1. I assume you’ve all listened to the new Jonas Brothers album, Happiness Begins, by now so we can discuss it, yes? Excellent!
I, obviously, downloaded it the second I woke up Friday morning and made sure I brought headphones to work so I could listen to it on my phone all day (well, mostly all day. The Tootsie Original Broadway Cast album came out on Friday, too, so I had to divide my time.) As a side note, that is EASILY the biggest downside of Apple Music: that you can only use Apple Music on Apple devices, and can’t easily access it from a browser on any computer (like you can with Pandora or Spotify). Like most of corporate America, my company uses PCs, so if I want to listen to Apple Music at work, my only option is my phone, which I think is so annoying.
ANYWAY. This is not about Apple Music. This is about the Jonas Brothers!
As with most albums, it took me a couple listens to get into it. I feel like this is pretty common? I don’t know that I’ve ever listened to an album all the way through the first time and been like, “OMG THIS IS THE GREATEST COLLECTION OF MUSIC I’VE EVER HEARD.” Regardless, I certainly was into it by the end of Friday, but it’s not like there was ever a chance I wouldn’t be. I’m obviously extremely biased towards the Jonas Brothers, so as long as they didn’t make an entire album of, like, chewing noises, there was no chance I wasn’t going to like it.
I did, however, like two songs immediately on the first listen-through: Hesitate and Rollercoaster. I wasn’t surprised to like Rollercoaster, because it was part of the Chasing Happiness trailer and I already liked the little clip of it from that. Soon after my first listen-through, I found out that Joe Jonas wrote Hesitate with Sophie Turner in mind, which immediately explained why I liked it so much on my first listen, because I think we can all agree that the only reason Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner are together is because he never met me before he met her, and had he met me first, he would’ve written the same song, but with me in mind instead. (I’m joking. Kind of. 😛 ). It’s a really sweet song.
And while we’re on the topic of Jonas Brothers releases: omg. Chasing Happiness. WHAT a movie. I was VERY upset that it came out on Amazon Prime while I was at a conference in California last week, meaning I had to wait TWO WHOLE DAYS to watch it. Not cool, conference schedulers. I didn’t get home until like 10 p.m. on Wednesday, so there was no time to watch it then, but it was my #1 priority post-run last Thursday evening, and ugh. I loved every single second of it. Even the seconds that made me really sad, like when they’d talk about how much hurt surrounded the 2013 breakup of the band, and when Joe cried *one million sobbing emojis*. It was really interesting to learn so much about the band’s background, rise, fall, and comeback, and it made me feel like I know the Jonas Brothers more personally now…which is obviously not true, but whatever. I’m happy to feel like I’m friends with them, even if I clearly am not.
2. Speaking of feeling like you’re friends with someone famous after learning more about them: I finished Andrew Rannells’s memoir yesterday (Andrew Rannells being arguably most famous for originating the role of Elder Price in Book of Mormon on Broadway.). It’s a great read if you have any interest in learning more about him/making it on Broadway in general, and I only happened to be reading it right now because my forever-long hold on it on Libby came in while I was traveling (I think I waited 14 weeks for the book? It was one of the longest holds I’ve ever had.), but the timing turned out to be perfect because the Tony Awards were on on Sunday! This was the first year I was actually able (and interested) in watching the entire broadcast, and it worked out great because Andrew Rannells and the rest of the cast of The Boys in the Band revival from last summer were up for Best Revival of a Play (and won!). That meant he was in the audience, so every time the camera panned to him, I was all, “omg! Andrew Rannells! I know him!” (I do not know him. But it’s fun to feel like I do.)
I know you’re all very interested in my take on the Tony Awards, which is: well, I’ve never watched a full broadcast before, so I had nothing to compare it to and can’t really say much about the show’s quality. I can say that I’m super annoyed with how much Hadestown dominated the musical categories, because I resent Hadestown for stealing what I believe should have been Tootsie’s well-earned thunder.
I also think next year’s Tony Awards would’ve been a lot more interesting if Hadestown could’ve waited like two more months to open on Broadway, because then both Hadestown AND Moulin Rouge would likely be eligible for the 2020 Tonys. Unless Moulin Rogue is a spectacular disaster (which I think next to no one expects it to be), I feel confident calling it right now, even without ever seeing the show, that Moulin Rouge will clean up at the Tonys next year. I mean, for goodness sake, they already had the people from the cast of Moulin Rogue presenting awards at this year’s Tonys. What kind show gets its cast on the Tonys before it’s even opened on Broadway?! The kind that’s going to dominate, obviously.
I know I’m 1) biased and 2) not really entitled to an opinion, since the only show up for Best Musical this year that I’ve seen was Tootsie, and I saw it in its pre-Broadway tryout previews, for goodness sake. There’s a reason they don’t give average schmucks like me a vote for the Tonys. But I was so impressed with Tootsie from start (almost) to finish (I thought parts of the end were a bit meh when I saw it in September) and feel like it didn’t get a fair shake.
3. I stayed up way too late watching the Tony Awards, but figured I’d be able to fall asleep pretty quickly after they wrapped up and I could go to bed. Not so. As I got into bed, I heard this repeating screeching outside my window. I thought it sounded like a bird, but birds are asleep at night, so I had no idea what it could be, other than that it must’ve been some sort of animal. It would not shut up, and it took me forever to fall asleep as a result.
As I was getting ready for bed Monday night, I heard the sound again! Obviously it wasn’t something dying in the alley or whatever – it must be some animal that had decided to live in the area. I recorded the sound and sent it to my parents to see if they had any insight. They didn’t, but my mom was sure it was a bird. A quick Google search about nocturnal birds in Illinois led me to the Common Nighthawk, whose call I looked up on Merlin, and lo and behold! That’s what it was!
They are, to put it kindly, not the prettiest birds you’ll ever see or hear. Apparently they feast on bugs, and I guess there must be a lot of bugs in my neighborhood, because when I came home from dance on Tuesday, I heard him again! Since I was outside this time, I looked for him, and there he was, soaring way up high, screeching his little heart out. I’ve quickly moved from being annoyed by his noises to appreciating them, now that I know what he is. I had never heard him before Sunday night, so he must be new to the area, but I hope he sticks around!