Around 5:00 yesterday afternoon, my niece sent a text to me with this photo:
I cannot tell you how happy this made me! That’s Christy, who pays Anastasia, on the left and my great-niece, Vivi, on the right. (Vivi is my late brother’s granddaughter.)
Doesn’t Vivi look like she is going to burst with happiness?
I had arranged everything with Christy and her assistant but since I wasn’t actually there, I was nervous that somehow they wouldn’t get through the stage door, that something would go wrong. So I was sitting here in the den, watching the clock, hoping that I’d hear from Liz, my niece. When this came through, I relaxed. Liz said that Vivi was ‘starstruck’ and that they had the most wonderful time, loved the show and even got a tour of the backstage area. A big thank you to Christy and Chandalae, her assistant.
Anastasia is such a wonderful show, full of rich, gorgeous music that hearkens back to the glorious music of Rodgers and Hammerstein. That’s one of the reasons I love it so much. I’m not a fan of musicals with a ‘pop’ sound, where one tune morphs into another and are virtually indistinguishable from each other. (Exception: Hamilton, which is brilliant and so much more than rap/pop music.) So, Anastasia is a musical in the traditional vein and a family musical, at that. That’s why I didn’t expect it to be nominated for many, if any, Tony awards. The Tonys tend to go for cutting-edge, fresh musicals, which is fine. The exception this year is Hello Dolly with Bette Midler, but she is a force of nature and she was absolutely born to play that role.
I was disappointed that Christy wasn’t nominated, because I believe she should have been, but I’m thrilled Mary Beth Peil was nominated for her role as the Dowager Empress. She is extraordinary. She once said to me, in a written response to a note I gave her, “You who can hear the grass grow – I love it!” (My job is all about listening.) That made me so happy that I have it printed out on my bulletin board. Her performance is elegant, touching and lyrical and I do so hope she wins.
I’m also thrilled that Linda Cho was nominated for her exquisite costume design. There were a lot of new musicals this year and it was very competitive, but from simply reading about each one, I could have predicted the nominees and pretty much did.
Then there’s Escape to Margaritaville, the Jimmy Buffett musical that Don is in – the audience sings along with the Buffett songs, comes up on stage at times, cheers, talks back – as Don says, “It’s a party!” Two completely different musicals!
Change of subject:
Bridal Veil spirea.
Sweet white violets that I found in the side garden bed.
Editorial comment (my conflicted opinion and my opinion only): I read a wonderful essay by Anne Lamott on why she doesn’t go for the whole Mother’s Day thing (and she’s a mom) and she echoed a conversation that Don and I had just the day before. While I honor mothers, including my own, I do think that many people have complex reactions to Mother’s Day, because not every maternal relationship is Hallmark card worthy. The “Day” can evoke sadness at the loss of a parent, estrangement from a parent, the loss of a child, the inability to conceive, not ever knowing one’s mother, or having a mother who should never have been one. I’m conflicted about this sort of day. I always called my mom on Mother’s Day, of course, because I loved her and I knew it meant a great deal to her to hear from me on that day. But as a daughter, every day should be a day I honor my mom, right? I received the most beautiful card from my sister for Mother’s Day and it made me cry. And this morning, Little Z sent me a video message saying “Happy Mother’s Day.” I melted. Let me add that I honor my sister on this day because she is an incredible mother to her three sons. But I honor her every day. So…conflicted.
I won’t go into the whole “you’ve never known what it is to love until you’ve had a child” thing. Please. Love is love is love is love is love.
Same for Valentine’s Day. Too much pressure for those who, for a variety of reasons, feel sadness on that day. And again, Don and I say “I love you” to each other countless times a day. We don’t need a special day to acknowledge our love for each other. In fact, we sort of make it a practice not to do anything special on that day – but that’s just us.
I’m not meaning to rain on anyone’s parade, I’m just being honest about my conflicted feelings on what I call “Hallmark” holidays. I miss my mother. I miss being a mom to my dogs. But I feel that every day and it has absolutely nothing to do with Mother’s Day.
Nevertheless, I do wish all of you moms a Happy Mother’s Day because I want to take a moment on this day to acknowledge you. And if on this day, you are showered with presents or a beautiful brunch or simply a hug and a thank you, that makes me very happy. But if you’re feeling blue on this day, know that you are loved, as well.