36 Questions, or WTAF Universe

My gorgeous gal pal Linda, whom I've known since before middle school, engaged me in the following v. dweeby iMessage exchange last week.

I listened to all three episodes of the above-mentioned podcast musical  from my bed last weekend and the plot is only just fine, but the acting is grand-tastic and the music is très dope (that's French for very dope).

The story centers on a young heterosexual married couple who are having major relationship issues because lying. Jase, the husband, is voiced by Jonathan Groff while Jessie Shelton gives life to Judith/Natalie, the wife. Groff is already a big-deal actor (he's starred in Frozen, GleeHamilton, Looking and Spring Awakening and he's got a David Fincher-produced Netflix series coming out next month) so I hope this becomes a breakout situation for Shelton whose singing voice is basically all of the coziest parts of a rainy afternoon ("Hear Me Out" is my favorite of 36 Questions' thirteen songs, which are available on Bandcamp, iTunes and Spotify).

I'd highly recommend 36 Questions to any musical theater lover and I muy much (Spanish: very much) hope that podcast musicals become a bigger thing. Also, maybe Lin-Manuel Miranda can do the next one, please?

36 Questions can be streamed in full at 36questions.com for zero money.

Missing Richard Simmons

I get a podcast recommendation literally once a week.


At minimum.

My friends and family members are always pitching their favorite podcasts at me. So often do they do this, in fact, that I have an expansive list on my phone of podcasts that I will absolutely never ever listen to. I know that I won't because I've only ever listened to one podcast ever in my whole life and that was the first season of Serial because everyone was talking about it and I was in a car for five hours with B and we needed something to do on our way to and from Carmel-by-the-Sea on a date day two years ago.

People recommend podcasts to me, I add them to the ever-expanding list on my phone just to be polite and then I smile, promptly close out of the list and open up whatever book I'm reading at the time and that's been that.

Until now.

I was achieving sunburned shins while sipping beers in Dolores Park with my friend Adrianna yesterday when the following conversation happened.

Her: Have I told you about this podcast that I just finis...

Me: I'm gonna go ahead and stop you right there. I spend all of my commute time reading books on the train and therefore will never ever ever infinity have any extra time at all to listen to podca...

Her: It's called Missing Richard Simmons and it's about one man's search to find Richard Simmons. You know, the old workout gur...

Me: Oh I'm familiar with Richard Simmons. In fact, I've hugged him.

Her: Okay then you have got to listen to this podcast.

Me: Fine. I will.

And I did.

And it's everything.

The series only has six episodes and I just finished episode three and so far I find it to be so so so entertaining and heartwarming and hilarious and interesting and suspenseful and weird but mostly it's just UGH-MAZE-ING.


In fact, I recommend it.