Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved going to musicals. My parents would take me to every single show the local high school drama club put on. I got to see How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Hello Dolly!, Mame, and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, all before I could really understand what those plays were about. It didn’t matter. Once the house lights dimmed, it was magic time. The singing! The dancing! The costumes! I loved every minute of it. (It’s probably where I acquired my love of the spotlight.) Those high school thespians could have been Broadway-level famous for all I knew. Every once in a while, my parents and I would also go to the Goodspeed Opera House. This led to several trips to the Bushnell and of course to the actual Broadway when I was a little older. As I’ve grown into adulthood, I still love going to see musicals.
For me, the show never ended at curtain call. There was always a song left in my heart, running through my mind and passing out of my mouth for days after each show. I can still hear the soundtrack to Les Miserables echoing in my brain (“Master of the House, keeper of the zoo…”). I even tried my hand at acting in one of the high school musicals when I was a junior in high school. I had so much fun.
This spring, I finally got to share my love of musicals with my daughter. On a special April vacation trip, I took her to see Wicked on Broadway. The whole trip was amazing: her first train ride, her first taxi ride, and staying overnight in a fancy hotel. But taking her to the Great White Way to see one of my favorite shows (I had seen it twice before!) was icing on the cake. We ended up with great seats and I will never forget the look on her face when the house lights went down and the orchestra sounded the intro. I had played a part in transporting her to a magical land where stories were told in song and everything was covered in glitter and sparkles. I feel like I had given her a gift that went way beyond just tickets to a show. It is one thing to let your imagination take you places when you watch a movie in a theater but when you see a live show on a stage, you feel like you are part of the story because the story is all around you. After the show, she was bubbling over with excitement. She loved the flying monkeys that soared over the audience. She’s been singing the songs nonstop.
A few weeks later, the whole family was able to attend Matilda at the Bushnell in Hartford. The tickets were a Christmas gift and we had waited so long for the day to arrive. The show itself was so-so, but going to the show and the anticipation of the curtain rising was enough to make us want more. There is nothing like hearing those first few orchestra notes. I can’t wait to open the door to more magical adventures for her. I have a feeling I’ve started something good!