“Hey Frank! What do you call a disco in a bakery?”

“In…abundance.”
Quite probably one of the best callouts during our night out at Rocky. Anyway, now that I have your attention.

(Samantha Noland)

A fond good evening to you all. To wrap up my time in Stratford, I wanted to talk musicals. Yes, those colorful parades of showmanship, blood, sweat, and tears that so often catch the eye, and have permanently become ingrained in culture. Our last two days in Stratford were spent taking in two spectacular musicals, neither of which I’d had much experience singing…I mean seeing.┬áThe Music Man has a family history of being loved; my Grandma was particularly fond of it. Oddly enough, I’d only seen the Rocky Horror Picture Show (the 1975 movie with inimitable gods of the stage Tim Curry and Richard O’ Brian) once and I was left frozen with confusion! In the best possible way of course.

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(Above is our view of the stage for Music Man. Such great seats!)

These performances, polar opposites in production, costume, story, and song, were, to put it shortly, dazzling! Music Man left me emotional and feeling like a little girl, Rocky left me breathless, excited, and even a bit hoarse, like a night out at a great concert. Both shows have definitely found new fans in me. I’m already looking forward to the next time I can see Rocky, hopefully in costume and with a few audience callouts memorized.

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(Rowdy insisted that we show off our Rocky ticket…)

I’ve always been curious why musicals have this ability to make a lasting impression on us. My best friend Charlotte fondly remembers me eagerly calling her up in 2004 to rave about the Phantom of the Opera movie with Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum. I’ve bonded with friends over shared love of Mamma Mia!, Hairspray, and Grease, among others.

As I’ve gotten older, and spent a few days sharing my love of theater with the wonderful people I’ve met on this trip, I’ve begun to truly realize why musicals are magical. They have this innate ability to bring people together. Musicals, and theater itself, allow us to escape the realities of life; taxes, relationship issues, etc., all that adulting jazz that gives us gray hair. But brilliant art has the power to allow us to visit different worlds, and forget our own problems for a few hours. One day you might be engrossed in the humorous struggles of Lord Arthur Goring, the next you might be following Brad and Janet through the dark and sexy world of Dr. Frank N. Furter. Stratford has truly tattooed theater on my heart, and cemented it’s importance in my life. Thank you all for the memories that I will keep from this trip. It means a lot.

With love and well wishes,
Sam

PS: I’ve included a few of my favorite pictures and moments from this trip.

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(The stage for An Ideal Husband was so gorgeous. I couldn’t believe how close I was. Featuring a random bald head!)

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I will miss moments like this. Until next we meet, Stratford.