while(self++) { #97 } // Broadway is Life

Today, I went to my sister’s high school’s rendition of Fiddler on the Roof. Perhaps it wasn’t Broadway quality, but it reminded me why I love the theatre. Shows tell stories, and as with most stories that go beyond the boundaries of personal experience, there are lessons to be learned from them. This is true for many kinds of art; it is storytelling meant to make you think. Some of the most fruitful self-reflections I have ever had were inspired by books and performances. Just to name a few Broadway shows that left an impression:

  1. Hamilton brought a modern spin to a pivotal time in American history. Amazing choreography, storytelling, and music aside (but can you really put it aside?), the show left me thinking deeply about legacy and regret.
  2. Waitress made me think about dreaming beyond difficulties. It made me reflect on how we change as people. On relationships — how old ones die, how new ones form. How the best can come from unexpected places.
  3. Fiddler on the Roof emotionally thrust me into the tension between tradition and family. It made me cry, leaving me to ruminate about my faith and future fatherhood.

These shows happened to be the ones most recently on mind. But there is so much more to learn from so many more stories. Broadway is life. Not in the sense that you have to live for watching Broadway performances. But in the sense that the stories told reflect humanity, even if they are not our own stories. It makes me think of a wonderful quote by the comic playwright Terence:

I am human. I consider nothing human alien to me.
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