*Spoilers ahead for Titanic: The Musical*
As I’m sure you all are capable of deducing, I am a huge theater nerd. I always have been – ever since I first watched that preview for CATS the Musical on that Barney VHS tape when I was three years old. I have always loved theater.
It still continues to blow my mind, though, how every time I do a show, I continue to meet people who are as in love with the stage as I am. It took me until the ripe old age of 19 to make my stage debut, but here I am – twenty years old and 4 shows deep and I’m still going strong.
I love being on stage so much, but what I love even more is being able to tell an honest story. Of course, I love a good romp through the Dolly Parton songbook (I see you, 9 to 5), but nothing quite beats the feeling of knowing that you’re onstage telling a story that’s moving people in the audience to tears.
In my experience so far, nothing quite beats the feeling of telling the stories of the people aboard the Titanic. Nearly two thousand people, some heading home, some heading to America to start their lives anew, all thrown into this massive disaster that destroys the class systems and causes everyone to fight for their lives in equal measure…there’s something very poetic about it.
Titanic has been my favorite musical since approximately 2007, when I first discovered that you could get music on the internet for free. Shortly after having downloaded the CATS cast recording, I remember, I came across Titanic. I swear ever since that day ten years ago I’ve listened to it at least once a week. If you do that math along with me, once a week, every week, since 2007 equals 520 times that I’ve listened to this particular cast recording. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that’s a lot of times to have listened to the same cast recording. And never (not once!) has there been a single song that I’ve gotten bored of. Every time I listen to the recording, there are new and entertaining things to listen to and think about.
This is definitely not a show for the idle viewer. You can’t switch your brain off at any point during this show. You truly form a connection with every character. The viewer’s heart breaks as they watch husbands and wives, friends, and fiances being separated as Lightoller and Fleet frantically load the lifeboats at the top of Act II, when it is clear that the ship is on her way down. You feel all the joy and excitement in the world for the rebellious Charles and Caroline, who are running away to America to marry against Caroline’s father’s wishes. A chill falls over the audience every time the third class sings about coming to America to make better lives for themselves and their “children’s children”. They cringe in equal measure every time Ismay urges Captain Smith to push the ship faster and faster to beat the record set by the Cunard line. By the end of the show, every person in the audience is sitting on the edge of their seat in utter shock and dismay at what they’ve just seen, unsure as to whether to be elated or utterly devastated by what they’d just experienced.
The musical is truly an all-encompassing look at the lives of those who sailed aboard the Titanic. From the first class all the down to the stokers…every person had a reason for being on that ship. Every person had somebody waiting for them on the other end, waiting desperately to hear of their loved ones’ survival or untimely demise.
Never has a more enthralling piece of theater ever been committed to the stage, I daresay. And now I get the privilege of being a part of that legacy. Indeed, this Spring, I will be playing a myriad of roles in a local production of Titanic the Musical. My characters are massive in numbers (Kate Mullins, Mrs. John B. Thayer, a Stewardess, and Madeleine Astor, to make short of it), and each one is more charming and fun to play than the last.
Costume changes are going to be a bare, I can tell, as I have no less than six in the first movement of the show alone. I certainly look forward to seeing how on earth that is going to work out.
And though it might sound sick of me, I look forward to sinking the ship. Though the running joke with the cast over the last several weeks has been, “Come see Titanic: the Musical. The ship doesn’t sink this time.”, I’m sure it’s going to be heart-wrenching and exciting all at once to do the thing that ultimately the show was created in order to depict. I’m sure it’s going to be a challenge to be able to get through it without a tear or two being shed.
Gah! Can’t y’all tell that I’m really freaking excited about this? I know this has nothing to do with “adulting” per se, but it is a part of my important self-care regiment that helps me to manage my anxiety. Since I’d mentioned that (and musical theater) on this blog before, I figured that this might be worth sharing.
Also, if you happen to be in the area of Evansville, IN during the last weekend of April, definitely reserve your tickets to come see Titanic: The Musical LIVE at Studio 321. It’s sure to be a weekend of the theater that will not soon be forgotten. There is quite a big chance that this show may never again be staged in this area, so if you have even the slightest interest and live anywhere in the Tri-State, definitely make the trip to come and see us!
As usual, I hope you found this post fun and informative. If you liked it, feel free to post it on your social media platforms so that I might expand my reach! Thanks for reading!