Musical theater loves a good romance. Tevye and Golde, Curly and Laurey, and Porgy and Bess are just a few of the couples that live on in stage history. But to these immortal unions I would add the names of Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin, who in their intoxicatingly fresh and unstoppably delightful musical, The Big Voice: God or Merman?, make a case for themselves as a musical theater couple for a new generation.
A case they've certainly won, hands down. (Or, waving with showbiz fervor, as the situation might demand.)
Hey! We're a classic musical theater romance! It was this paragraph, though, that really got to me:
A Baptist from Arkansas, he expected that God's thunderous voice would guide him; instead, he snapped himself on the wrist with rubber bands whenever he began to have impure (i.e., homosexual) thoughts.
The friend who accompanied me to the show—who is at least 25 years younger than Steve—recalled the rubber band technique from his own youth, which suddenly made The Big Voice seem more like a call to arms. With its encouragement to decipher and celebrate the things that (really) speak to us, the show entreats its audience to embrace religious experiences in whatever form they come—instead of "hiding like a superhero has to do," as Steve dourly remembers from his shamed days in the closet.
It's worth reading the whole review.