“New York, New York, it’s a helluva town!”
-On The Town
Bonjour, Bonjour, Bonjour, Mes Chéris!
I hope you are all in good health and spirits! The thing is, I really have no earthly time for small talk, I have something so incredibly exciting, thrilling, and amahzifying to inform you all of, that I have been fain set to burst. Fain set to burst. Wow. What is my prose? Isn’t it marvelous? Aren’t I a genius?
I couldn’t tell you before because I had to confirm things such as whether or not my fain set to burst news was really going to happen or not, but now you can know. Now all will be revealed.
It is happening.
I think I might die.
I, Broadway Lil, am going to New York City.
You can panic.
For my whole life, since I listened to the tenth anniversary Les Miserables, and from that point on continued my theatrical quest, I have been reminded and reminded of one specific, magical, romantic, and dramatic location by my friends, who have a tendency to be made up largely of Broadway characters. My friends, through song, dance, and continual plugging, have brought to my attention that The Greatest City in the World, New York New, York, which is a wonderful town, where the people ride in a hole in the ground (apparently) and in case you were wondering, if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere, it’s up to you New York, New York, ect., ect…is the only place worth living.
All that propaganda sure worked wonders on me, because my life goal has been to move to New York and write Broadway Musicals for rather a while now.
Now it’s happening. Or most of it. On May 21st. The prologue to it, dahlings, the prologue is happening.
Because of the musical that I wrote, I have been invited to an ASCAP workshop in New York City to learn even more about the musical-writing process (from non other than my godfather, Stephen Schwartz) (Stephen Schwartz, if you read this, please know that you are my hero, truly, and I apologize for calling you my godfather because I know that it isn’t true, I just wish it was) and I am absolutely beyond thrilled! I’ve always wanted to visit New York and I guess I always thought of visiting as a tourist, but it’s so much more exciting now that I know I’m actually going to be working in New York! Of course this will not prevent me from running around the city snapping pictures of random people, and generally just being the ultimate irritating tourist, har, har, what were you thinking?
It might seem like I’m making kind of a big deal out of this trip (we know you love NYC, Lil, but what’s the big freak-out-iroo, girl?), but the truth is, I actually have only been to New York once long, long ago when I was a smallish chit of eight. I don’t remember much, unfortunately, but I do know that I ate quite a lot of ice cream and wore a pair of jeans, which was rather a big step, because I was a very leggings-oriented child.
Anyway, we really don’t need to get in that bag of worms right now, I’m going to New York! Oh my freaking gosh on high, I am fain set to burst.
Now. There are many, many matters involved when you are about to see all your dreams come true. Matters are things you write in your notebook and then forget about later. As a side note, I have an incredible number of notebooks, all of which are disturbingly disorganized and filled with things like this poem I wrote years ago and thought I would attach for your especial enjoyment (or trauma, whatever the case may be), and mostly in order for me to go take a brief recess and make myself a cup of hot chocolate, which, incidentally, is quite strengthening and will help you stay awake until at least 5:30 in the morning reading not that I do that. Of course not.
Be right back.
I’m Only Fourteen
~poems of youth and experience~
Last night I caught a glimpse
Inside the bathroom mirror
My skin was ashen
Stark as ice*
I’m only fourteen!
How can I be afraid, then?
Isn’t middle age the time to get grey hairs?
I’m only fourteen but from the way things are going
I guess I’ll die before
I even get past thirty…
* there was some improvised notation here, so I think these may have actually been song lyrics
Okay…wow. That was incredible.
This is good hot cocoa. Wasn’t that poem really quite ravishing, though? I thought so myself, too, when I was fourteen.*
Anyway, the Matters. This is sure good cocoa. Incidentally, I use a plant-based sweetener to justify my chocolate self-medication. Notice how I keep writing “incidentally”? That’s to give my writing an aura of mystic and also to make you think I am J.D. Salinger back from the dead.
The Matters that are being used are really quite typical ones. They involve me calling up different very marvelous people to convince them to let me stay in their houses while I’m in New York so I don’t have to sleep in the Richard Rogers Theater, which, admittedly, would be freaking AMAHZING but that is beside the point. Incidentally, I have a lot of friends in New York. I also have had to decide which musicals I will see! Oh my gosh, you people, I really can’t believe this is truly happening! I’m going to be walking’ down Old Broadway in just a few days!
*cue Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” *
As a side note, I bought a pair of black velvet Oxfords yesterday in light of the occasion. Velvet.
I know, what even?!
The shows I have decided to see (provided I am able to) are:
Dear Evan Hansen (can we just agree that this musical is beautiful and perfect?)
Waitress (Sara! Bareilles!)
Anastasia! (I added that exclamation mark to indicate how I feel about it) (On a side note, Lynn Ahrens who wrote the lyrics is fabulous and a WOMAN and just such a true inspiration to me!) (I love you, Lynn).
Now, of course when I get home I will have to tell you about the shows I see and what I think of them and all that absolute jazz, but for now I will just imagine Ben Platt’s freaking-adorable face as he sings “Waving Through A Window” and-
I just can’t.
HOW IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING?!
That is my question.
Well, after that whole fabulous palooza, I will need to dash off to my next Important Location which will (um, obviously), be Sardi’s.
Let me just stop right here and say that if you haven’t yet read my interview with Albert Fisher about Sardi’s, which is on my Interviews page, you Must Do It Now!!
Sorry to be so forceful. It’s kind of an amazing interview, though. Just don’t forget to come back and finish reading this hilarious (yet somehow also really profound) thing I’m writing. Can we take a moment to realize that the words you’re reading right now were written at a time in my life when I didn’t know how I was going to end this blog? Isn’t that simply gobsmacking? Isn’t it incredibly stressful?
That gets me thinking about how I should end this post, actually. Probably my favorite ending I’ve written ever was the end of My Quest For La La Land when I said “gosh, I should have won a Pulitzer by now”.
One of the very best. Very, accessible, very, very accessible, and relevant, and really, just something people of all ages could appreciate. I just amaze myself sometimes. Anyway, moving on, if I keep rambling like this I’ll never end. Well I will. Well…
What if I don’t write an ending at all? Wouldn’t that be radical? I could just be like, “yeah, and anyways, I know I should have won a Pulitzer by now and by the way Lin-Manuel Miranda is amahzing, ergo-”
And just end it.
Whoa, that would be so good. Except also really not.
Anyway, I need to stop going off in strange and unnecessary directions. It’s really quite discombobulating.
When I go to Sardi’s it will be fabulous. There is nothing more needed in that area of discussion.
After Sardi’s, well, I just really want to experience New York City for actual real. I don’t want to simply do a lot of things so I can know that I’ve done them. ‘Cause, anyway, har dee har, I don’t want to know everything about my new home town right away, for goodness sake!
That was me subliminally telling you that I’m planning to run away to New York for good at the soonest possible opportunity. Also, let me mention that after I wrote that my brain immediately thought up a great story about me actually never leaving New York when I go, and instead secretly moving into the basement of a small off-Broadway theater, adopting several small cats who will be named after characters from Les Miserables, and subsisting entirely off of hot chocolate and the offerings of kind-hearted New York pizzerias.
But friends, I will also be taking this workshop and learning and meeting people and being as utterly and fully theatrical as I can absolutely muster. I am just so very, very thrilled.
The really exciting thing is that you, reader, yes, you, will be coming’ with old weirdo Lil here on her journey for Ultimate Splendor (or something to that point) and not a single detail will be excluded from you. Nothing! Mwahahaha! But, truly, it’s such a thrill that you’ll be along for the ride. And it you have any questions comments, recommendations, please puh-leese don’t hesitate to voice them. You all are the best.
I have more thrillings news (yes, I know, I’m just filled to the brim with interesting information) and this news is kind of difficult for me to process. I think it still hasn’t hit me.
There is a nationwide competition called Show Search that is an offshoot of The Foundation for New American Musicals. Show Search searches for new short musicals written by high school to college age people, and after watching submissions from across the country, the judges select six finalists who will be assigned mentors (such as Stephen Schwartz) to help them expand their musicals (finalists also are awarded grants, just saying), and it’s really quite a fabulous program.
My musical, We’re All Mad Here: A Love Story, is one of the six finalists.
Oh. My. Freaking. GOSH!
I still can’t even function, really, if I’m being perfectly honest.
I worked gobsmackeningly hard on this musical and I really love it, so for something like this to happen is not even put-into-words-able.
What is my life?
I’ll leave it at that. Oh, and by the by, if you were not able to attend We’re All Mad Here: A Love Story in person a lovely video has been posted on YouTube and I will post a very handy hyper-link to it right here.
I love you all so so much. New York and Broadway await us!
*I didn’t, let’s be real here.