art, New York City, nostalgia, theatre

Step 240: Spiderman the Musical and Nostalgia for the Theatre

Yesterday I was in midtown to get a pie as a gift for my hosts this weekend. My pal, Dan, and I are heading to Philly for a weekend – our third long weekend of travel together. (The other two were to Portland, Maine and Nashville.) We’re staying with Dan’s friends and I’m bringing a pie from The Little Pie Company as a gift for them. I went to college in Philly and haven’t been back in a number of years. Dan has never been. I’m excited to see what we find – Philly holds a mix of emotions and experiences for me, some of the very best and very worst of my life.

As I headed back to the subway from The Little Pie Company, I walked by the theatre where Spiderman the Musical will open on November 14th. The stagehands were outside the stage door having lunch. I asked them if they were working on Spiderman, they said yes, and asked if I’d like a tour of the theatre. I gladly accepted.

It’s been a while since I’ve stood on a Broadway stage. It used to make me so nervous. I’d do whatever I could to avoid standing on the stage – I have had a life-long struggle with stage fright. Or at least I used to. Today standing on the Spiderman stage didn’t make me nervous at all. It kind of felt like going back to my hometown after being away for a long time. Some things were different and all in all it felt very familiar.

I know and understand all of the reasons I stopped managing Broadway shows. I’ve never considered going back. That was a chapter of my life that I’m so glad I had, and I’m so glad I left when I did. It was still the best business training I’ve ever had, and I was so fortunate to have that experience. But for just a split second, I imagined what it might be like to go back. I could feel the exhilaration of starting something new and unique, helping bring a new vision to delighted audiences. Maybe there’s a way to weave it back into my life, not in the same way as I did all those years ago, but in some new form that better fits my life and outlook today. I’ll mull that over and let you know what I find. I find it ironic that I would have this experience just as I’m heading to Philly, where I first considered a career in professional theatre, and on the same day that I received an invitation in the mail for a New York City theatre event sponsored by my Philly alma mater. Universe, what are you trying to tell me?

For the record, Spiderman is going to be a crazy, wild production. It will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen. That’s all I’m saying so as to protect the artistic integrity and the magic of life on the Great White Way. Grab some tickets before they’re gone!