Theater Around The Bay: Looking Back/Looking Forward At The Annual Musical Spectacular

James Grady, our music director, brings us his year-end update and continues the blog tradition of talking to one’s self.

December 24, 2016

Dear One Year Ago James,

How are you, you handsome bastard? Ha! I should know since I’m writing to you from the future. Yeah,*that* future. One year to the day, in fact. Besides Donald Trump leading in the polls and the fact mass shootings having killed of 15% of the U.S. population, the last year has been great. Oh, er, uh… all the polar bears have drowned, too. #spoilers

(I know receiving a letter from your future self may be a bit weird, but rest assured the last year has gone exceptionally well. Keeping the weirdness in mind, I’m gonna just ease you into your future knowledge. But remember! Any interruption or deviation from the path set forth will wreak havoc! and mayhem! upon the future.)

1. (And I’m sorry) you don’t get a raise at work. You work for the City; don’t be so stupid to think that would ever happen.

2. San Francisco sucks worse than ever. The “bubble” hasn’t burst and it’s still overrun with pretentious douchebags without a cultural bone in their body.

3. Despite said boneless patrons, the local theater scene has been kicking some ass. Seriously. ACT has tacked in response to extensive, expensive focus group testing and has been so desperate for new, young blood they’ve started poaching actors from Custom Made and SF Olympian Festival auditions.

4. Just… for the love of gods just stop listening to the Dave Matthews Band once and for all. I’m embarrassed to have to say it out loud, as it were.

5.Remember to buy your airline ticket in the next couple of days for Chicago. Getting the opportunity to see 2666 at the Goodman Theatre will be a life-changing event.

Ok, now on to the good stuff!

6. I know last year’s annual Theater Pub Holiday Show, The Who’s TOMMY, was a smashing success but don’t rest on your laurels. Yes, there was a standing room only audience. There’s *always* a standing room only audience. Yes, the performers were amazing. They’re *always* amazing. What I’m trying to say is, three years success doesn’t promise future success. You may want to re-think your initial impulse of going with FIDDLER in 2016. Just trust me on this. Stick to your guns with AD/BC.

7. Stop buying lottery tickets. It’s not an “investment strategy” when you don’t see any returns.

8. Make more time for theater. I’m you so I know you know that these people are some of the smartest, weirdest, beautiful and most genuine people you will ever met. All the other things you occupy your time with have their place but don’t reciprocate love like your theater friends.

9. Speaking of which, make sure to treat those around you with kindness, love, and respect. You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes.

10. Ok now listen up. I know you’ll want to hear this because I used to be you. Well, I’m still you, but I used to be, too. Your idea for BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE MUSICAL wasn’t good. It wasn’t great. It was fucking amazing! The week after an impromptu table read in Stuart’s living room, it was amazingly fast-tracked for a debut off Broadway. That was quickly followed by an open-ended run at the Nederlander. It’s thus far broken lots of records. Spielberg and Zemeckis have decided to remake the original films because that subtle, yet remarkable change you made which improved the films twenty-fold. Word on the street is that because of this one masterfully written show, you may EGOT.

I don’t want to get to ahead of myself so I’ll leave it at this: 2015 was draining and difficult, yet ultimately rewarding. 2016 will be much more so if you work hard, stick to your guns, and above all treat people with kindness, respect, and love.


a.k.a. you