Mar 222009

Last night I went with my wife and a friend to see “The Falsettos” performed at Herndon’s Industrial Strength Theater. “The Falsettos” is a musical about neurotic Jewish people in sexual and psychological confusion in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The performance was stunning, touching, hilarious, raunchy, and very hectic. The singing was done with such energy, emotion, and power. The whole show was awesome, and I’d love to go see it again.

The story fit into what was happening in a lot of middle-class lives during that time, portraying lives that resonate with people who were children or raising children during those years. I found a lot of empathy for various characters at different parts of the show, watching a marriage split up, watching a hot romance turn stale, watching a character indulging his sexual desires, watching a young boy trying to figure out his parents.

My wife was surprised that I enjoyed this show so much. She thought that I didn’t like musicals. I don’t like musicals that are about singing a big fluffy note with big fluffy costumes and big fluffy dancing in front of a big fluffy set. so, stuff like “Phantom of the Opera” and “Lion King” are probably not for me. But a musical that is about something, that touches you because it has a meaningful story–I really can get into that. I always liked “West Side Story,” “A Chorus Line,” and “Chess” for these reasons. Something actually happening in the story, not just a big show.

I suppose that is why I have found so many church services to be disappointing. I don’t want the big show, the big fluffy preacher with big fluffy words trying to evoke a big fluffy response from his audience. I don’t want the big fluffy liturgy with robes and all that medieval song and dance. People love that stuff because they don’t want to talk about something that’s really happening. When was the last time someone put together a church show–oops, I meant service–that didn’t follow the same old formulas handed down from previous generations? Show me a church service that throws away the formulas in order to talk about stuff that’s really happening, and I’ll get in there and take part. I’ll let someone else go and sing and act out a bunch of old renderings that they don’t believe or understand.

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