A few years ago Bob Fischbach from the Omaha World Herald asked me, “When did Marcus become interested in Broadway?” It was a tricky question to answer, because it feels like Marcus and Broadway have been synonymous for, well…always. Certainly he’s always loved to and been a performer. He is attracted to a microphone like a magnet and if there is a free stage, he finds his way on it. The first show he saw in NYC: The Lion King. There was plenty of theatre before that, but this was – BROADWAY. The day after we saw The Lion King, I took him to see Beauty and The Beast. I guided us to our seats and noticed that the women sitting beside me also had a young man with Down syndrome with her.
“How crazy that we are sitting next to each other?” I said.
They were from Texas and she told me they made about a trip a year to NYC and cram 5 or 6 shows into 3 or 4 days. Two shows a day most of the trip. An inspiration! As far as Marcus and I were concerned. Now, we don’t just see Disney® shows, for the record, we’ve seen a variety from In the Heights to Anything Goes, Godspell to Billy Elliott. It is mostly musicals, although we saw Lend me a Tenor with Tony Shalub a few years ago and laughed ‘til our sides hurt. We don’t jet set to NYC every time. We’ve seen Broadway in Chicago, in Kansas City and many here in Omaha. Once he got the bug, he was hooked. His favorite, absolute favorite of all, is Shrek the Musical.
Today this is all just a lead up to explaining the Broadway List.
The shows he started imagining were adaptations of movies to Broadway, similar to his first shows. It got to be his busy brain would talk and talk and TALK about it, and the process involves someone (me, usually, but our good friend Julie is a great accomplice as well) taking notes and asking questions. This became called the Broadway List. Marcus more and more often wanted to pursue this, which requires 100% of the note-takers attention. I had to reign him in and promise my undivided attention on Sunday Mornings at breakfast. This way, if he became inspired while I was working or driving or whatever, I could just remind him – “We’ll do this on Sunday.”
And if I’m going to miss a Sunday, be out of town or something, it is best if I call in back-up.
*Here’s where I clarify a few points.
1) This blog was originally posted May 2nd, 2013.
2) I felt it appropriate to share/reshare as this is where Black Day: The Monster Rock Band began, as an idea for a musical. It also is the same process we used to write Black Day.
These lists started with adaptations of character he already knows, for example The Scooby Doo Musical. These lists often, and one of the most fun points, are cast with people in his life. Very fun way of seeing the way he sees into characters and those around him. As we started to expand our horizons to more original shows, like Chicago and In The Heights, he began to see that Broadway is also about telling stories, new stories of all kinds. That’s when Marcus the Musical occurred to him.
Early on in that revelation we worked to dissect shows, every show has an adventure and a conflict. Every show has a hero and, in some way, a villain. So we’re sure to talk about these during each Broadway list. I encourage Marcus to draw his characters and his set as I take notes on the production. Lately each show is a caveat to Marcus the Musical. Like last week it was Robot Marcus the Musical. Sometimes these shows are really good. High adventure, interesting sets and high concept themes.
Sometimes they digress into some strange acid-trip imagination land, those usually involve PEZ®. Sometimes they digress into a parallel of a show he already knows and the characters all mimic a show he has seen. Although, at times this is a good spring board to a new conflict, other times it’s a re-hash and I stop taking notes.
There are a few notable selections that are discussed on Broadway list days that are not actually Broadway. When he has a really great idea for including characters or plot lines into a current or old TV show. For example he has some great ideas about plot lines for new guest stars on the Muppet Show, so if anyone can hook us up with Brian Henson (or the new show’s producer’s), we’d love to chat with him about these. (Also Jeff Dunham, he’s got a great idea for Jeff Dunham, seriously…brilliant.)
OK, if I haven’t lost you. This overview is just to get a feel for a few of the terms we use in the Sikora home for Marcus’ creative outlet. I will come back to the points of Broadway list and Marcus the Musical I’m sure several times over the life of this blog. If you’re on twitter and want a quick overview of the Broadway list each Sunday, you can follow @marcusmusical for updates and periodic inspiration. Here’s an example:
Today’s Broadway list has taken on a real Warner Brothers bent with Tweets Bird singing Dancing Queen. It could happen.
— Marcus Sikora (@MarcusMusical) March 22, 2015
(He’s been talking lately that he wants to do a Broadway Blog. So that’s a project we may pursue down the line.)
Another current updates:
Marcus is seriously jonesing for a good solid Broadway List. Last Sunday we celebrated his birthday and this Sunday is conference. When I told him we’d maybe do Broadway list Monday before we leave AZ, seriously, you’d l think I took away Christmas.
Oh, you may be wondering why the Omaha World Herald was interviewing me about Marcus. It was his stage debut, a one-night walk on role in Disney’s Marcus in Mary Poppins®, on tour in Omaha. The OWH article here. Also June 2015 note: As soon as I get smart enough to figure out how to share a few recordings I’ve done on my phone, I’ll share a sneak peek with you of the real deal.
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Go Marcus! My kids love musicals, too. The boys just acted in Beauty and the Beast last weekend. So happy Marcus found one of his passions.