drug, and I pretend the 'you' referred to in songs is you." Wow, I feel stupid.

P. P. S. I finished The Omnivore's Dilemma today, and I want to thank Michael Pollan for making me feel okay about meat again.

Just like this boy-girl.

Also, I'm sure this has become blatantly apparent to anyone who knows me reasonably well, but I love me a good quote about religion. I have a beef with religion, but not when it's like this:

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