A year ago today I hopped on a plane to NYC for 15 hours that changed how I look at Broadway.
It all started in October, when I read that a group of creative people were bringing a concert version of Hit List to life.
For the majority of you who say “Hit List? Like the YTV show from the 90s?” let me clear this up. Hit List was one of the fake musicals in the TV show Smash, which was a short-lived drama about the behind the scenes of Broadway. I still maintain that it was one of the best TV shows ever and I’m so sad it only lived on TV for two seasons.
Anyway, back to October. I emailed the link to my good friend Lyndsay right away. I think all the email said was “this would be amazing!”
Her response: “Let’s go!”
Me: “That’s crazy! We can’t!”
Her: “It is crazy, but we can.”
So we bought tickets without a real plan, and a number of obstacles to overcome. The show was on a Monday night. We both had jobs with limited vacation time. We live 750 kilometres from where the show was playing.
But within 24 hours we had plane tickets and a hotel in order. Lyndsay could only take one day of vacation, so she took two half days, working Monday morning and Tuesday afternoon…with a brief trip to New York City in between. Crazy!
The plan was in place. We were going to New York for 20 hours. Which actually ended up being about 15 because our flight was delayed. And let me tell you, when you plan to fly into NYC only a few hours before a show like this, and then your flight keeps getting delayed in 15 and 30 minute intervals for three hours, it is crazy stressful.
But because of the flight delay, we ended up going straight to the venue. And because we went straight to the venue, we were early. And since we were early, we had front row seats at what was already an intimate venue. Literally, my knees were pressed against the stage.
This was our view of the stage.
And of the performers.
And Andy Mientus sat next to Lyndsay in between his scenes.
The show was incredible. The energy in the room was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. This clip captures a hint of what it was like to be there.
(Fast forward to 2:20…and yes, that is my head bobbing around at the 2:25 mark and onwards)
It was a room full of Broadway people who were in love with this show and this concept. A room full of fans and friends of the people who wrote Hit List and the people performing it.
What’s really cool is that the people involved with Hit List are crazy talented, but relatively undiscovered. And now I’ve seen them live, met them, and can’t wait to follow their careers. Because they will do amazing things.
Witnessing Hit List took my love of Broadway and added fire. It’s no longer just about the shows, but about the people who create the shows and bring them to life. This is a community of people who are creative and talented and dedicated to what they do. They chose a career that was risky and hard and full of rejection. But they do it because they love it, and need it. It’s who they are.
Understanding this has changed the way I look at any live theatre, especially Broadway. It’s hard for me to truly express the amount of respect and love I have for the Broadway community.
But Lyndsay gets it. And that’s because we both loved Broadway and then saw Hit List. The seed was planted and Hit List helped it flourish. We experienced it together. We raced from the airport to the show. We sat in awe soaking it all up. We talked to the performers and we listened to them talk about how special the Hit List experience was.
And it’s all because Lyndsay said “let’s go.” She turned “this would be amazing” to a real amazing experience.
We all need a Lyndsay in our life. Someone whose passion for something matches our own, and then says “let’s go” when we’re too cautious to entertain the idea of going.
Those people make adventures happen.