"Homosexuals, women with children, short insomniacs, we're a teeny tiny band. Lovers come and lovers go. Lovers live and die fortissimo. This is where we take a stand. Welcome to Falsettoland." - Falsettoland (Reprise)
To start off, Falsettos is unlike any musical theatrical production that I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. It is a full length two act combination of the one act plays "March of the Falsettos" and "Falsettoland", so while the two acts go together and follow the same characters, they are both complete stories in their own right. Act 1 has the characters navigate through their new reality as a broken family following the divorce of of Marvin and Trina, and then Act 2 is set two years later as their son Jason is about to have his Bar Mitzvah while dealing with Marvin's lover Whizzer's AIDS diagnosis. While the subject matter covered in each act is not exactly light comedic fare, and neither ends in an uplifting way, there are plenty of lighthearted moments as well as glimpses into happy lives for most of these characters, both before and after tragedy strikes. Also, the entire play is sung and the generally sunny score stands out in stark contrast to the heartbreak and sadness of the characters' realities. You get so invested in all of the characters and want so much for everything to work out for everyone in the end, but just like in real life, that can't always happen.
The 2016 Broadway revival of Falsettos was the first exposure I ever had to this amazing musical, and my interest was only piqued because Andrew Rannells was attached and I couldn't wait to hear him on another cast album. The entire cast of the revival was perfect, and everyone had their moments to shine throughout the production. You could just tell how much the story meant to them, and the bonds that they formed during its short run brought so much depth to all of the relationships between the characters they were playing. While we weren't lucky enough to get to see the show live on Broadway, we were able to see the recorded version during its limited run in movie theaters across the nation over the summer of 2017. We're not really movie goers in any sense, but I can honestly say that I have never experienced something like seeing Falsettos in the movie theater before. The audience reactions throughout were great ("I'm Breaking Down" and "The Games I Play" both received applause), but the energy in that theater was so raw and emotional once it was over that it's hard to imagine what it was like after seeing the show live in New York. The entire audience was somewhere between laughter and tears as they tried to regain their composure to go back out into the real world, and it was quite a special and unique experience.
I am so happy with the recent trend to immortalize live theater professionally for the masses to enjoy. Even if nothing can compare to seeing live theater, being able to experience the original cast of a Broadway play is not something that everyone can financially or logistically do. Making shows like Falsettos available legally is so important and in no way lessens the memories of the people who were able to attend the show live at all, if the reactions to the filmed version were anything to go on. The cast album has been on repeat since it was released, and being able to watch the show again and again is such a gift to both old and new fans of the wonderful musical that is Falsettos.
||Marvin/Whizzer, Mendal and Jason, Whizzer and Jason
||Marvin/Whizzer, Marvin/Whizzer/the lesbians from next door
||"The Games I Play", "The Thrill of First Love", "What Would I Do?", "Marvin at the Psychiatrist (A Three-Part Mini-Opera)", "Everyone Hates His Parents"
||"The Baseball Game", "Unlikely Lovers"