Last night my sister and I took in the last show of the NAC Pops’ season. It was an evening my father had bought tickets to and we sort of inherited them. The night was called ‘Broadway Standing Ovations.’ It was the orchestra, four great singers and some great songs from broadway shows, including Music of the Night.


Music of the Night is, of course, one of the best known songs from The Phantom of the Opera musical. Listening to that song, even though the singer was not wearing the mask, brought me back to the summer my mom took us to Toronto. It was probably about 1990, my single mother took us on our first trip that was just the three of us. We stayed in a fancy hotel, (she even let us rent a movie), we shopped on Yonge St., and one night we went to the Pantages Theatre, fully renovated to look like the Paris Opera House, and we saw Phantom.

Our seats were in the second or third row, right under the path of the chandelier as it crashed to the stage.

It was my first ever experience seeing a musical and I fell in love.

By the time I finished Grade 8 I had seen Phantom, Les Miserables, Cats, Miss Saigon and Tommy. I was listening to albums all the time – as much Andrew Lloyd Webber as I could get my hands on.

That summer seeing Phantom was the start of a great love of my life. I still try to get to shows, I’ve seen some here and some in Toronto as I’ve grown up. I watch the Tonys every year, and every year I see performances that add new shows to my lists of want-to-sees – Next to Normal, Fun Home, Mathilda.

The Mathilda musical is on the Mirvish program for next summer and I plan to take my kid to Toronto, stay in a hotel and take her to the show.

Hearing that song last night reminded me of that first show, that spark. It was a gift. Thanks Dad.

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