We are living in uncertain, and unnerving, times.
I combat the pervasive feelings of anxiety and fear by striking back against the dark, including seeing, supporting, and singing Broadway musicals.
Here in Portland, I was lucky enough to see Newsies last year, a favorite from childhood. This year, I saw Finding Neverland, which I’d never heard of, and which I didn’t feel particularly excited about. I sat through the first act, breaking into a few smiles but not essentially moved, as I usually am, by the music and song and emotion.
Then there was the finale of the first half, Stronger. Amazing. The playwright, J. M. Barrie, has to find a scary alter-ego within himself to cultivate enough backbone to go ahead with his new material, in the face of threats and criticism. What a zinger!
I went online afterwards, the background pirate vocals and foot-stomps singing in my ears, and found Kelsey Grammer performing the role of Captain Hook! I also saw a video of the Broadway cast performing Believe, an earlier number which I’d enjoyed but passed over. The play didn’t have me yet.
But when I watched the cast perform the song for a network show, it came to life. The resistant cynic being plied with positivity until he caves in and joins the others to imagine a better and more interesting world. (Not that the world isn’t interesting, but when one’s father has died and one has to conform to Edwardian behavioral mores…I could see how it would seem depressing for a kid.)
So, there I had it: my two favorite numbers from Neverland, which I haven’t been able to stop singing, are:
As Tosha Silver might say, Not. Even. Subtle.
Images via Council of Elrond