Dotted throughout the calendar year, our national holidays manifest moments to think about where we are in our lives personally and communally. They give us a day at least to pause and be grateful, to re-ignite our appreciation for the goodness and abundance we share with family, friends, and neighbors. Tomorrow is Independence Day and is no less special than the other holidays when you think about it. Our founding fathers declared their independence, colonists fighting for their freedom from the monarchy of King George III; “Give me liberty or give me death!” The American Revolution!
There are private revolutions, our own personal battles, going on every day of the year for some of us.
We really don’t need to be told what to do or think or feel. We know, deep within ourselves, what is right, just, and fair. Theatre is full of great, dramatic characters who strike out on their own from the earliest classics to the plays of present day. The path to defying the odds against you and building one’s self-worth plays out in musical comedies just as well and I’m proud to say, there are striking examples of this in next season’s line-up.
The joke that is Elle Woods in Legally Blonde isn’t lost on her. Self-aware, perhaps to a fault, she knows she is judged on how she looks and how she talks. Her skills and smarts are hidden beneath a trendy veneer that betrays a depth of determination. To “judge a book by its cover” means to lose a person of great heart, someone esteemed for her heroic empathy, wit, warmth, and intellectual, analytical prowess. There is more here than meets the eye. Certainly the same can be said for The Wizard of Oz, so much more than what it seems to be, the story of little Dorothy is timeless and ageless.
Who among us adults couldn’t use to be told that what we’re looking so hard for is right under our nose; right in our own backyard.
That wherever it is you’re beating yourself up over trying to get to, what you are really looking for is Home. And ya don’t need to follow a yellow brick road or any wizard to tell you so. Look within, it’s been there the whole time. And oh, yeah, Mel Brooks’ The Producers finds ways to sneak in a nugget of triumphant truth here and there. Max Bialystock and his maniacal passion to be The King of Broadway inadvertently inspires young Leo Bloom that “he can do it” and realize his wildest dreams and be the man he never knew he could be before they met. 11-year-old orphan Evan Taylor, becomes August Rush and discovers himself to be a savant-like musical prodigy, knowing somehow he will be reunited with his parents. A runaway, fighting all kinds of obstacles, he somehow knows and insists he “follow the music” to find them.
Everything we need is all right there inside ourselves, folks. Happy Fourth of July and have a personal Independence Day too!
Love & thanks,
JimSubscribe & Save Get Tickets