I’ve had my white Christmas, and it was enlightening.
Among other things, the holidays for me mean once-a-year kind of projects, both here at dRC and in my music career. The holiday card-making I’ll leave for Chad to write about. I’m going to share my holiday music work.
Last year through the holidays I played Wicked at the State Theater at Playhouse Square for five awesome, grueling weeks. I’m still tired! But it was totally worth it, playing one of the most popular musicals in recent history to sellout crowds, including thousands of delighted Moms and daughters.
This year was an entirely different experience. I played White Christmas, a musical based on the movie from the fifties starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. While Wicked was intense, this show was breezy and light. Boy meets girl, they sing, dance, then sing and dance some more. Lots of sequins and gowns and kicks and mixups, well, you know. Everyone lives happily ever. And, of course, the hit song finale, White Christmas, while snow flurries fell in the theater. Snow that melted.
Owing to the age and nature of the story, I figured I’d see a lot of older people in the audience. Boy was I was wrong. I saw a broad demographic — young people on dates, couples, families, kids, older people. Almost every show sold out. The music director was even surprised.
It’s a holiday kind of show, so that’s part of it. I also think that, in some ways, this show was a welcome relief from more serious matters. The tunes were comic and comfortable. The characters friendly and likable. And the story was wrapped up with a neat little bow.
Upon reflection, I think I understand a little more about how sometimes, in the midst of pain or sadness or struggle or the mundane day-to-day, it’s nice to just be entertained. To escape, even for a few hours.
A lot of art and music (necessarily) seeks to find new ground and challenge audiences. As artists at heart, all of us here at dRC work like that, thinking hard and long about every project, attempting to do great work, checking details, searching for a perfect word or image, trying to deliver awesomeness on every job.
It’s worth it. But White Christmas reminded me that sometimes we all need to let go, sit back and enjoy a simple song.
Have yourself a simple, peaceful holiday.