Broadway Musical Musings: A Week of Hope
The Broadway Theatre Community did a commendable job this week, using the spotlight of the Tony Awards to gracefully pay tribute to the victims on the senseless shootings in Orlando. Whether it was James Corden’s sincere and appropriately somber opening remarks, Frank Langella’s eloquent acceptance speech that deflected attention from himself and shed light on the atrocity, to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s now oft-quoted sonnet reminding us that “Love is Love is Love is Love.” It’s nice to know that the we (the theatre community) can hold each other up in times of darkness. It’s what we’ve always done. Not so long ago, red ribbons were donned at award ceremonies as a united front in the war against AIDS. After this week and the ever mounting death toll by assault rifles in mass shootings, will we next be forced take on the the fight for gun control? We are an entertainment community, but we are also an artistic community and it is our job to inform and evolve minds and hearts through what we do. Nobody does it better. We certainly cannot rely on our politicians to do anything, so maybe we shape minds through our words, actions and defiant nature. Who better to instill hope and incite change than people with the optimism for a career in the theatre? Uphill battles are our forte. No, we cannot legislate, but we can do something far better: we can illuminate the darkness and we can give the need for change a palpable and infectious voice.
With all the sadness we are forced to endure this week (and seemingly at regular intervals), I am reminded of the poetic and hopeful words of Oscar Hammerstein, II. They may be hokey, and to some they may seem antiquated. To me, they are as true to today as they were in 1945.
When you walk through the storm, hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark
Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone.
It’s hope in these times of darkness that keeps us moving forward. May you find yours and move undauntedly through the storm.