Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Prayer

The following is a prayer I offer often.  One I find brings me back, when I lose my way, and in a lonely, quiet place, even when I have lost my faith.  I offer it to you, today, on this day of Thanksgiving, as an option at your table.  Or your couch.  Or your tailgait.  Even at my quiet table with my life partner Tom, I never get through it without tears.... But salty tears makes for incredibly lovely turkey.  Blessed Thanksgiving to you all.

A Prayer attributed to St. Francis, Book of Common Prayer, page 833.

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

Grant that we may not so much seek to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  Amen.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Can Do That

I didn't see the original Broadway production of A Chorus Line.   I was, however, Hello Thirteen enough in 1976 when it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and nine Tony Awards. From a distance.

Lonely me-boys bought Original Broadway Cast Albums, back then. Broadway Baby theatre junkies. Misunderstood by others around us who were into 8-tracks of Eagles Greatest Hits.  No tribe, just Cassie, and the dream of a chance to dance.  For you.  When she belted "give me a chance", I sang along, in any narrow mirrow reflection I could find.

I saw this magic for the first time when the first national tour of A Chorus Line came to the Lexington Opera House during the Dick Pardy era. 


A few years later, I auditioned and became "Mike" in Lexington Musical Theatre's first regional production on the same stage.  He's the goy who taps his way into a place on the Line, and captures the heart of the audience with his sung-story of his sister's shoes.  Watching sis go pitter pat.  Me.  Are you kidding?  Me.

As the show comes back to the Opera House this week, in a tour based on the recent 2006 revival, there will be many in the audience who will experience it for the first time.  And, you know what, I will be in the audience, too, experiencing it for the first time.  Again.

I've stood on the Line.  I've been part of the 19 main characters who made "the cut". 

I can tell you this:  Being in the cast of A Chorus Line is grueling, satisfying work.  I might even go so far as to use the biblical sense of the word work:  worship.

You know that moment when the Line makes that perfect triangle of brilliance during the singular sensation during "One"?   Have you ever wondered if the cast on stage feels the self-same energy?  I have an answer for you, yes.  And yes, and yes.

The cheers from the audience, who I have now become a member again, come from within.  Yes.  And yes.  Cheers for the performers, but more-so for the heart of A Chorus Line that lives in all of us.

It is challenging, freeing, and celebratory.

God I hope they get it.