What's it about?
Missed Connections: A Craigslist Musical is an original musical with a plot and lyrics inspired by real personal ads found on Craigslist. And if you know anything about Craigslist, you'll know that these personal ads are as varied as they are amusing to read.
What'd I experience?
I've always had a soft spot for Craigslist, bad reputation and all. For one thing, I applied for my current 9–5 on Craigslist, in addition to many of the jobs I've worked in the past. I'm not saying that there aren't sketchy posts on there posted by some sketchy individuals, but if you're savvy enough, you'll always be able to weed out the disturbing stuff from the gems. And I maintain that one of the most underrated gems is the Missed Connections category of the Craigslist personal ad postings. See two examples below:
Now, the above postings are only a couple of examples, and there are certainly Missed Connections ads that are more graphic and less coherently written, but that aside, I think there is one common feeling that unites these types of personal ads: loneliness, or a fear of winding up alone.
I headed to the New Ohio Theatre prepared to laugh, and though I did laugh for the majority of the show, it was at times a bittersweet kind of laughter because I wasn't able to ignore the raw humanity just seeping from the seemingly comical lyrics.
The song "You Dropped Your Bible", was about a man who had caught a glimpse of a woman's thong when she had bent down to retrieve her fallen Bible and fallen instantly in love. I couldn't help but feel for that man, who was so moved by what he saw that he was motivated to take out an ad on the internet, declaring his feelings for the world to see.
The song "Cat Hats", was about a lady who had recently lost her beloved cat, Snowman. She was therefore giving away Snowman's entire hat collection, in the hopes that a deserving pet owner could find use of them for his or her own cat.
Living can be isolating, but there are things that make it easier, like love and art and travel. But even art and travel can lack appeal when one feels alone. If a person lives in this world and is not loved, seen, or understood, then does this person exist? How does this person know? Where's the proof? Is a beating heart enough?
We are social creatures by nature, and we go insane when deprived of human connections. I'd like to believe that most people, myself included, long to be wanted by someone other than a family member just for being who they are, long to be seen and not just seen, but NOTICED, on the way to school or work or at the coffee shop. Personal ads on Craigslist can be funny to read, but lying underneath the words is a desperate cry for attention, is a plea: "Did someone see me today? Do you want what I have got?"
We are all waiting for confirmation that yes, we are alive and others are aware of it and the world is a better place because we are here. It's very easy to separate a typo-filled, vulgar, desperate-seeming Missed Connections ad from the person responsible for writing it, and the events in his or her life and the emotions in his or her head that caused him or her to write and post it. Missed Connections: A Craigslist Musical was a reminder to me that all of us here on Earth are just, to quote Prince (R.I.P.), doing our best "to get through this little thing called life." And somehow, knowing that so many people are simultaneously struggling to feel acknowledged and appreciated is a connection in itself. With such a large population of people striving for the same thing, it seems that there's no way we can lose.