I’ve waited seven months for this. But now, I can finally get back to unreality.
Granted, some of my friends might argue that I never left. After all, I live in Colorado. This is the land where May Day welcomes you with seven inches of snow in her arms, where residents petition Washington to build a Death Star, where someone can actually say absurdities like “the first-place Colorado Rockies.”
But until you can sum that all up in a two-page monologue and a baritone solo, I’m afraid it simply can’t compete.
Yes, I’m back to acting after a long break. Too long, really. Ever since childhood, it’s been the perfect refuge: a chance to throw off shyness and uncertainty and dive into another life, to say and do and be things I had never dreamed.
And this one’s special.
This time, I’m back in a musical at last.
I know, I know. Believe me, I’ve heard the jokes. And no, I’ve never walked down Main Street and suddenly seen the passing crowds break into a perfectly tuned chorus number, complete with precision choreography. Well, except maybe on ArtWalk night.
But musicals are a second home to me. I came into community theater through “Oliver!” and never really left. I’ve lived in the vanishing towns of “Brigadoon,” stepped to the plate for “Damn Yankees,” even signed up to sail with “The Pirates of Penzance.” Now, thanks to a re-located Colorado Actors Theatre, I even get to don sword and armor and join the court of “Camelot.”
But it’s more than just familiarity and nostalgia. In a real way, I think musicals speak to a part of the soul that no other story can.
We’re feeling beings, as well as thinking ones. We’ve all had moments in life that were too powerful for words – tragedy, ecstasy, total hilarity or utter peace.
It’s those moments that music was made for.
Through it, we remember the feeling of trying to hang on to who you are in a world changing too fast. (“Fiddler on the Roof.”)
Or recall the moments when the convictions of your childhood run into the certainties of your heart. (“South Pacific.”)
Or maybe, just maybe, we take hope again that we can make the world a better place – or at least, inspire those who come after us. (“Camelot.”)
These are not small things. Or trivial ones.
And to see them all around you, to give them concrete form – that’s a special power indeed.
That’s the world I love.
I hope I see you there. We’ll be re-establishing Arthur’s realm throughout May (the details are online at coloradoactors.org) and I’ve never turned down an audience yet. If you’re too far away – well, feel free to turn on the stereo and dream with me.
And if you’re not quite sure about entering this strange land, consider this. We feature a King Arthur who promises that in his realm, “The winter is forbidden ‘til December/And exits March the 2nd, on the dot.”
If that’s not appealing these days, then what is?