Pretty much anyone that has ever been on YouTube has come across a video by Miranda Sings. In my case, my first experience ended after a few seconds of terrible sounds coming from my computer speakers and a muttered WTF. But whatever my opinion, the name certainly became stuck. So when i saw Miranda Sings on the concert calendar for the Orpheum Theatre, I did a double take and took a closer look at this YouTube phenomenon. Phenomenon? Yup, after all there are 6.7 million viewers subscribed to her channel. Said closer look peaked my interest further and I decided to check out her live show yesterday. Of course both my daughters were familiar with Miranda, and I was sent off with the advice: “It’s comedy Dad, please laugh.”
Walking up to the Orpheum, I found myself surrounded by young women, some with their moms, many of them sporting Miranda outfits and a lot of well or misplaced bright red lipstick. The line to the merch booth was massive easily rivaling the ones I saw at the Iron Maiden merch tables last year. Once settled in the auditorium I took stock of the audience. Yup, definitely 95% women with the few guys present wearing facial impressions from anticipation and bewilderment to outright panic.
The evening began with Miranda’s creator Colleen Ballinger taking the stage. Her pregnancy, which has been a hot topic on her channel, was a constant theme through the show. She talked a bit about her experience being Miranda and the, uh, let’s call it feedback, from the swampy bottom of the internet. She displayed comments on the screen and also some hate videos. (Personal comment: Really People? I get not liking something, but seriously? Oh and LEARN HOW TO SPELL!). And then, to the tune of “Defying Gravity” the Swan changed into the Ugly Duckling right in front of the audience. It look only a few articles of clothing, a couple of hair clips and a large amount of lipstick. And of course, the voice. Holy Crap, the VOICE!!! Ballinger is a very good singer and the transition from the start of the song to the over the top and out of tune Miranda was startling.
Once in character a number of props and audience participation became part of the show. Audience members were brought on stage for Wardrobe critique. Somehow it took 3 fans from Wisconsin before the first Minnesotan got to be on stage. I am not going to give away to many of the details, but let’s say the search for a Bae to go with the baby is still active. I found myself surprised at the number of times I laughed, this was much more fun that I had expected (and I am as far of Miranda’s target audience as possible). Fans sang along with all the songs – but at Miranda’s request not to loudly as she wanted to hear herself.
There is a consistent message of being happy with who you are, sticking up for who you are and not minding others who try to drag you down. Anyone who can spread that message to a young audience of millions deserves respect and admiration now matter how quirky the package that the message is wrapped in may be. As for the singing? Well, that’s what they invented earplugs for 🙂