NEW YORK, NY – I’m gonna put away my glove, football, tennis racket and other athletic accoutrements for a spell, because today is my beautiful wife’s birthday. We’ve been together a whole mess of years now, and God knows she’s had to put up with enough of my sports-related angst, anxiety, and audible anger to last multiple lifetimes. She also somehow manages to be understanding and compassionate about it. But sports is my bag, not hers.
A lover of the arts, and especially theater, my wife knows much more about Bob Fosse than I ever did about Bob Forsch. She thinks Steph Curry is cute, but she’s a bigger fan of Stephen Sondheim. She’s game to go to the ballpark, but would prefer Shakespeare in the Park. You get the picture. I do too. We balance each other well, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So, just for today, I’m going to attempt to tie in her favorite thing with mine. It’s time to raise the curtain on a Broadway-Sports Meet The Matts Mash-Up!
Les Misérables. One of the longest-running and most-successful musicals in the history of Broadway, Les Misérables is based on Victor Hugo’s historical novel about the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris. Strangely enough, Les Misérables is actually the literal French translation for the term “Knicks Fans.” Think I’m kidding? Go try it on Google Translate.
The King and I. This Rodgers and Hammerstein romp revolves around the romantic tension between a British schoolteacher and a King in 1860s Siam (Thailand to you and me.) It’s also the basis for an ill-advised reboot about LeBron James and Kyrie Irving set in 2016 Cleveland. Expect some of Kyrie’s dialogue to predate facts that were widely accepted in the 1860s.
Rent. A groundbreaking rock musical set during the AIDS crisis. Also, what Short Matt failed to pay on many occasions during his rocky residency in Manhattan’s West 30s. Matt versus the NYC Marshals was an entirely different type of West Side Story.
Same Time Next Year. A 1970s romantic comedy about a couple who meet up once a year, over two decades, for an extramarital tryst. This play won the 1975 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play and Ellen Burstyn also won the Tony Award for Best Actress. “Same Time Next Year!” is also the battle cry for beleaguered Mets fans, who expect their team to collapse around the same time annually. The Mets won the 1969 and 1986 World Series… but haven’t won anything lately.
Noises Off. A breakneck-pace farce by English playwright Michael Frayn, and also what I would like to see happen at just about every sports venue in America. Turn the constant barrage of noises off already, you morons!
Damn Yankees. Someone just knew there would be an audience for a musical about hating the Yankees, and they were DAMN RIGHT.
Hair. Hippie counterculture and flowing locks were on full display in this rockin’ mid-60s production set during the heyday of the Age of Aquarius. Sadly, most of the MTM staff is incredibly follicly challenged. If someone were to make a musical about us, Nair would be a more appropriate title.
Okay, let’s drop the curtain on this one. Happy Birthday, Babe! Not you, George Herman Ruth. Come on back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz who may just decide to cover Marilyn Monroe’s Sports/Broadway connection.