‘Twas a year full of New Line, another turned page,
As real world insanities came to our stage,
All proving the personal’s also political,
Micro- and often macro- hypocritical.
Raging against the machine and the zeitgeist,
Exploring the people who practice and fight vice,
While bringing you quality art that is right-priced.
A primal scream over a country so shitty, it
Begged a response in American Idiot,
Brilliant, surreal, an uncomfortable story
Of moral descent and of horrors so gory;
A loud and insistent refusal to bend
To the whims and delusions our “leaders” defend;
A story that still hasn’t played out its end…
A largely unknown mini lesson in civics:
Atomic, a story of nuclear physics,
Of building The Bomb, of its power, its use,
Of its moral and its bureaucratic abuse;
The questions that keep us awake in the night,
The choices in which neither choice can be right,
A plea that we someday just might see the light…
And then came a one-act, an evening much shorter,
With one lonely actor, the great Sarah Porter,
In Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tell Me on a Sunday,
A show I had often thought we should do one day;
A harrowing, truthful, emotion-packed chase
Through the loves of a woman who can’t find her place,
Who eventually learns how to muddle with grace…
Then a ritual, musical, Sixties experiment,
Called Celebration, of New Year’s Eve merriment;
Penned by the same guys who wrote The Fantasticks,
All chock-full of moral and verbal gymnastics,
A dildo, confetti, a near-naked gal; we
Know not all our shows are up everyone’s alley
(And nobody understood that damn finale).
I’m proud of our work, of our art and our service
(Although New Line’s bank account makes me so nervous).
I’m proud that the “Bad Boy” maintains his sharp edge;
New Line promised you fearless and we’ve kept that pledge.
We thank you, St. Louis, for seeing we’re right,
That serious musical theatre’s might
Is in showing us us in the darkest of night.
Happy Holidays! Long Live the Musical!
P.S. If you want, also check out my 2013, 2014, and 2015 year-end poems…
from The Bad Boy of Musical Theatre http://newlinetheatre.blogspot.com/2016/12/twas-year-full-of-new-line-2016.html