29 March 2010
Join The Circus
One of the best evenings I ever spent at the theater was the night we attended Barnum starring Jim Dale and Glenn Close as Phineas Taylor and Charity Barnum. Unfortunately You Tube doesn't have Ms. Close singing "One Brick At A Time" or her half of "The Colors of My Life", but here is Jim Dale singing The Museum Song complete with a slide show of all the very rapidly mentioned objects placed on view before you confronted the EGRESS.
I was reminded of the above because of a news blurb that this was the 200th anniversary of the birth of P. T. Barnum. In a year that featured the births of Chopin and Barnum, you have to start wondering what was in the water in 1809.
There has been talk of bringing the musical Barnum back to Broadway in revival. Early gossip was with Hugh Jackman. Now the rumor mill has Neil Patrick Harris. It's not as if those two weren't busy enough. When do they get time to breath. Either one or a complete unknown would be welcome it is such a fun show and would be totally appropriate in this bicentennial year. The audience does get involved from the performers outside the theater to the ones in the aisles as the show progresses until to hear the final speech that returns you to reality as you kiss all the circus flimflam foolery goodbye to the word "Pity" and exit after all the curtain calls to one last joyful circus song wearing confetti on your clothes while wishing there was still time and talent for you to Join The Circus.
Word of warning. If a ringmaster outside invites you up on a stage to say the names of the ancient goddesses OWAH and TAGU while stamping your foot and uttering the name of the holy ground SIAM, you will be teased unmercifully ....
And if you have never seen it, this production from 2008 in Florida will give you a small taste: