Episode 85

The JV Club

Lennon Parham

The JV Club #85: Lennon Parham

It’s a laser light show of joy with the delightful Lennon Parham (Accidentally on Purpose, Best Friends Forever) as she and Janet marching-band their way through memories of snare drums, choir, and late blooming. Oh, and Happy Halloween!

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  • Oh my god, church retreats and church camp. I think my best story would be when the pastor’s daughter lost her virginity on one of those retreats. Big scandal, everyone knew. Second best would be when one of my friends was being “too loud” so another girl straight up punched her in the face. We also had a musical that the youth group put on every year that my mom always forced me into, in which the choir director would inevitably lose his shit in the middle of every practice and just start screaming. Poor guy was not meant to work with teenagers. I was way too involved because my mom worked at the church and so did my best friend’s mom, and we were homeschooled, so before we got cars, our moms used to give us homework and sit us in the Sunday school classrooms and we’d do homework and watch movies. We were there pretty much everyday and knew everything about everyone in the church. It was fun, but also really weird and kind of turned me off religion. On another note, dear GOD do I love the Matilda cast recording. It is so, so, so good. One of the best I’ve heard in a long time.

  • This episode CLEARLY has to lead to “JV Club, The Musical”!! Janet, you write the book, contact NPH to see if some of his Broadway friends can write the lyrics. The Hit Song, ‘Playing M.A.S.H.’!! The ‘Janitors’as the chorus! It’ll be bigger than ‘Spider-man’, I tell ya!!!! BIGGER THAN ‘SPIDER-MAN’!!

  • Oh Lennon, a woman after my own heart. Bluegrass, church hymns and musical theatre all in the one person?! Excellent.

    JV, I’m SO glad you liked Matilda. The song you mentioned (When I Grow Up) totally destroyed me. I haven’t seen it on Broadway but the children in the West End production definitely had the same ‘not bratty stage kids’ vibe about them that you described.

    PARADE! My god, another thing that destroys me. Such a heartbreaking musical. So good, though. It was the first musical I got involved with backstage, so I have a pretty strong attachment to it as well as the story being devastating (based on a true story) and written very well.

    And Chess. Listen. I believe that EVERYONE knows at least one song from Chess, whether they know it or not. One Night in Bangkok? I Know Him So Well? Either way, Heaven Help My Heart is a beautiful (and again, heartbreaking – I sense a theme) song. If you do want to watch it, there’s a DVD of the ‘in concert’ production from the Royal Albert Hall in London from 2008 – it has Josh Groban, Adam Pascal and Idina Menzel in it, among a lot of other talented people. Chess is mostly staged as an ‘in concert’ version because it was never fleshed out as a completely staged show that actually worked. There was a lot of workshopping and alterations as they were writing and then in subsequent years, but tbh I don’t think you really need to see it live except for the power of live voices. The only fully staged production I’ve seen was really terrible, which makes me think it’s not really meant to be seen that way. Aaaanyway… [end of musical theatre information you didn’t ask for]

  • Just adding a second endorsement for the Groban/Menzel version of Chess. His version of “Anthem” is beautiful. Kerry Ellis is also great on that recording. There’s a DVD of it too, if you’re really dying to see it staged.

  • Ah, another Kerry Ellis fan! I am too, but I figure nobody in America really knows who she is. Such a powerhouse, though.

    And totally agreed on Groban’s version of Anthem. One of the best I’ve heard.