Last night I headed off alone to go to "Broadway Belt Out". I put on a black and white outfit - channeling Maria in her early convent days - sans the head thingy, cause honestly, I just wasn't going to go that far. I was kind of lukewarm about going as I got in my car. Parking in Noe Valley can be a pain, I was kind of tired (but then again I have been wondering lately when the last time was that I wasn't just a tiny bit tired?), and George the Elder was not too jazzed that I was heading out by myself. This being said, George the Elder is no singer, so at least he got the reason why he wasn't going to go.
I had signed up for this event at our school auction last Spring. I love to sing. I love schmaltzy Broadway tunes, and it was being hosted by a great group of folks from the school including a couple I know that can cook leather and make it taste like heaven. Still, I was tepid about the whole ordeal when it came time to go. But go I did. I didn't get home until after 11:30! And in the life of a middle-aged we-don't-stay-up-that-late gal - that's the sign that I had a GREAT time.
There were about 25 or so folks there. Some in full costume, some not so much (I was kind of in the middle). We had "real" cocktails like you'd see in a Mad Men episode. Manhattans and some kind of gin drink that required a couple different ingredients that was absolutely luscious. And, more importantly, those cocktails went a long way to greasing the proverbial wheels before we started singing.
The hosts had put together a wildly eclectic selection of Broadway tunes in a handy dandy booklet so that everyone could know the lyrics. They had a friend play the piano - and I mean really play! He's a doctor in real life, but this guy could tickle the ivories something fierce and got everyone hopped up to sing. And sing we did. We gathered around the baby grand in the living room and went to town. A Chorus Line, Music Man, Les Mis, South Pacific, Rent, Carousel, and loads of others. Most songs we knew - some we didn't know so well - but all were "belted out" with gusto. As always there were a few complaints from the altos and the baritones that "geeze these guys only wrote songs for the sopranos and the tenors" - but we still managed to screech them out :))
There were some really great singers in the group and those that weren't technically proficient more than made up for it in volume or uber-schmaltz. There was singing, there was dancing, there were even a few tears (one guy got up and sang Summertime the way he sang it to his daughter as a lullaby - how can you not well up?). There were also the occasional sidebars of songs that weren't really in any musical, but just are fun to sing - "Send in the Clowns" for instance. Go Judy. AND, our piano guy actually found the key that we were singing in and got in to it with us all. Grand times.
I know that I was voraciously feeding my inner geek. But, it was so much fun to do it. I guess in these days of technology and great restaurants to go to and a million other diversions - it's fun to remember the really great times that can be had with a group of people willing to make idiots out of themselves singing Broadway tunes and a guy who can play the egging us on.