‘Just Pretend’: This Is Happening

I will take a page from Orin’s book and reflect for just a moment on the nearly two-year collaboration that will culminate tonight at 7pm with the first staged performance of Just Pretend, our new musical.  When Orin and I embarked on writing a musical, we batted around a number of scenarios, but the story of Esther—a young woman of faith—most appealed to us.  We were hopeful her story of struggling with when and how to reveal her faith to others would appeal to YSP participants as well.

I have to thank Orin who has been an incredible collaborator.  His music is smart even when it’s funny.  It’s cerebral, soulful, and even a bit sly.  The most fun I have had on this project are the times when we’ve both been in the same room crafting a song together, but the tunes I find myself humming while doing the dishes are all his.

I have to thank my dear friend Amanda who agreed to direct the project and who offered massive amounts of feedback following the January reading.  The number of friends and family who have lined up to help two novices put on their first show has been humbling.  Many thanks.

Though neither Orin nor I have children, we are proud parents nonetheless.  I have been able to witness the final stages of rehearsals this week, and just like a parent, we’ve watched these 45 participants help our baby to its feet.  I have a few nerves putting my child on display for everyone tonight, but like a parent I have to say, “It’s not perfect, but it’s ours.”

The character I most connect with in our show is Mordechai.  He gives Esther a “little nudge” towards expressing her faith more fully.  I hope our show is able to nudge these YSP participants and their audience towards a more full expression of faith.  And in conclusion, I nudge you (one more time) towards attending the show.  If you are able to join us tonight at 7pm at the OLS Shrine, we would be honored with your presence.

“Know you have faith enough.

Know you are strong and true

And that God’s love, always,

Like mine, will follow you.”

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