Center Stage

This weekend I went back in time, and I used neither a DeLorean or a hot tub.

Saturday night I went back to my good ol’ alma mater, Tenafly High School (to the west Hudson’s waters, blue as skies above… what, keep going? in a grove of leafy maples stands the school we love…), a place I hadn’t been in four or five years, and as my wonderful music teacher conducted her last overture, traipsed onstage with two close friends, a few other alumni, various teachers and administrators so when the curtain opened there we were–  the current cast, old friends, to stop by the show.

And in addition, of course, the rush of emotions she surely felt, the weekend of toasts and parties and flowers, and the surreal-ness of it all, there was another aspect that almost overwhelmed me–  I was back on my favorite stage!

When I was in high school we lionized that stage; it was the first time we treated ‘the boards’ as holy stomping grounds.  Memories of audition monologues and dance rehearsals and theater history classes flooded back.  There was much talk this weekend with a fellow classmate how it was a time we loved theater for the sake of theater; it wasn’t about ‘I gotta book this!’ or ‘This goddamn Industry,’ it was, I hate to type it, pure.  We were putting on a show for the sake of, the love of putting on a show.  (If you’re like and have read Leah Hager Cohen’s terrific book The Stuff of Dreams, it was very much that.  If you haven’t, in two words:  Theater geeks.)  The ghosts of that stage, for me, of four musicals and three plays and countless old friends and acquaintances came rushing back.  Frankly, after the amazing show, when we chatted with a few current members of the cast (high school juniors!), we were jealous.

Which is why, screw it–  tomorrow morning  I’m enrolling in high school.  But theater classes only, please.

Who says you can't go home?


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