1. Hamilton: the Musical. I discovered this through the cast recording, and WOW.
So, for context, I’ve always liked musicals, as a genre, without feeling a great urge to watch or listen to them all that much…except once, when I was 12, when one hit me like a lightning-bolt: The Phantom of the Opera. It was soooooo romantic! And historical! And thrilling! And oh, did I mention over-the-top romantic??? I’d never come across anything like it before. I was OBSESSED. Every single day, for months, I came home from middle school and put on the records. I had every line memorized. For my next birthday, my mom took me and my best friend to see it live at the Pantages theater in Toronto, and I was enthralled (even though I noticed, with great outrage, every single line that they had changed from the original London recorded performance). I saved up all of my babysitting money through the next year to buy another ticket and go watch it again with my younger brother.
Eventually, the obsession faded – although, come to think of it, I do wonder now whether that early love affair with Phantom might have contributed to my later academic path, studying opera? But regardless, I never had another musical hit me with that kind of titanic force…until now.
When I was 12, I listened to Phantom every single day, breathless with amazement. Hamilton is a very, very different musical from Phantom. It’s sharp, scathing, explicit, and brilliant. It’s very, very funny. It’s deeply emotionally true. But it makes me breathless in the same way Phantom made me, at 12. It makes me feel creatively excited and inspired to do my own writing! And now, at 38, I’m listening to Hamilton every single day, just like I used to listen to Phantom all those years ago. Pretty soon, I’ll have all of the lines memorized. I wish so badly that I could watch it live! But the cast recording is AMAZING. You can find it on Spotify or buy it anywhere that sells music. I LOVE it.
2. The West Wing. Yup – only 16 years after it first came out, I’ve finally started watching The West Wing! (I’m SO in touch. ;) ) And of course I have become completely addicted. I’m nearly at the end of the second season (I was going a lot faster before I discovered Hamilton!), and I am already considering whether I should buy the full seven-season boxed set one day rather than rely on Netflix to have it forever. I can already tell that I’ll want to re-watch for all the character development and relationships. And again – SUCH good writing!
3. This one is slightly cheating – but I just discovered this chocolate mousse recipe tonight, and while I haven’t had a chance to make it yet, I can’t wait. Mmmm. It has been far too long since I ate chocolate mousse! (And I love chocolate EVERY week, as you guys know.)
What about you guys? What are you loving right now?