With the Tony nominations about to come out, I am reminded by ‘Falsettos,’ because I am hoping it gets recognized. It’s show that maybe twenty years ago would be one of my Top 10 of all time, although, honestly if you had asked me a year ago I probably would not name it. I haven’t seen it since the early 90s when it was first mounted. But seeing this show, with this production, recently made me feel back to it. A lot of the big issues from it isn’t considered as big nowadays, but taken as a snapshot of its time, it is still devastating.
And maybe now that I am older, I even understand it more. The first act, ‘March Of The Falsettos’ is the one that touched more this time ’round – the complexities of relationships – the insecurities we all feel when besotted, the feeling of breaking down when in reality it should be just fine. I have very fond memories of Michael Rupert as Marvin, but Christopher Borle here is tops – he is able to relay all these complex feelings – of confusion in his search for a ‘tight-knight family,’ yet at the same time finally feeling free after finding the “thrill of first love” via Whizzer (Andrew Rannels, very fine here though just a tad miscast in my opinion) And there’s the delightful Stephanie J Block (as Trina) whose show-stopping ‘I’m Breaking Down’ should hopefully cinch her at the very least a nomination. Brandon Uranowitz, as Mendell, also steals some scenes here, and actually the whole cast is quite strong.
When we get to the Second Act, the sense of dread gets to me, knowing what will happen next. Suddenly, all those feelings are front and center again, and I am reminded of people I have lost. When Marvin sings ‘What Would I Do,’ tears start to resurface and I am back to my devastated twenty something from 1992. Songs and scents bring you back, and in this case, what happens on stage did.
I think I will never stop loving Falsettos. I recently put this cast recording on my iPod and as it randomly plays songs from the show, each one gives me different emotions. I sometimes laugh at the funny parts (and there are a lot – the jokes hold up) and others make me feel melancholia. This is what art does – it entertains, challenges, it makes us think and ponder. I hope when nominations are announced tomorrow, we all feel the same way.