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A Love Song for the Theatre




Well, Happy (Late) Valentine’s Day, One and All! Like most things in life, I know we all have very different feelings about Cupid’s holiday. And so, in honor of the holiday, I thought I might wax poetic on a topic that is universally beloved by all of us here at The Surly Mermaid: The Theatre!

And so, without further ado…


A Love Song for The Theatre


Set stage! Open curtains! And here I go again,

Dear Theatre!

In a very unusual way

I think I am in love with you…

Something inside me goes weak,

Something inside me surrenders,¹


Surrenders to the swelling overture,

To the dark anonymity of the house,

To the scenes and the blocking and

The vulnerability of the script.

So [you] give [me] ten thousand reasons to not let go, and

Well, that's all that I've wanted for longer that you could possibly know.²


Those ten thousand reasons have names too:

Ophelia, Celie, Peter, Nora, Evan, Fantine, Cyrano…

Names that are more than names;

Names that mean pain,

Or strength,

Or innocence.

All love.

For when I went to the theatre, I made the discovery --

Love.

All at once and much, much too completely.

It was like [the stage] suddenly turned a blinding light

on something that had always been

half in shadow,

That's how it struck the world for me.³


And you give the best kind of love!

It is a love that changes,

That makes me braver, and more gentle;

More outspoken and more ready to listen.

Theatre love pushes me out of my seat,

Out of my comfort zone,

And into the waiting world.

And I won't lie--

I'm a little bit frightened...

Swear I'll try;

I'm feeling enlightened.

You're my inspiration:

[I] can fly if [I choose] to!⁴

I can change the waiting world,

If I choose to.

That’s what Theatre love,

All love,

is all about.

And so I love you, Dear Theatre,

Because you never let me down.

You always deliver--

With your arias that rise beyond the opera house ceiling;

Your bleak moments of silence right before the scene goes dark;

Your thousand, thousand different iterations of love,

All real,

All true,

(for good or ill)

All beautiful.

All love.

“How obvious it is now--the gift you gave [me].

All those beautiful powerful words, they were you!..

The voice from the shadows, that was you...

You always loved me!⁵

  1. “Unusual Way.” Nine. 1982.

  2. “Only Us.” Dear Evan Hansen. 2014.

  3. Tennessee Williams. A Streetcar Named Desire. 1947.

  4. “What You Mean to Me.” Finding Neverland. 2014.

  5. Edmond Rostand. Cyrano de Bergerac. 1897.


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