So this one time, Lucky and I had a chance to interview Alex Timbers for Broadway Radio. And we were both so staggeringly nervous I’m not entirely sure how our racing hearts remained within the confines of our chests. Which, thank god they did, because I kind of like being alive.
But anyway. The point of that story is this– there came a time in that interview where I was just fully incapable of containing how much I love Alex Timbers and I went on this ridiculous, gushing, fangirl monologue at him, all about the brilliance of the Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson book and how he’s such a great writer.
And look. You may be wondering why the fuck I’m talking about Alex Timbers right now in a post that’s ostensibly about Found, the Musical, but here’s the connection– what I loved about Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, what I raved about in Alex Timbers’ face for Broadway Radio, was that the book of that musical was written in the modern vernacular in a way that felt authentic and mature. In a way that understood modern popular speech could be used, even on the Broadway stage, to communicate things far more profound and emotionally compelling than our Grandparents and the crotchety people on the Tony Nominating committee would ever suppose.
And THAT is what I really, truly loved about Found, the Musical.
Not that I laughed so hard I cried at the Booty Time scene. Or that I very nearly fell out of my seat in paroxysms of hysterical joy and laughter during the Johnny Tremain scene. Not that it made unbelievably excellent use of the multi-talented Nick Blaemire in a way that makes me think like, maybe his time has finally come and the world will see what a bloody star he is. Not that there was something crazy awesome about watching TV’s Danny Pudi allow himself to mold into an off-Broadway company, and then dance beside legit actual amazing awesome Dancer with a capital D Andrew Call during the endlessly lovely “Something That I Love.” Not the found letter from the barf bag, which was seamlessly turned into song by Eli Bolin, and not Barrett Weed’s badass performance of “Stupid Love.” Though all those things were wonderful and made me happy that I was in the theater.
No. What I loved first and foremost, was that this show told me a story in a language that felt absolutely and utterly authentic to my life. To the lives of the people around me. To the way I communicate with my friends and loved ones as a part of the post-MTV, Daily Show generation.
There was no pandering to some idea of the Golden Age of Theater that’s long gone and maybe never really existed at all anyway. No feeling of disconnect between the writers — Hunter Bell and Lee Overtree — and the material, like the way it feels weird when your mom says “fo shiz” or Steven Sater says “my junk is you.” Just the kinds of words my friends and I use, telling the kind of story that is both entirely of this moment, and entirely universal. Love, loss, the difficulty of coming into one’s own and being authentic to our own beliefs in a world where it’s really easy to feel like giving them up is the only option. And okay, maybe the idea of selling out is a little more Gen X Y Z whatever than it is like… relevant to the Greatest Generation. But guess what? The Greatest Generation can’t be the only ones supporting theater, the only ones hearing their voices on stage, and that, my friends, is why Found felt so fucking exciting.
Well. That and the absolutely insanely terrifically wonderful cast who made me laugh until I cried and feel all the feels. (And yes, Mom, I can translate that last sentence for you. But maybe you’d get it if you just saw Found, instead.)