WATCHING A SPECTACULAR SHOW AND MEETING ITS LEGENDARY CREATOR INSPIRE A POWERFUL MESSAGE ABOUT MAKING YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE!
I fell in love with The Phantom of the Opera the first time I saw it in Toronto at the Pantages Theater. I bought the CD, and listened to it constantly, especially when I was pregnant.
After my son was born, he would stop crying when I played songs like Angel of Music. I was convinced that he recognized the beautiful music because he both heard it in utero and absorbed my joy when listening to the soundtrack of this powerful love story.
The song Prima Donna sweeps me into such a blissful state that I want to be listening to it when I die on my 100th birthday (I already wrote my obituary).
When The Phantom movie came out in 2004, I saw it in the theater with my eight-year-old son, and we later watched the DVD at home many times. That period of my life was wracked by tremendous loneliness, and the song Learn to be Lonely always made me sob.
Whether the music was eliciting bliss or an abyss of sadness, listening to it prompted me to marvel at the creative genius of composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, recipient of seven Tonys, three Grammys, the Grammy Legend Award, an Academy Award, and knighthood from Queen Elizabeth!
It is absolutely enchanting to indulge his magical orchestration of soul-stirring lyrics and melodies that contrast and fuse in a delicious dance in my ears. Many times his music has made me stop singing along and instead sit silently in awe at how it seems to tickle every cell in my body.
So imagine my absolute thrill when I actually met him!
Yes, backstage at the North American debut of the sequel to The Phantom: Love Never Dies. The performance at Detroit’s Fisher Theatre was a visual and aural extravaganza.
The love story – and the passion between The Phantom and Christine — 10 years after their parting — was electrifying! I literally had chills throughout a good portion of the performance, especially during their face-to-face reunion duet.
Oh. My. Goodness.
My dear friend Lee Thomas, Fox 2 Detroit’s popular Entertainment Reporter, invited me to attend the performance. Thank you, Lee!
The night only got better after the show, when my brother-friend, George Sheer, who is a Principal Dresser for The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway in New York City, arranged for me to meet two cast members:
- Mary Michael Patterson, who studied musical theater at the University of Michigan, and delightfully played Meg; and
- Bronson Murphy, the actor who brilliantly and passionately played The Phantom!
All the while, the evening inspired a powerful take-away: all of us have talent, even creative genius. But what separates the person with talent and the person who ascends to the heights of Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, or an actor who plays a role like The Phantom, is that he or she has the discipline to cultivate their talent and relentlessly pursue opportunities to showcase it. Of course lucky breaks play a big role. But it takes discipline and hard work to prepare yourself for when those opportunities occur.
Meeting the composer and cast made me want to work harder, be even more disciplined, and cultivate my writing skills to the absolute best of my ability.
So, what’s your life’s greatest dream?
What will it take for you to achieve your highest potential?
How can you make one simple change today to help you do that?
The message of tonight’s show is its title: “Love Never Dies.”
Love yourself so hard that you refuse to let your dreams die!
Write, sing, paint, create, do your thing!
Your creation just may become an integral part of someone’s life, as The Phantom is for me, from birth to death…
© 2017 Elizabeth Ann Atkins
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