Last Tuesday I left my happy little gay neighborhood to try dinner in a new gay neighborhood (Dorchester) at a restaurant called Dbar. I'd heard good things, just never bothered to make the trek, so when my friends suggested it, I said, "Sure, I'm game."
What we did not realize was that we were venturing into this new territory on Show Tunes Tuesday. Apparently, every Tuesday evening at 9 p.m. a large, widescreen TV or projector screen or something magically appears in the Dbar dining room. On it they screen clips from favorite numbers of movie musicals: Chicago, Dreamgirls, the movie version of the Broadway musical version of the movie Hairspray. On very, VERY high volume.
Perhaps this sounds like a delightfully fun prospect to you. If that is the case, I encourage you to go forth and dine at Dbar on Tuesdays. I wasn't into it and the experience of it, frankly, made me want to die. I accept responsibility whole-heartedly for ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time. I do not blame Dbar for my misery, nor do I wish to rain on anybody else's fabulous parade of harmony and sequins. Everyone else in the restaurant seemed to be having a grand old time. I sat quietly in the corner, imagining creative ways to gouge out my own eyes.
I survived. But I've had one terrible, horrible, wretched problem ever since that evening, a plague I wouldn't wish upon anyone, not even my worst enemy:
I can't get the freaking show tunes out of my head.
I woke up the following morning and realized that I somehow know almost all of the words to "La Vie Boheme" from Rent. And was hearing it, over and over in my head.
About an hour later the tune changed. I learned that I also know both parts of the duet sung when MiMi and Roger meet in the beginning of the show. They both sang to me for a while. While I was doing my daily morning yoga practice.
Then, the voice of Mark, the show's nerdy narrator: somehow his nasal, whiny voice wormed it's way in, into my head. I hate Mark.
There was a reprieve for a little while some time late on Wednesday evening. The blaring salsa and companero music we play at Toro rattled around in my brain from the time I got home 'til I went to sleep that night. This happens every time I work. What can I say? I'm impressionable.
Thursday, snippets from Chicago wormed their way in, getting a song or two in edgewise between the flirty banter of Roger & Mimi and Mark's opening bars in La Vie Boheme. A few horrible choruses from Dreamgirls also managed to make themselves known.
They all took turns, the main musical moments of these grandiose shows turned into mediocre movies, playing in constant terrible rotation in my mind. This has been happening since Tuesday: MiMi, Roger, and the entire Rent ensemble, singing to me of their troubles as poor, liberal bohemians just trying to get by in the face of AIDS and heroin and yuppies in '90s-era New York (I'm thinking the play lost some of it's relevance in the new millenium: I know an investment banker who lives on Avenue A) with a little back-up help from Beyonce, Renee Zellweger, Jennifer Hudson, and Queen Latifah.
Then suddenly today, it all stopped when I saw this amazing bit of advertising genius.
Now it's just me & Patrick Swayze.