Last weekend we trekked to Manhattan for the season premiere of ALIVE: 55+ and Kicking.
And what a day it was.
Just being in the presence of the executive producer, Vy Higginsen would have been enough. However, the day brought so much that I simply want to stand up and applaud the entire cast and the brilliance of an idea so needed in our world today.
Vi took the microphone before the start of the show and in her vivacious manner said, “The first 50 years of life are for learning, and the next 50 are for living.” And off we went on a musical holiday of song and story about, well just about all of us. It was about dreams gone astray, dreams fulfilled, happy days, hurtful days, and how to get up and get going, no matter what.
I will be interviewing Vy for my book “GUTSY BREAKTHROUGH STORIES” so here is just a snap shot of this mover and shaker. She is an award winning author, playwright, radio and TV personality. She is full of firsts: first woman on New York prime-time radio, first female executive in advertising, and founder of the Mama Foundation for the Arts in Harlem.
What is so amazing is her laugh and her warm, inclusive manner. I watched how she embraced just about everyone in the theater, before, at intermission, and after. For Vy, everyone is welcome to join her in the fun of living life fully.
Now, about “Alive” which features men and women from ages 55 to 76 singing their hearts out.
Ah, music! It does things to us that logical talking in sentences simply cannot touch. It soothes us, gives us courage, makes us remember, it is away to ease the pain of life and give us hope.
After 40 years in and out of prison, Theo Harris sings into our hearts about what it means to have a second chance, or even a third chance. He was a beacon of light after the 10:00 pm curfew in jail when there was no more talking. He would sing and give the men a chance to let the music be like a lullaby.
Deborah Bingham spoke of the shock of her son being diagnosed with cancer only to die in 2010. When she sang words to “I will always love you” it was the broken heart of a mother resonating with everyone in the room and even the men were wiping tears from their eyes.
Matthew Burke never know his parents. Let in a hallway when he was two weeks old, he was a number before he ever had a name. Always wondering about his mom, he named her Georgia and sings this song with the tenderness of a loving son.
After the show I was wondering, what if…
What if we had community shows like this all over the country. What if we all, just like these amazing men and women began to raise our voices in song to tell our stories.
What would your song be?