Monday, February 2, 2015

The 3 Reasons Why Super Bowl XLIX Confused Broadway Fans [Besides the Football Thing]

Super Bowl poster translated into
Broadway terms
Last night was the sports event of the year, and for once, every single Broadway fan actually cared. At least, for the first 3 minutes.

With Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel singing the National Anthem, I think all of us in the Broadway community were holding our collective breath, hoping that she would display the full extent of her talent for which we love her so dearly, but which unfortunately hasn't been up to par in recent live performances (the most recent of which I would link to, but it has magically disappeared from the interwebs). But y'all, we could rest easy, because she nailed it. Straight up nailed it.

But how often is it that a Broadway fan can tune in to the Super Bowl and actually recognize the name of someone involved? Idina Menzel's wasn't the only name we recognized. And that's where the confusion came in.

3 Reasons Why Super Bowl XLIX Confused Broadway Fans [Besides the Football Thing]

Michael Bennett
Reason #1: Michael Bennett (Seahawks)
When normal people hear his name, they might picture a big defensive end, but the Broadway fans immediately thought of director/choreographer Michael Bennett. Most famous for the American masterpiece A Chorus Line, he won a gazillion Tony Awards back in the day, and passed away much too soon. So just picture that every time this Michael Bennett poser did something exciting, every Broadway fan taking the opportunity to see if they could still remember the choreo to "I Hope I Get It."

Richard Sherman
Reason #2: Richard Sherman (Seahawks)
Did anyone else have this issue earlier in the season where you'd see "Richard Sherman" trending on Twitter, and you immediately assumed it was because the remaining Sherman Brother of Disney songwriting fame had died? No? Oh yeah ok... The Sherman Brothers penned the music for basically every awesome "First Generation" Disney musical, including Mary Poppins, Jungle Book, The Sword in the Stone, and honestly the list is longer than the Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark previews. #FirstSpiderManReference #milestone

Ben Vereen
Reason #3: Vereen (Patriots)
Ok, I really might be whining about this one, but every time I heard them refer to "Vereen," it took me a second to realize they meant Shane Vereen and not actor/dancer Ben Vereen. I mean, my first clue might have been that Shane plays football and Ben does not, but still! Ben Vereen appeared in a historical/groundbreaking show, like, every other year in the '70s, including the original production of Pippin, for which he won a Tony Award (back when the Leading Player was played by a guy).

I think it's a testament to the extreme egocentricity of Broadway fans that we can turn even the biggest sporting event of the year into a teachable moment about Broadway history. Yay us!

Sally Henry www.BroadwayWorld.com/author/Sally-Henry // Twitter: @BwayGinger // Facebook: www.facebook.com/singularsensationbway

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