Life should be more like a musical, a joyous romp in a well scripted song and dance routine with a happy ending instead of this completely improvisational sketch comedy set in summers so hot that it feels like I’d spontaneously burst into flames, and winters so damned cold that I’m sure that if I go outside, my nuts would freeze and then simply fall off.
It should be more like River City, with Harold Hill warning of the trouble brewing and falling feet first into a parade led by 76 trombones that allows him to capture the heart of Marian The Librarian who, years later, would leave her position at the book depository and set off with five kids in a painted school bus sharing their ‘C’mon, Get Happy’ song with anyone who dared to listen. Or maybe a week or two in the small, sleepy town of Sweet Apple, Ohio, shaken awake by the swiveling hips of Conrad Birdie bumping and grinding his way into the sexual fantasy of Kim McAfee, as he prepares to ride off in his gold lame fatigues to serve his country, leaving the hapless failed songwriter, Albert Peterson, with his dreams of chemistry and having his way with the ravishing Rose Alvarez who, by the way, survived an unprovoked attack in her room at The Bates Motel.
Or maybe a trip through space and time as Erronius wanders around the seven hills of Ancient Rome, and Pseudolus, dodges gladiators and Centurions on his way to the Forum as he set out to obtain his freedom from servitude in exchange for the lovely Philia, a winsome virgin who lives next door in the house of Marcus Lycus, the flesh peddler who bears an uncanny resemblance to Sergeant Ernie Bilko who lived two thousand years in the future! Now that would be something peculiar, if not familiar. Life could be a turf war in New York’s west side between the Jets and the Sharks, all set in 6/8 time, or a mob war with The Rat Pack in 1920s Chicago, the battleground between Robbo and Guy Gisborne, who decades later emerged as a cigar smoking Los Angeles Police Lieutenant.
Life should take me through the world of my imagination, down the river of chocolate with a golden ticket and an everlasting gobstopper in hand, as Oompa Loompas sing and dance for Willy Wonka, who I am sure was one of the former Broadway producers incarcerated for fraud in the ‘Springtime For Hitler’ debacle. I may find myself in a Russian village at the height of the Bolshevik Revolution, with Tevye dancing down a dirt road, wondering what life would be like if he were a rich man while a violinist from the St. Petersburg Philharmonic plays the classics while precariously perched on the roof.
Life should be an eternal party on a stormy night, when madness takes its toll, and a jump to the left and then a step to the right would transform the world and drop me among the transsexual Transylvanians led by a sweet transvestite who, after his fall from grace, settles in Derry, Maine dragging unsuspecting passersby into the sewers where everything seems to float. Or at best, the dugout of the heartless Washington Senators, the worst team in baseball, spring to life with the arrival of Joe Hardy, who is talked into a deal that would change both the team’s fortunes, and his life, as arranged by the devil in the guise of Mr. Applegate, who interestingly enough arrives on Earth a second time as Tim O’Hara’s Martian uncle, Martin
It’s a far cry from sitting in the dark after the power goes out in the middle of another ice storm shoveling handfuls of dry Fruit Loops and Captain Crunch in your face knowing the neon lights are bright ‘On Broadway’. In any event, you always have a choice. You can either stand on the stage and belt out a verse or two of ‘Lullaby Of Broadway’, or any other ‘Broadway Melody’, or you can give your regards to Broadway and blame it on those ‘Nights On Broadway’. As for me, well, I don’t think life was meant to be lived as a carnival, a short stop in a field outside of a small town in rural America before it moves on to another locale. Life should be a musical, it was destined to be a musical, filled with chorus lines of women in short skirts and fish net stockings, bright lights, memorable melodies, and dance steps that are perfectly choreographed, not to mention the perverse diversions that go on in the understudy dressing rooms following each night’s performance.