Friday, November 6, 2009

Special Edition: Today in History

Recognize this picture? Captain Von Trapp (the fictional and the real deal) may be one of the most famous fathers of the 20th Century. The Sound of Music premiered on Broadway November 16, 1959, the movie version came out in March six years later.  So what does this famous father have to do with November 6?  Well, nothing really, except that my Dad was born on November 6, and his love for The Sound of Music was really a catalyst for my love of musicals.  Dad's not particularly musical.  He played some trumpet as a youth, and has a pretty strong 3-4 note range (Mom's the singer in the family), but he has a genuine appreciation for music.  The Sound of Music was my first Rogers and Hammerstein musical, thanks to Dad, and I was hooked.

Theater has become an integral part of my everyday life, because I was exposed to it at a young age.  It doesn't have to be Broadway, but if you can bring a child to the theater, you are creating the audience of the future.  Do you know what else helps? Films and soundtracks of plays and musicals.  Like most families, we couldn't afford to go to a Broadway show every year (we went once when I was 12 to Beauty and the Beast), but we went to regional and community theater often, and rocked out to Les Mis on tape in the car and the Rogers and Hammerstein box set at home.  Because those more affordable options were available, I go to Broadway productions today.

So think about the people that exposed you to theater, thank them, and then go bring your kids (or somebody elses) to a show.  Invest in the soundtrack and play it in the car on your next family vacation.  Go rent Singing in the Rain and watch it with your nephew.  Captian von Trapp sang with his kids.  It's not just about butts in seats, it's about sharing an experience and being present with another generation. 

Thanks and Happy Birthday Dad!

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