I know it sounds odd, I don’t even know the man but it feels like a personal loss. I’m speaking of course of the death of Maurice Sendak.
My connection began many, many years ago. I’m going to guess the year was 1979. My mother introduced me to The Nutshell Gang and Really Rosie and if you do not know what I am talking about I highly suggest to get thee to Amazon and purchase these books (these too) and albums at once. I was a dramatic, ok…theatrical kid basically from the time I was in utero and would make up the story lines of my life all the time. So did Rosie.
When I was a kid, I dreamed of being on Broadway. This was back when a musical theater dream wasn’t cool. Back before Glee or Smash or American Idol or X-Factor or any of those talent-elevating shows that allowed theater and performance geeks to step out of their shells and assume their rightful place among other kids with special talents and interests and find each other.
Today I went to see the Phantom of the Opera. I’ve seen it five times. The last time I was with my parents and I was probably about 13 or so and I was an aspiring actress/singer… My biggest champion was my Dad, more on that at another time.
My Dad was a lover of the arts, music and musical theater and is responsible for instilling and encouraging my love of theater–a love that has brought me much joy even though my theatrical aspirations have long been abandoned. We would listen to a number of scores on our two-hour drives upstate (we had a country house in Columbia County). The primary ones were Les Miserables, Into The Woods and — of course — Phantom of the Opera. I know all of them by heart, seriously. I haven’t listened to them in a very long time though and had forgotten some of the nuances of the story (or book) and honestly had thought that this trip to Phantom was going to be more for my daughter than for me. I thought I would find it hokey… I’ve seen other shows in the decades since my last trip and wrote it off as a tourist trap (ok, I’m a jaded New Yorker… I’m copping to it).