Yes, Broadway can affect a parent in profound ways, and not just making your insides churn into knots at the prices of the friggin’ drinks at The Lion King.
- Finding Neverland –What irks me is the most popular song: “Believe”. In the song, the JM Barrie character “inspires” imagination in the kids. While Barrie is jumping around being a pirate or a dog or some shit, I feel guilty that I’ll choose washing dishes over playing monster/princess/whatever with my kids. I loathe make-believe. What kind of beast have I become? Of course comparing one’s self to Peter Pan’s author won’t help anyone feel good about imagination…except that I don’t live in fantasyland and I need to get the damn laundry done. Screw you and your vivid imagination, Finding Neverland. I don’t have time for child’s play. (I have totally let go of the fact that I auditioned for this show 77 times and should have been Matthew Morrison’s understudy. Totally.)
- Hamilton Will I ever, ever perform in (let alone write) something so epic? Lin Manuel had a fucking 1-year-old while finishing this masterpiece. What the hell am I doing with my time? NOT writing stuff that wins MacArthur Grants, that’s what.
- The Lion King. You know what? My kid will never grow up to be king. He’s already a tyrant. So stop putting such ideas into his head. He’s also never going to be a baby elephant in that opening number. (Because: #typedout). And he left this over-priced matinee crying because I refused to buy him a damn stuffed lion. This is not Disneyland, people. Oh, wait…
- The King and I. Thanks a lot, leading lady, “Anna”. My kids share a cramped apartment in New York City. Your kid traveled to Siam and probably learned four native dialects (while furthering colonial exploitation) and will probably become some kind of rich-ass royal in Bangkok (albeit sans potable water or penicillin.) Whatever. My kid isn’t racist, colonialist, occidentalist, elitist, or exploitationist. Still, the show makes me feel my kids are missing out.
- Wicked. I never gave my kid magic powers. Or a hydraulic lift. And I rue the day I ever exposed my kids to that infernal yodel. Now, I have to beg him to stop singing “Defying Gravity”…making me the real wicked witch. Thanks for making me feel terrible about myself.
- Something Rotten. I’m not a Shakespeare fan. Never will be. This show’s fictitious and farcical portrayal is the only time I’ve enjoyed the bard. Still. I wanna be smart. So: thanks for making me feel shallow. My kids will be exposed to plenty of tap dancing silliness, but not a lot of Elizabethan England.
- Book of Mormon exposes a snippet of extreme suffering from poverty and AIDS in Uganda, all while making us laugh at religious extremism. But will my kid only laugh at the religious aspects and not understand the suffering endured by millions of Ugandans? Great. My kid’s immune to suffering and sheltered from reality.
- Chicago Just making 40-year-old fathers feel fat. Because: abs.
- Les Miserables. No, son. You will not be shot on some barricade if we go to Paris. Thanks a lot, Les Miz. Now my boy never wants to visit Europe. Or start a revolution. Plus, he’ll never understand European history circa 1800-1848 because this story is unintelligible. And now I’ve terrorized and confused him.
- Kinky Boots Now the only thing my kid wants is a pair of thigh-high hooker boots…in candy apple red. That’s gonna cost way more than a set of “Paw Patrol” figures. You just ruined Christmas for me.
- Matilda Adults are all untrustworthy, mean and two-faced? Given that all I ever say is “no”, I realize I’m one of them: the adults. I’m no longer an imaginative, shit-stirring child with endless hope ahead of me. Thanks, Matilda, I appreciate you exposing my assholishness and crushing my parental self-esteem.
- Phantom of the Opera Just: why are you still open? Eye-roll.
(Quick disclaimer: I’m an actor ever-struggling to claw my way back to Broadway. Not desperately. Not at all. Not a hint of desperation. Just waiting for my time to come. Impatiently.)
Oops. I mean patiently.