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  • Musical Obsessions and Circle Backs

    Each summer, which is when we see Nicholas for the most sustained period of time, the kids find a new musical to obsess over. Usually this starts with Nicholas and spreads to the rest of the troupe like swine flu, eventually taking over all of our lives and not letting go until the next one comes along.

    A quick rundown of just the last five years:

    • 2005: "Wicked" and "Mamma Mia" (Nick).
    • 2006: "Rent," (the movie, then the show), "A Chorus Line," (revival), "High School Musical."
    • 2007: "Hairspray" and, sadly, "HSM2" (the movie, not the high school play Nicholas was in last year).
    • 2008: "Avenue Q," "Mamma Mia" (the movie dragged the rest of us in), and, yes, "HSM3" (but only Emma, Ben, and Nick this time).
    • 2009: "Spring Awakening" (all except Emma) and "Next to Normal."

    This does not include shows the kids perform in with Metropolitan Fine Arts Center. Think about the entire Disney canon there, plus "Annie" and "The Wizard of Oz," and you can see why I made the "obsession" reference.

    What do I mean by circle backs?

    • "Annie" was the first show Jill and I did together; last year, we watched our kids perform in it.
    • We found out Jill was pregnant with Kate during "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"; two years ago, while our entire family was participating in another production of the show, my father died.
    • "The Wizard of Oz" not only permeates society, it runs through our family like a bad computer virus. I served as an assistant stage manager for one production, while Kate made her stage debut in another at 6 weeks old because Jill was playing Glinda. Nicholas has done the show three times, and the trio performed in an MFAC production in 2008.

    Considering that Jill was pregnant with Ben and Emma when she did "Annie Get Your Gun" — they made their stage debuts in utero — I can't wait to see what happens when that one gets revived. Of course, that show also has a circle back of its' own: It was the first Broadway show Jill and I saw together as a couple.

    It won't be the last.