Some people say that Broadway is important to them, and I am one of those people. In this piece, I’m going to tell you some of the reasons why Broadway musicals and plays are important to me.
Before I list some of those musicals and plays and why they specifically are important to me, I would like to say two quick things. Firstly, to me, every musical and play has a journey, just as we do as humans in this world. Not just the journey of the characters throughout, but also the journey of creating the show. And secondly, theatre of all kinds has been a journey for me. I’ve found, as a theatre kid, that if I was on stage, sure, I was nervous, who wasn’t? But I found it easier to get up on stage and act or sing than it was to get up in front of the others in my classes. I think that is because on stage, I’m not me. I’m the character. Theatre has been my journey, too!
COME FROM AWAY
The first musical I would like to mention is Come From Away. This musical is an amazing piece of art which shows the true story of what happened in Gander, Newfoundland and it’s surrounding areas over 9/11/01 and the days following, and how the Newfoundlanders did everything they could to help those who were stranded there when the United States Airspace shut down after the terrorist attacks. This musical is a story about kindness, and people coming together for others in need.
One: Kindness can change the world. One simple act of kindness can change another person’s bad mood or make someone going through a rough time feel better. Helping people not only helps them, but it also helps you too!
Two: Not everyone on stage has to be young and single, or even male or female. People of any age, gender, identification, country, race, religion and more can be a star if you want to be!
Siren’s Den, which is the second musical I would like to discuss here, is a musical written by a friend of mine, Rori Nogee. It surrounds one young aspiring star, Remy, who dreams to meet the one person she’s looked up to and when she actually gets to meet her, Skylar Cole becomes what Remy thinks is a friend, but then she finds out that she was just blinded by a number of things and she learns a huge lesson, and ends up wanting so badly to help other aspiring actresses. We don’t learn if she does this, but I’d like to think that one day she does become a star and helps others coming on behind her!
One: As fun and good and wonderful as it is to have someone to look up to and want to become like, don’t forget there already IS someone to look up to, YOURSELF! Learn to love yourself like you want to shower love on others too, because you are important too!
Two: Things we did when we were kids, Rori, and I, songs she wrote, songs we sang at her piano, they were a part of this musical and something I like to think about is that just because things were done years ago, doesn’t mean they can’t be brought back and used for something even better!
WE ARE THE TIGERS
The third musical I’d like to discuss is We Are The Tigers, a killer cheerleader musical that shows the many different types of people in a high school setting, and how they interact and react to each other and how one specific cheerleader takes it upon herself to do something about some of her teammates who were not towing the line according to Captain Riley. Eventually we learn the facts of what had happened to the girls, and how the cheerleader in question, Riley was headed for a breakdown, just as those two other girls (Chess and Farrah) were before she’d done what she’d done to them (don’t worry, I won’t spoil it), and it changes how the others see Riley.
One: If you’re crashing and burning, and you think you’re losing your fight, don’t give up, ask for help! Search out someone you trust, someone you love and care for, who loves you, and let them help you!
Two: When bad things happen to you and/or to someone you love, just know you aren’t alone, know that there’s someone who loves you, someone who wants to help you, someone who’s got your back.
Rent is the fourth musical I’d like to talk about here. Most people know what this is all about, however, on the off chance you, as a reader aren’t too sure, it basically is the journey story of a group of friends dealing with many very real issues, AIDS, death, illness, moving, hunger, poverty, etc.
One: If you’re sick or know someone who is, you start to think about if you, or if they’ll be remembered, if someone is still being thought about and talked about, then they are still alive within those who loved them! Afterall, as Albus Dumbledore put it in Harry Potter, “Those who loved us, never truly leave us…”
Two: Family doesn’t have to be those whose blood you share. A family is a group of people who are for each other and will do anything for each other. Family isn’t a place, it’s people, all together, family is love.
The fifth musical I’d like to discuss is Wicked which is about the backstory of how the Wicked Witch of the West became wicked in the first place and as it describes her life before becoming wicked, we see that she is hugely misunderstood!
One: So many people all over the world are just misunderstood! Get to know others around you, find out who they truly are on the inside, not just who they show they are, outwardly, you may be very surprised to see what you find!
Two: When life hits you with something which changes you, be careful what you do with that change and how you react to what happened and those around you. Defy gravity; don’t let NEGATIVE pull you down; try to rise up like a phoenix!
Finding Neverland is the sixth and final musical I’d like to discuss in this piece, and for those of you who don’t know what it’s about, it’s the backstory of JM Barrie who wrote Peter Pan (and subsequent books about the young boy who didn’t want to grow up, and Neverland) and part of where he gets the story idea from and what happens as Sylvia, a widow, and mother of four boys, George, Peter, Jack and Michael meet JM Barrie at Kensington Park. The story tells how together, she and her four boys change Barrie’s life and how he changes theirs. Peter, still sullen over his father’s death, refuses to play and show his imagination right away, and Barrie helps Peter learn to play again, which helps both of them more than they can even explain in words.
One: Imagination is key. It can get you far in life, who knows, maybe one day YOU can write a story or sing a song or do something which others will see and promote. Imagination is power and beauty, it’s life, it’s art!
Two: You can be anything you want to be, do anything you want to do. You have to believe in yourself! Everything you need is already inside of you, you just have to look for it! Just a little hard work and faith and you’ll get far in life!
In conclusion, life will always be filled with obstacles, some which seem positive, some that are negative. Perseverance and a solid community can help everyone achieve their dreams. And when a person is either involved in the theatre world or visiting within it by seeing a show, you’re still a part of that community and you won’t ever be alone. Therefore, theatre has never in all my life been away from me, despite my not being able to be involved in a show in a few years, I’m still a part of the theatre family and I’ll always be a part of the community, and they’re all a part of my journey from the past to the future, and I wouldn’t ever want to be without them in my journey as I’m dancing through life.
Photo from the official site for Finding Neverland.
For those interested, here are other pieces that I have written about these shows: