Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Just Call Me Bobby

Bobby. Bobby Baby. Bobby Bubbi. Robby. Robert Darling.

To my fellow musical theatre nerds this is familiar. To the rest of you, these are the opening lyrics to my favorite musical "Company" by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth. Mr. Sondheim has always gotten me (or gotten to me as it were). When I went through my life drama of 2006, this show was revived on Broadway. It starred someone who I had been put in touch with because he was going through a similar situation. It was as if the Universe had placed it there just for me.
Back in 2006 it spoke to me with songs like "Sorry-Grateful" it was as if the words about marriage were coming straight out of my mouth. Marriage is the most paradoxical institution in the world to me...

You're always sorry.
You're always grateful.
Good things get better, bad get worse
Wait I think I meant that in reverse.

Brilliant lyrics (I cut them down to 4 lines that mean a great deal to me). And another song "Little Things You Do Together" discuss what actually makes marital relationships work. It's completely tongue-in-cheek and thoroughly me and my sarcastic sense of humor. Here's the final stanza:

It's the people that you hate together,
Bait together,
Date together,
That make marriage a joy.
It's things like using force together,
Shouting til you're hoarse together,
Getting a divorce together,
That make perfect relationships.

Then in 2008 when I started dating this show reared it's lovely head again. It's when I started seeing traces of Bobby (the main character) written all over my life. "Barcelona" where Bobby tries to get his latest date to stay in town even though she's leaving for Barcelona, only to freak and change his mind when she actually considers it. Or the scene where he encounters an ex who tells him she's getting married and moving out of the city, and he responds to her with "You want so little, and that's the hardest thing in the world to get." Wow. If you knew me then (and even now sometimes), you know that's my biggest struggle... oddly wanting too little. Also "Another Hundred People" - the song the personifies my city like nothing else.

It's a city of strangers
Some come to work, some to play
A city of strangers
Some come to stare, some to stay
And every day
Some go away

Now 2010. I've been leaning toward finding a way to get myself more settled. Dating to find a potential mate. Looking at the future and my career. All the things single, early 30-somethings should be doing. And in pops "Company" again. The uncanny similarities to myself and Bobby are almost frightening. As if in 1970 Stephen Sondheim knew some old gal in 2010 would need to connect with an artform. In "Marry Me A Little" Bobby realizes the absurdities in his wishes for a committed relationship without any of the bad stuff. When looking at these lyrics, it's nearly impossible for me to narrow (I suggest checking the entire song here)

Marry me a little, Love me just enough. Warm and sweet and easy, Just the simple
stuff. Keep a tender distance So we'll both be free. That's the way it ought to
be. I'm ready!

And then of course finally... the one I can't live without. The song that speaks to me more than probably any ever written... "Being Alive". See a video of the talented Raul Esparza as he nails this song. The first 0:25 are exactly what my life feels like sometimes. Exactly how I occasionally end up screaming "STTTTTTOOOOOPPPP!!!!" like he does. Note how at the beginning he lists all the reasons to be alone. Then he flips. And those exact same reasons are the reasons not to be alone. Brilliance. Tears and love for this song unlike any other. Alone is alone, not alive.

Being Alive. Enjoy. WANT something. Want SOMEthing. This is my wish for you. I'll let you all know once I fully achieve it myself...

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