Phantom of the Opera was the first professional musical I attended. My considerate high school boyfriend took me to the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles as a surprise. I was a theater nerd. I was in every show at my school. I did small parts (a dancing poppy and cyclone in Wizard of Oz) and big parts (Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins). As a teen who felt so out of place, theater gave me a home. I dressed up for the show. I wore my ankle length, cream, flowered button down dress with white kitten heels, in true 90s fashion. I was amazed and overwhelmed by the production. To this day I still get goosebumps when I hear the cast recording.
Since then I have been lucky enough to see shows like Lion King, Wicked, and Mama Mia! And every time I cry, clap like a seal, and feel a yearning to be a part of the cast. But instead of running out and joining our local theater group, I have introduced my kids to musicals.
It started with Hamilton last January. They took to it quickly and with so much enthusiasm that they know the songs better than I do. And with hopefully a little luck we will be able to see the show when it comes to the Pantages in August.
This past Sunday the family and I went to see Finding Neverland at the Pantages. I knew they would enjoy the show but didn’t expect the joy it would bring me to watch them. As corny as it sounds, the term “heart sings” popped into my head as Scarlet moved forward in her seat to watch, listen, and feel the music. She couldn’t stop looking at me with a big smile, not unlike when we saw Lego Batman. It may have had something to do with the fact that she loved Peter Pan as a toddler. At the end of the show while the crowd was giving the actors a standing ovation, she asked me, “Can we watch that over and over? Please?!” It didn’t matter to her that we were in the last row of the theater (she actually said when we sat down, “Our seats are so good!”). It didn’t matter that we were crammed into our seats like sardines. Or that she had to pee during the second act. It was like taking a child to Disneyland for the first time and all the wide eyed goodness. It was a memory that I will hold onto forever. Now I have to figure out how to get season tickets….
I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!