To say I was pumped for this show is an understatement.
When I was 16, I off-handedly mentioned I liked the intro song to Gilmore Girls, Carole King’s “Where You Lead”. My dad was thrilled that his daughter actually liked songs that weren’t sung by boy bands. And the next day, the Tapestry CD was sitting on my dresser. I adored that CD.
So when they created a Broadway show about Carole King’s life featuring her music? I. Was. Seeing. It.
I poured over reviews, videos, and vlogs. Then when the leading lady, Jessie Mueller, won the Tony Award for Best Actress (seriously, could this girl be more endearing?), I couldn’t contain my excitement.
And I’m lucky enough to have an amazing friend, Lyndsay, who was just as excited to see it. We booked tickets a few weeks after the Tony Awards…tickets that were almost as expensive as the roundtrip plane ticket that would get us there. Apparently that happens when the words “starring Tony Award winner” get added the marquee above a show.
So you can imagine my surprise when the lady next to me leaned over before the show started and said, “so who is Carole King anyway? Is she any good?”
I didn’t hide my shock well. I actually did that laugh/cough thing.
“Yeah, she’s pretty good. I’m sure you’ve heard some of her songs. Natural Woman?”
“You’ve Got a Friend?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Not ringing a bell…”
This woman spent the equivalent of a roundtrip plane ticket to see a show she knew nothing about! Who does that?
Well apparently almost everyone in the theatre did that. As the intro to each song played, the audience collectively “ahhed” with familiarity. They were discovering the magic that was this show as it was happening. And I loved that.
I don’t do that very often. When I get excited about something I seek out everything I can find about it – almost to an obsessive degree. And thanks to the magic of YouTube, there’s a lot out there for this (wonderful, magical) show. It was like I was studying for a test. I had memorized facts, and I knew all the answers. I knew what song was next and who would be performing it. I knew each plot twist, and how it would end.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED this show. It was everything I thought it would be and so much more. But there’s something to be said for the element of surprise. For discovering something as you experience it.
Maybe next time. But that would involve self-control to not Google…