Once in a while, you have one of those days you know you’ll remember forever.
I got one of those over the weekend.
It hit me when I was in the stage right wing on opening night of “The Wizard of Oz” at the Civic Theatre. My daughter, Clara, was standing quietly by my side in the darkness, wearing her colorful Munchkin costume with long corkscrew curls flowing beneath her flower pot hat.
The voice of the theatre’s executive director began the pre-show announcements. I squeezed her hand.
I had gotten special permission to bring Clara back stage for that moment, because of how much weight it held for her. Back on the day that Clara found out she was cast as a Munchkin (and flying monkey), she spent the first few hours in disbelief. “Are you SURE I’m in?” Then, she started to dream. “I just can’t stop thinking about that moment before the show when they say over the speaker, ‘The Civic Theatre proudly presents – The Wizard of Oz,'” she told me.
That moment finally arrived. I glanced down at Clara and squeezed her hand tighter. A shy grin spread across her face.
This moment was a dream come true for both of us. For Clara, it was her very first full-scale musical. For me, it was my very first show with one of my children. I will never forget it.
After our curtain call, Clara was bouncing and glowing. “That was my very first bow in front of a REAL audience,” she told me.
“Well, how did it feel?” I asked.
Her eyes got wide. “It felt AWESOME.”
The Wizard of Oz runs through January 3rd. Visit www.civictheatre.org for tickets.