Last night, some friends and I went to see some Disney magic at a local theatre – it was a production of Aladdin and I was really excited, not only because it was a Disney show. The Muny holds a dear place in my heart. It’s where I fell in love with the theatre.
When I was four years old, we lived in St. Louis and my mom received tickets for an upcoming production at the outdoor theatre in Forest Park for a showing of Peter Pan. I don’t think I had ever been to a live theatrical show, but my mom thought it was the right time for me to experience a play first-hand.
I can remember bits and pieces of the night, and every time I go back to see a show there, it makes me smile. I remember being very close to the stage (my mom tells me later that the tickets came from a boss or something, someone who had very good seats, so we were relatively close). I remember the actors being almost on top of me, they were so close. I remember Cathy Rigby (at the time, I had no idea who she was) FLYING OVER MY HEAD during one of the scenes. Could Peter Pan really fly? She did it. She flew over my head, right out over the audience, and sprinkled pixie dust on me.
I can only imagine how wide my eyes must have been, taking in the scene.
Is it any wonder that I turned to my mother at that point, and said, “Mom, I wanna do that!”
Later on, the experience stuck with me and I wanted to start acting. I was on stage in middle school and never looked back.
It makes me kind of sad that I’ve been on a theatre sabbatical for the past few years. But with so many work and social obligations, there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to fit in rehearsals and productions. I don’t know if my schedule will allow me to get back on stage but I hope so. It’s so much fun. It’s been a part of my life for so long and it feels strange not to have a rehearsal to rush off to.
But I love that I can experience a similar feeling every week during the summer at the Muny with my season tickets in section C. It may not be Cathy Rigby flying over my head, but I know that there are so many little girls in the audience that are experiencing their first Muny show – and they might be grow up to be actors.
And that’s kind of cool.