Monday, October 1, 2007
Broadway, a blog and a brother
"I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason."
Sometimes, you just instantly connect with a song. I started to cry as soon as I heard that line from "For Good." I knew that there was one reason why I was sitting in a theater early in 2007 watching "Wicked" on tour and planning my first trip to Broadway - because one particular blogger had come into my life.
A few months before, I'd found Steve on Broadway while searching for information about "A Moon for the Misbegotten." (Regular readers of SOB will recognize those eyes!) Steve posted an item on the upcoming Broadway production and I sent him an e-mail asking a few questions. I told Steve that Kevin Spacey was one of my favorite actors, and I really wanted to see him in that play. "I'm delighted you found me," he wrote back.
Steve has never stopped being delighted to hear from me, whether it's through comments on his blog or numerous, sometimes lengthy, e-mails. Whenever I need to talk, and whatever I need to talk about, he's always there to listen and click on the reply button.
Like many bloggers, Steve writes about a topic that's not connected with what he does for a living. But he brings great skill, insight, dedication, enthusiasm and wit to the job, whether he's writing about his love for the theater, his love for this country and commitment to freedom of speech, or about the love of his life.
Steve on Broadway's comments section has been an outlet for my writing even when, as a novice theatergoer, I didn't have much to say. I've caught his enthusiasm for the unique power and emotion of a live performance, whether it's on Broadway, a local production or a national tour. Now, I have quite a bit to say!
Without Steve, this blog wouldn't exist. No matter how many times I told him I wasn't interested in starting one, he never stopped encouraging me, because he knew how much I loved to write. When I told him I'd finally decided to take the plunge, he even came up with the name, Gratuitous Violins. After I turned down his first half-dozen or so suggestions, most people would have given up and told me to find my own blog name. But not Steve.
When I started reading his blog, I'd never been to New York City for longer than an overnight stay, and I'd never seen a show on Broadway. Now, I can't get enough of the city. This fall, I'm planning my third trip there in six months. I've been in a Broadway audience 13 times, with more to come! One of those times was an unforgettable evening at "The Color Purple" with Steve by my side. We bought our tickets months apart, but fate was incredibly kind, and our seats ended up being right next to each other. Personally, I like to think it was the unseen hand of Oprah at work!
I've learned a lot about the theater over the past year, not just from Steve on Broadway, but from all the blogs on his list of daily reads. They each have their own distinctive voice and way of doing things. Some are just about the theater, and others delve into a variety of topics. I enjoy them all, and I'm glad to be among them. As Lt. Frank Cioffi, played by the talented and gracious David Hyde Pierce, says in "Curtains," it's an honor.
So Steve, thank-you for letting me borrow a song that I know holds a special place in your life. You've become my theater guide, my blogging mentor, my loyal friend, and best of all, my brother. And I am happy and fortunate and very proud to be your sister. Thank-you for welcoming me into your life. I'm here for good.