Upon visiting “the capital of capitalism”, I must have caught some sort of virus, or maybe a new dream-production-team, because the programme offered to me for my personal nightly entertainment this summer has been weirder than usual. In the past, my dream-catalogue has consisted of biblical references, Beckettian minimalism as staged by Robert Wilson, Lynchean distortion and decadence, Film Noir dialogues in smokey alleyways (black-and-white scenery to match), classic horror chases and psychological thriller, and even the occasional sitcom’esque comedy spun directly from the thread of experiences had the very same day. But, as I said, I must’ve caught something funny on my trip because, during the past month, my nightly rapid-eye-movement picture show has added a new genre to its repertoire: musicals. I used to have dreams, of many varieties, now I have musicals. Not exclusively, of course, no producer would be so bad at their own job as to offer products of only one genre, and they know my need for diversity, but the amount of musical numbers that have been cropping up in my dreams all of a sudden is close to alarming, especially considering this is a totally new species of dreams for me. In fact, they didn’t just develop over time, with a little Sprechgesang ditty here and there to test the waters; dreams in the musical format have just suddenly shot out of the ground fully formed, fully harmonised, fully cast, and fully scripted, a complete set for the month of August (and apparently stretching into September, notorious entertainment-low of the year) with all its limbs, vocal cords and catchy beats. The stuff of nightmares. Except it’s musicals we’re talking about, and their happiness is even catchier than any virus that might have befallen me on the plane ride back from America. Even their sad, serious, thought-provoking moments are lined with happiness. This might be my Disney-ridden childhood catching up with me, which, if we’re talking musicals, is the only explanation that remotely makes sense, seeing as I only like one “grown-up” musical and vaguely tolerate two others. All I know is, a while ago, I was woken up during three chords of a very sugary upbeat song about a more or less rural teenage boy (my unchallengeable assumption, made based on the fact that cornfields kept popping up, and that they had access to a completely unprotected graveyard earlier on in the dream) and his right to be gay, complete with flashbacks demonstrating the object of said boy’s affections wearing a kilt (thanks, Adam…) to school and generally looking dreamy, whilst the teenage boy’s best female friend sang to him in the middle of a dirt road about how there are so many more important parts to him than whom he happens to fall in love with. It was very peachy and all-audiences – not what I’m used to from my dreams. And, if my producers can be influenced by the written word, I hope the next time they expose me to musical numbers of this nature, they will make sure the general atmosphere tends more towards that of, say, Chicago, with jazz-infused tunes and crooked, lying characters. Either way, I am now going to get me some industrial strength coffee to wash this dream into the sewers of my subconscious along with other, non-recurring dreams. G’day.