If you reached this page by clicking on the word “square,” please know that I do not personally identify as a “square.” However, given what Wikipedia has to say about it, I can certainly understand why others may have gotten that impression:
Square is a slang term referring to a person who is conventional and old-fashioned.
Conventional? Not in the least. Old-fashioned? Absolutely — especially when it comes to musical theatre. I happen to think that most of the musicals that have followed A Chorus Line have been just as lousy as that. It’s the first show I can recall that aimed its appeal at closed-circuit audiences only. The average American could care less what a bunch of gushing musical theatre people “did for love.” And there were more to follow, as the spirit of musical theatre that made every song in South Pacific a popular “top-40” hit – except one — began to be consumed in esoteric fluff that seemed to exclude any audience besides other musical theatre people. Les Miserables is probably the best musical to have emerged in the last several decades, (with the possible exception of Hamilton), and it wasn’t even written in America.
There is a sense in which musical theatre, at its core, is a distinctly American genre, combining influences from British light opera and jazz strains that floated over the Atlantic from Africa. But there really haven’t been any decent musicals that honor that uniquely American blend since sometime back in the 70’s. I’m hoping to reverse that trend.
As to “conventional,” however, how can I possibly be called conventional when I think the modern conventions are doo-doo? (Think about it).
This sense of the word “square” originated with the American jazz community in the 1940s, in reference to people out of touch with musical trends.
I’m a jazz cat from way back. I may not be hip to some of the musical trends these days — especially when they defy any reasonable definition of the word “music” — but you can’t call me “square” if I’ve spent half my nights in smoke-filled jazz clubs, can you? (I mean, really!)
Now that all that is out of my system, feel free to check out some of my other work, unrelated to the musical that I am currently promoting. I’ve done my best to hide it down deep in the depths of cyberspace, so that focus can rightly be placed on my current passion. But I have leaked it below — quite subtly, I believe — in case you happen to be interested in anything else that I’m about.
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