Another short story published in Graphic today! I must say that this is turning to be quite a yearly tradition - in reality, more of a personal goal - just to goad myself into getting those creative juices flowing amid the doldrums of residency life (and believe me, the intense scientific atmosphere can get quite nauseating at times.) I find this story, "The Broadway Covenant", particularly close to my heart as it is a loving tapestry of two of my cherished passions: literature and musical theater. Set amid the backdrop of the blockbuster musical Phantom of the Opera, the story chronicles the pursuits of a Filipino theater actor in the glitzy, gaudy world of Broadway. Here's hoping for another score at an awards night!
Below is an excerpt from "The Broadway Covenant":
At the back of his mind, he had other favorite musicals, of course. Les Misérables was definitely a stroke of genius, with its poignant songs and stirring patriotism. He remembered keenly devouring the Victor Hugo classic in high school, and had always wondered how it would feel to play the part of the perpetually torn Jean Valjean, the infatuated Marius, or the morally tragic Javert. His mind then flew to Evita, with its elegant air and quiet sophistication, and somehow fancied himself portraying the celebrated yet largely misunderstood Che Guevara. But no, he reckoned playing the ambivalent Dan Goodman in the Pulitzer-winning masterpiece Next to Normal would be so much better, where he could easily show off his acting chops and singing prowess to the delight of the spectators. Other times, he acquiesced to the classics, thinking it immensely rewarding to slip into the shoes of the debonair Emile de Becque in South Pacific, the nomadic El Gallo in The Fantasticks, or the sweet-tongued Billy Flynn in Chicago. Of course, no one came close to Phantom – with its magnificent, operatic tunes and timeless plot of romance and betrayal, the epic tale of a man eternally disfigured by the gruesome ills of society.