My theory about why the primary audience for musical theater is women and gay men: it’s the only time in a woman’s life where she’s going to have a handsome man sing her a love song.
Musical theater is the land of the handsome singing men, and where every problem can be solved with a little compromise, love and some strategically placed dance numbers. It appeals to the inner romantic that, for reasons probably having to do with being beaten down by years of false promises and bad break-ups, has been forced to become hidden. And in most musicals that have not been written by Steven Sondheim, you can throw away your cynical, bullet-marked shell, and embrace the emotions and the fantasy. The fantasy that deep down inside, you kind of really want. And you’re not alone because there is a house full of hundreds of women who are sighing and crying and singing along right along with you. It’s the rare time in this cynical modern age where being sentimental is okay and expected (otherwise you’re just the critic ruining everybody’s good time).
What caused this realization? Steven Pasquale. Specifically, Steven Pasquale seducing Kelli O’Hara in the “Bridges of Madison County” on Broadway. And me, despite the cynicism that I have after dating in New York City, listening to the song below on repeat for the last two weeks. Damn you Jason Robert Brown.