I suppose it started early, my love of musical lyrics and moving stories. I watched the Wizard of Oz and The Sound of Music religiously when it aired on television each year. When introduced to A Chorus Line, I'd watch until I could recite every line. From "At The Ballet" to "What I Did for Love," I knew and sang EVERY WORD.
Yes, I was that girl belting broadway showtunes in her bedroom just like Rachel, Lea Michele's character on Glee. Way before it was chic to be part of a show choir I took the stage in Girl's Chorus and Vocal Ensemble. Music nourished my creative spirit like nothing else then and even more today.
In high school I attended as many shows as as I could. At that time Andrew Lloyd Weber was enjoying success in front of American audiences with Phantom of the Opera. I went to everything, Chess, A Chous Line, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Cats, Aspects of Love, etc... But it was Les Miserable that sealed the deal, I fell into a spell of musical bliss. I continued watching live productions including Miss Saigon and Disney's Beauty and The Beast and later Lion King. Seeing RENT in New York bewitched me!
I took a hiatus from attending shows while in college. Pursuing my degree and later a teaching credential while working took most of my energy. I still sang in my condo from time to time, "On My Own" and "Out Tonight" among my favorites.
In recent years, I've enjoyed seeing musicals with my girlfriend with a subscription to the broadway series at Segerstrom Center of the Arts. We see it as a date. The shows are "protected" on the calendar and give us a chance to briefly connect and be entertained by productions that are varied. She has said, she sees it as, "An investment in our friendship."
It is especially sweet when I am able to share my passion for musical theater with my daughter. Seeing her face light up and her posture lift as the music swells and the curtain raises makes me feel like electricity is moving through me. (I adore that moment)
Today we saw Annie. After a lunch for two and some pre-theater activities at the Center we were treated to a wonderful performance. It did not disappoint. The show was just as I had remembered from my youth. The original story is BEST! Ms. Hannigan remains my very favorite! We took home a program and CD. And guess what? Isabella didn't miss a beat, she ran to put the CD on once we got home. While I know it will be years before Isabella understands the message that underscores the song "Tomorrow," it's my hope that the optimism that comes with a new day resonates in her heart, always. XO