Last night, DH and I attended our first theatre performance since moving to the island. The venue is a wonderful space with perfectly raked seating, terrific acoustics and not a bad view in the house. Musical theatre is my first love, and I waited with great anticipation for the show to begin. It was one I'd never heard of but it drew on music from the fifties, so I knew it would be a treat. It was—just not the treat I expected.
It is billed as a musical and, by definition of a musical, it fits the bill: having pleasing harmonious qualities of music; set to or accompanied by music; of or relating to music. But, I thought I was attending the other kind of musical—a movie or play that tells a story with songs and often dancing. I found myself disappointed despite the fact that it was upbeat with lots of fun songs and terrific dancing. And, it bothered me that I felt let down...until I pinpointed why.
I'm hooked on stories. The main character, based on a real-life DJ, had a story. I caught a glimpse of it a couple of times, but I left knowing very little about him except that he was popular with teens, he met Elvis and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. I wanted to know more: What roads did he travel down, what did he think about it all, who broke his heart, who made him whole? The teens in the show danced and sang up a storm. But, they had no story either. The hint of a connection would catch my interest but it was just schtick and was dropped as the next number came along, leaving me wanting once again. I wanted a story set to music and what I got was a musical revue.
Once I realized that, I relaxed. It was my expectations that set the stage for disappointment, not the show. I started to watch the audience as well as the performers. I would put the average age in the theatre at 65 years plus. They laughed, they sang and they reached for each other's hands. Trisha Yearwood sings a poignant song called The Song Remembers When and I slowly realized that that was what was unfolding all around me. These songs were sparking memories, reigniting moments shared and it was a joyous, amazing thing to watch.
There were stories last night—that large auditorium was bursting with them. They were told with a look, with a touch, with a smile. I squeezed DH's hand, sat back and drank it all in. I so love a good story.