Oh, we got trouble. Or at least we have for the past two years as COVID has impacted nearly every aspect of all our lives.
But as always, a silver lining is starting to become clear. Or in this case, I guess, a brass lining – complete with 76 trombones leading the big parade, with 110 cornets close at hand.
In 2019, our Broadway-obsessed family scored opening-weekend tickets to what was set to be the hottest show to hit the Great White Way in years: “The Music Man,” starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster. New York, here we come!
Not so fast. Opening weekend, originally scheduled for October 2020, got postponed again. And again. The lights went out on Broadway, then flickered on and off for nearly two years.
We bought the tickets when our youngest was nine years old. She’s almost 12.
We knew there would be a day when all the stars aligned and we could head to New York, but we didn’t know when that would be. So we used the much-anticipated and oft-moved show as a light at the end of the COVID tunnel, reminding our kids (and ourselves) that when the curtain did ultimately rise on “The Music Man,” and we were sitting in the audience as the orchestra swelled, it meant we were getting closer to what we hope is the end of the long pandemic.
We discussed our someday trip often, especially when cases surged at the end of 2021 and we retreated back into our bubble.
It was a lesson that resonated, and gave us plenty of practice in being patient, helping us all remember how the journey is as important as the destination.
Last weekend, we finally took the kids to New York – their first plane trip since the pandemic began – and reveled in the experience of being in the audience for opening weekend.
Meredith Willson even included a nod to patience in the show, in words written 65 years before the first COVID case appeared: “We all have to be a little patient,” Marian counseled Amaryllis, who was waiting for what seemed like forever for her beloved Winthrop to speak to her.
She could have been talking directly to us.
It took much longer than we’d anticipated, but it really was all the sweeter because of the wait. Sitting in the Winter Garden Theatre and clutching our Playbills, the thunder of rolling drums and the shimmer of trumpets heralded a new beginning, after two years of darkness.
Those 76 trombones sounded like hope.