I like a lot of the shows I see, and sometimes I love them. Every once in a while (/every few weeks) I love love a show. But rarely am I struck with a realization that I’m getting to witness pure magic. I can remember a few times when I had such a moment, sort of an out-of-body momentary recognition that I am lucky to be in this audience, like I’m stepping back from watching the show itself and thinking oh man, am I here? It has nothing to do with whether I love love the show itself; I could just like the show but have this kind of detached awareness where I recognize that parts of it are flawless or beautiful or magical. In the past decade, I can remember this happening a few times. Once was during the big title number tap break in Sutton Foster’s “Anything Goes”. That’s like a ten-minute tap dance extravaganza and halfway through I was like oh my god this is still going on and it keeps getting better I can’t believe it. (It’s easy to understand why Jonanthan Groff was so equally obsessed that he learned all of Kathleen Marshall’s choreography (and imitated every one of Sutton’s vocal inflections.)) Next was when I saw “Hamilton” and Daveed Diggs rapped his “Guns & Ships”. This was before the album was recorded (OG right here) so no one had heard this before and I was like whaaaaat this is really happening in musical theatre erma erma! There were probably one or two other moments like that in the past few years, and the most recent, and most surprising, was during the new Broadway revival of “Once on this Island”. Surprising, because I had literally zero information about this show, and because the magic feeling lasted for pretty much the entire show. Not one song or one dance, but for the entire damn thing.
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