Two productions / by Susie Lubell

On Friday was my son's graduation from preschool and I was promised by all of the teachers that I'd better bring at least one box of tissues because it was sure to be a sob-fest. And in fact it was very sweet and quite a production. I was very proud of my son, even when he told me mid-song to stop looking at him. It was fun to see him sing all of the songs he'd been practicing at home for the last four months and even a few in Mandarin and Spanish (yes, we live in California) that's I'd never heard. And I felt very assured by the end of the production that we were making the right decision to send him to the Young Fives program at the JCC. Something about him hardly smiling, eyes darting around the room and his general seriousness made me think another year of play and self assurance would be great for him. But I can't say I cried. I welled up a little when I saw his teacher start crying as she was handing out the diplomas (did I mention they were all wearing pint size caps and gowns?). But the sob-fest unexpectedly happened the day after when I went with my husband, brother and sister-in-law to see another production.

I am a writer without words on this one. We went to see Wicked in San Francisco and from the moment they all started singing I just started sobbing. The set, the costumes, the lighting and those VOICES. George Jesus, those were some amazing voices. And the lyrics and the story. So clever. So much talent. So many artists shining up there. And I imagined them at various ages telling there parents they wanted to be performers, dancers, actors, singers. And I imagined those parents wishing their kids would just lead happy lives and not the ones that come with a TON of rejection and struggle. But these kids did it. They made it. They're starring in this unbelievably magical show together, waving their "I'm going to be who I am no matter what" flag. By the end of the performance I was on my feet clapping hysterically and sobbing with joy. Am I pregnant or what? The answer to that one is a definitive no. Nonetheless, I could hardly contain myself at this performance. Girl, you need to get out more. And then I imagined bringing my kids to see it when they're a little bit older and waiting outside the backstage door to meet the actors and hoping they would leave the theater, like me, inspired to fly.