The Power of a Movie
This weekend I was fortunate to see a live production of The King and I. Walking into the theater, where I had been to see a variety of plays and musicals many times before, I noticed the walls had been transformed into carved walls of a palace or temple. Hanging above were gold colored pagoda rooftops, placed symmetrically all around the perimeter of the stage lines. As the lights lowered the orchestra began playing the overture and I felt something welling up inside of me. The notes from the music rolled out into the theater; I felt my mind opening up, revealing a memory of me sprawled with a pillow on the floor of the living room from my childhood home. A spotlight opened up from its peaceful slumber; its ray of light illuminating on stage a young boy who was peering through a spyglass. It seemed as if each of my eyes were watching a different story. One eye was observing the activity on stage while my other eye was peering down on the younger me and my family who were placed around our television in the living room. We were watching the movie, The King and I, which was playing on TV. As the actors on stage acted out their scenes I felt myself getting drawn into their character’s lives. When one of them would break into song, I would remember what I was thinking the first time I had heard that song back in that living room.
As the King’s first wife sang the song Something Wonderful, I was taught love was an unconditional gift. Just because someone has a few faults doesn’t mean one has to love them less. Seeing Anna preparing everyone for the grand ball taught me how to find common ground within a diverse group of people. Across the stage Anna and the King were dancing in quick twirls, her satin ball gown with crystal jewels blazing in the spotlights. I not only learned how to be respectful of another person’s limitations, but saw how one needs to have fun in their life. One of the most important lessons I learned when I was that little boy on the floor watching that grand musical movie was not to have regrets; be able to, without fear, verbalize my feelings. During the final scene of the play my eyes which had been bathed in moisture a couple of times prior, opened wide to release their retention pond of tears. With the flood of memories from my childhood resting on me and the actors on stage taking their bows, my evening was perfect. A wonderful production of a great story and revisiting some of the important groundwork I learned from that incredible movie.