Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"The best of all possible shows"

For those of you who don't know, in college I was in a theatre company called Penn Singers. The mere thought of the group just warms my heart. Despite much drama (both on AND off stage) throughout the years, my experiences in Singers defined a large part of my college career. Oh, and I also happened to meet my best friend in the group. :)
This past weekend I saw my first show as an alum.
I remember 8 months ago thinking, "Ooooh in 8 months we'll be sitting in the audience in the front two rows with the alums and watching the cast peek out from behind the curtains and they'll be excited because we're all back to see them!"
And now, here I am.
This fall's show was Candide, and I have to say, when Becca (who saw it two nights) didn't have a single complaint about the show, I thought, wow, it must be damn good. Mind you, Becca is THE biggest critic of all things theatrical. Possibly in the entire world. 8 of the 9 alums from 2006 were there, and before the show we all went to Mad4 and had dinner and BigAzz margaritas. Oh the joy.

I can't quite express how entirely amazing the show was. And the intense mix of pride, joy, sadness, and jealousy I felt cannot go without stating. Pride for the feeling that these were "our kids" whom we had raised and now had grown and blossomed. Joy at being with many of my closest friends, at the beautiful voices and amazing performances. Sadness because I miss it all so terribly and want to return to those joyous days of college. And just a little bit of jealousy that none of the shows the company did while I was in college could hold a candle to this production. ;)

I sat in between Becca and Meesh, and my three best buds from NYC had also come down to see the show (and thereby my life at Penn). I don't think I'll soon forget the closing number, Make Your Garden Grow, which was at once beautifully simple and strikingly powerful, epitomizing what "Penn Singers" means to me. I held Meesh's hand and cried through the entire number.

After the show all the alumni go up on stage to sing the company song, "Hail Poetry." And the feeling of being a part of something much bigger and greater than me was distinct and empowering. And I thought, "This is where I belong."
Thank you, Penn Singers. And Congratulations on a spectacular performance.
You will forever have a place in my heart.

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