Posts Tagged ‘Broadway theatre’

When I was eight years old, my parents took me to my very first Broadway show. As the curtain rose and the orchestral music swelled, a hush came over the crowd. My eyes grew wide with expectation.

And then the magic began.

The show was Carnival, with Anna Maria Alberghetti as the naive ingenue, Jerry Ohrbach as the puppeteer, and Kaye Ballard as, well, Kaye Ballard. I was mesmerized by the beautiful singing and dancing and the poignant love story that tugged at my heart. My eyes stung with tears when Lili, who I guess in modern times would have a diagnosis, was stunned to find out that her puppet friends were not real.

(As an aside, many years later I was thrilled to find out that there would be a run of Carnival at a local community theater. I purchased tickets for the whole family and excitedly prepped them for what was to come. Although well done, the play was so outdated that my kids — and my husband, I suspect– squirmed in their seats until it was over.)

For many weeks post-Carnival, I would race home from school, throw my belongings down, and turn on the record player to listen to the cast album. It wasn’t enough to memorize each note, word and inflection. I choreographed every song on the album, roped two friends into joining me, and persuaded Mrs. Wagner, my second grade teacher, to let us perform for the class.

It was clear that Broadway and I were meant for each other.

Was I obsessed? Yes, indeed, Yes, I was.

I’ve had the great fortune to have seen many more Broadway shows, too many to name. My favorites? Hard to say, but there are two I can think of right off the bat that had the same effect on me as Carnival did. I hear a  couple of bars of the music and my eyes well up. And I know every word of every song.


So, you may be wondering … or not … would my passion for Broadway catapult me into a career on stage? I certainly had the emotional energy, the drive, the enthusiasm.

Just one thing was missing: any discernible talent.

But a true blue fan I have been and will always be, and I am currently bedazzled by a most wonderful show called Once that my friends and I were lucky to see.

Here we are after the performance. I’m the one in the middle. Can you see the stars in my eyes? Can you hear me humming the tunes?

Once is the story of an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant who share a love of music. Last week the spectacular ensemble performed a number on David Letterman. Watch this and fall in love.

Bravo, Once, and may your run be long and fruitful. I can’t wait to come back.

Let the curtain rise. Let the magic begin.

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There are many things that inspire me: the beauty in nature, the athletic prowess in a five-set tennis match or a basketball game in double overtime, a wonderful sense of humor, a perfectly turned phrase. But many years ago I stumbled upon a quote that spoke so meaningfully to me that I adopted it as my own personal philosophy.

“The three grand essentials to happiness are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.”

I have seen the quote attributed to both Joseph Addison and Allan Chalmers, so I can’t attest to its true origin. To me, it is brilliant in its simplicity about what is really important in life.

Something to do isn’t just the job you perform during the day or the errands you run on the weekends. It’s having a purpose, making a difference, maybe not making the world a better place, but trying to make both yourself AND your little corner of the universe better. It’s having an agenda that matters. What do I do? I eat vegetables I volunteer at a homeless program, I weed my garden, I donate pretty decent clothing to Purple Heart, I wear sunscreen, I say thank you excessively, I support animal rights, I cheer on the home team, I take long walks with my dog.

Something to love, well, I interpret that very broadly. I am lucky to have a family and a circle of friends to love. What else do I love? Broadway, animals, the smell of salt air and suntan lotion at the beach, old photos, movies accompanied by popcorn, Thanksgiving, reading hard-to-put-down books, the aroma of bread baking in my kitchen, high school reunions, singing along with the radio, speaking French, yes, I love all those things and so much more.

Something to hope for: in times of distress, I tell myself that things will get better, and they do. Getting through a rough patch is tolerable because I know it won’t last forever. Hoping for things is not to say that I’m dissatisfied with what I have, but what do I aspire to? And what do I wish for humanity? What do I hope for? World peace, a cure for terrible diseases, a strong leader for our country, my children’s fulfillment in whatever they do, a pair of jeans that fits well, my unwritten novel will someday be written, health and happiness and many years of life for everyone I love, and the opportunity to keep learning and keep giving back as long as I can.

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