Posted by: jt | November 10, 2008

difficult to endure

At one point, in college (this one time, at band camp), my life resembled a musical. I spent a lot of time in the music department – I sang in three different choirs, co-directed one, worked at a music hall, took both piano and voice lessons, played piano accompaniment for every other vocal performance student, and hung out with a lot of gay men. People spontaneously bursting into song, or humming a little tune to make their point, was not the least bit uncommon.

I provide this preface because I woke up suspiciously congested this morning.

I have three weeks to finish more work than is likely humanly possible to finish, pack up my life, drive 1,200 miles, unpack and repack my life, drive another 1,800 miles (Over the Rockies! In late November!), unpack my life and then start a new job. Methinks this suspicious congestion might be a psychosomatic manifestation of me Freaking. The Fuck. Out.

This, of course, causes the phrase “psychosomatic symptoms” to pop into my head…which always leads me happily back to Adelaide.

Given my (beloved) readers, I’m prepared to have to go through a feminist deconstruction of Adelaide’s Lament in the context of Guys and Dolls but, before we go there, can we just have a little conversation about how positively glorious Faith Prince is?

It kills me a little that I couldn’t find a clip of Faith doing Take Back Your Mink.  That, along with this lovely duet between Faith and Nathan Lane, is really the crux of any argument I might have.

Oh, I’ll openly admit that any feminist defense of Guys and Dolls is pretty damn thin and I know that that particular song will lead many feminists straight toward the very legitimate “hysteria” issue, but I’m tired of having to apologize for liking things that are clearly just silly all the way around. Admittedly, there’s a little voice in the back of my head screaming, It’s a musical fer fuck sake! but that’s not an acceptable argument.

But really, it’s not as though it’s a musical that’s particularly flattering to anyone (hooray for gambling alcoholics who perpetually get arrested!) and, if I’m not mistaken, it’s the women who get what they want in the end anyway. Regardless, I do have more of an affinity for Guys and Dolls than I ordinarily would for two reasons:

1) The 1955 movie version with Marlon Brando. Watching his scenes, even as a small child, I knew that man was walking sex. *rolls tongue* (Look at me objectifying someone. Bad, bad feminist.)

2) It’s the first musical I saw live, with a professional cast. Ah, nostalgia.

So, to sum up, I’m super-stressed and I think I’m getting sick. But at least my stress-induced illnesses come with pretty decent soundtracks…albeit ones with misogynist tendencies.


For the best synopses of musicals – ever – go see Tom and Lorenzo.

And because it would be cruel to mention Guys and Dolls without it, here’s Nicely Nicely with the best number in the show:



  1. People spontaneously bursting into song, or humming a little tune to make their point, was not the least bit uncommon.

    :D You routinely have many quotables on your blog.

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