Joan Marcus
Paulo Szot and Kelli O'Hara in the Lincoln Center's "South Pacific."

First off, thanks to everyone who e-mailed me thanking me and/or agreeing with me about not wearing pajamas at the theater.

In fact, many of you want to push toward a dress code. What do you think of that?

I'm just glad there are so many out there who agree with me and, to my delight, no one argued that sloppy dressing should be OK. Bravo!

I'm old-fashioned. I've never been one to be on the cusp of technology, which is an ongoing joke between my dad and me. I can e-mail, use my cell phone with decent proficiency and use a few of my digital cameras features. That's about it.

Though I have an iPod, which I love and use all the time (thanks to a good friend who is willing, for lunch, to load my music for me), it's nothing compared to buying the actual CD. (I'm sure some thought the same thing about vinyl records and perhaps casette tapes.)

In this digital day and age, you can get full albums with a few clicks of the mouse — which is amazing.

But that leaves me feeling empty. There is something about unwrapping a brand new CD — even as annoying as the plastic is. The smell of the new CD, the pristine jewel case that has yet to be scratched, and the anticipation of opening the case to see what the CD looks like. Did they use a picture? A cool graphic? Does it match the picture behind the CD?

Then there's the liner notes. For a showtune fan who lives far too many miles away from New York, the liner notes are the first glimpse into shows I'm dying to see.

Years ago, before I'd been to New York, it meant even more — to see the costumes, the actors, the scenes.

I'd read all of the notes from the creators, directors or anyone else involved. I read them from cover to cover, then I'd read the lyrics.

With Broadway shows, the liner notes are often the only way to fill in the blanks to the music you love. They give you a plot synopsis that suddenly turns the songs you've been singing into a full-fledged, complete story.

You don't get all of that on iTunes.

I just received a press copy of the new Broadway cast recording of "South Pacific." As the smell of the fresh plastic and colored printing fills my cubicle, I see Kelli O'Hara in a gorgeous costume, lost in a kiss with Paulo Szot (Emile De Becque). "South Pacific" has quickly moved up my list of shows that I must see next time I'm lucky enough to go to New York.

Speaking of: "South Pacific" won big at the Drama Desk Awards, which were announced last week. It took home five awards, the most of the evening, including Best Revival, and best actor (for Szot — an opera singer making his Broadway debut).

Best musical: That award went to "Passing Strange." Does that mean it'll win the Tony, too? The interesting thing is "In the Heights," considered to be "Strange's" biggest competition, was not eligible for a Drama Desk since it was considered last year during its off-Broadway run. Tony night will be an interesting one.

Less than 525,600 minutes: "Rent" fans are in luck. Remember how "Hannah Montana's" concert was shown in movie theaters? The Hot Ticket will bring closing night of "Rent" to a movie theater near you. The show will have appearances by original cast members and other farewell festivities. Check listings in September.

Jolly Holiday: The national tour of "Marry Poppins" is sure to be supercali ... you get the idea. Producers have announced that Gavin Lee, the original Bert in both London and New York, will join Ashley Brown, original Broadway Poppins, on the road. The tour opens in Chicago in March and soon will be in Los Angeles.

It's About Time: One of my faves, Sutton Foster ("Thoroughly Modern Millie") is recording a solo CD!! Using material she sang in her cabaret performance at Joe's Pub, the CD could feature an interesting mix of songs from showtunes ("Warm All Over"), oldies ("Up on the Roof") and even a John Denver tune ("Sunshine on my Shoulders.") As Randy Jackson would say, she could sing the phone book, and it would sound great. Can't wait!


E-mail: ehansen@desnews.com