Last night was the dress rehearsal for our Summer Festival show, Fresh Off Broadway: A Musical Revue. It is an amazing compilation of great talent and incredible music. Sitting in the darkened theater (one of the best places to be any time) I was struck again by the power of a well-written lyric set in just the right melody.
"Astonishing" from Little Women is so inspiring, so challenging: That moment when Jo March realizes her destiny is completely up to her and no other: Not a man, not her parents or sisters: It's up to her to grab the reigns of her life and DO SOMETHING!
Another song, "Bui Doi" from Miss Saigon, I had never heard before this show but it is one of the most moving pieces I have ever witnessed. In the musical, this song is sung by a Viet Nam Vet who is coming face to face with the responsibility of all the children fathered by soldiers who will be left behind and forgotten. "They're called Bui Doi, 'the dust of life', concieved in Hell and born in strife. They are the living reminders of all the good we've failed to do. Let's not forget, must not forget, they are all our children too." It pierces the heart.
The humor in a number from Spam-A-Lot: "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" will have everyone busting up with laughter. What could be better than to have the comedic singing, dancing and acting of a large group of talented men? Everyone needs a great belly laugh right now.
It's the power of musical theater - if you have never experienced it you have missed out on an inexplicable joy. So I exhort thee - get thee to a... theater - not a movie theater with trailers, crackling candy wrappers, chatty audiences and explosions of unparalled noise. Come to a live theater performance where people of all ages, shapes and sizes have given their blood, sweat and tears to tell a story through lyric and melody, a well-written line and movement, with passion and commitment.