Will our real-life Boomtown sway a musical cynic?
I HAVE never been a fan of musicals. And Gladstone, it's up to you to change my mind.
It was never a deliberate decision to avoid them. But the synchronised snapping, toe-tapping, irrepressible hyperactivity, have never had any appeal.
Put simply - I love music. How can I possibly love musicals?
Perhaps I had the wrong introduction to the art form. I vividly remember a school production of Oklahoma! - for me, the exclamation mark in the title is one of horror.
Sure, Oh What a Beautiful Morning occasionally gets stuck in my head - or more than occasionally of late, courtesy of the non-Victorian weather in this part of the world.
But I've never been inspired to trill it out the window to a chorus of kookaburras, with a backline of tap-dancing stray dogs. Not yet, anyway.
I didn't mind the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which saw Sunnydale residents unable to talk, instead singing and dancing their way through the day.
Tellingly, it was all the work of a demon.
And yet it's Gladstone, not Sunnydale, that seems about to suffer the same fate.
The Queensland Music Festival stage spectacular Boomtown is coming, and for the half-a-million-dollar price tag, surely it must be taking over the town.
Producers, like pied pipers, have already got the region's students following behind, cheekily cast as "hi-vis zombies".
If anyone can tell me where the art imitating life stops and the life imitating art begins, I'll definitely burst into song.
That said, I can't sing. And perhaps it's bitterness feeding my aversion.
In the world of musicals, our heroes face plenty of problems, but there's not one who can't wail tunefully about their woes.
Holding a tune, though, pales in comparison to the ultimate requirement for a musical - holding a dream. (Cue the music.)
And Gladstone, it would seem, has dreamt of being cast in a musical.
But I'm yet to see the folks of this real-life Boomtown throw open their windows and sing about it.
Even one synchronised dance down Goondoon St would be enough to convince this doubter to join in - I'll be the one in the backline, lip-synching.