I’m featuring a musical that I saw in the month of July in this month’s Playbill post. It was 11 years ago in July 2005 that I saw Christina Applegate in a revival of Sweet Charity at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. I was already familiar with the music (Cy Coleman), plot, and choreography (Bob Fosse) from my musical theatre studies.
This was my first summer teaching at the Emma Willard School, a private all-girls boarding school in Albany. Each two-week session in this academic program for middle and high school students had the opportunity to travel to NYC twice: first on Saturday for entertainment and exploration of your choice (museums, shows, shopping, Statue of Liberty) and then on Wednesday for an activity that directly related to your program (in my case, performing arts).
I saw Sweet Charity on Saturday, July 9th, with a group of 10 teenagers (mostly my performing arts students with 2-3 students in other sections). The entire program traveled on a coach bus and had a drop off spot in Soho. We then grabbed lunch at a local cafe and headed uptown on the subway. It was many of these students’ first trip on the NYC subway and on a hot summer day with crowded trains, I was very careful not to lose anyone on the platform. We made it to midtown and all grabbed student rush tickets. With a little time for souvenir shopping, we made our way back to the theatre in time for our 2pm matinee.
It was fun to be in NYC as a tourist again. Even though I hadn’t yet made Manhattan my permanent residence, I spent quite a bit of time there for continuing education (aka voice lessons and musical theatre classes), auditions, and social fun! I even interviewed for this specific teaching position in Brooklyn.
I glance at this playbill and I smile with the memories that were created at the Emma Willard School’s summer program, both in and out of the classroom. I made friends that I’m still in contact with today (one of those friends was even a bridesmaid in my wedding), gained experience in teaching (this was my first teaching gig outside of college), and discovered my passion for training young musical theatre artists!