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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.

Stars and the Moon

My dear hometown jeweler, who recently passed way, has a son who spent several years of his life in the world of theater. A talented performer, during one summer that he spent home in Oregon, he staged a local production of the then-new show, Songs for a New World. I was working at his dad's store at the time, dreaming of how life would unfold and incredibly impressed by anyone who, like my jeweler's son, had left town to pursue a dream, a talent, and then come home to nurture our community with the spoils.

I attended the show multiple times, one song in particular resonating with me in a way I couldn't describe. It was nothing I'd experienced for myself, but the story spoke so strongly of the importance of following your heart, of choosing love, of not letting worldly things or wants become more important than anything else. The song, "Stars and the Moon," was originally performed by Audra McDonald, a fact I learned after tracking down the original recording. I didn't know who Audra was, but the song stayed with me for years, this thing I never wanted to forget as I made my way in the world.

For those keeping track at home, Audra McDonald has won a record six Tony Awards and is one of the biggest names on Broadway. She may not have been when she recorded "Stars and the Moon," which is why when I saw her for the first time in concert this week, I was certain she wouldn't sing it. It's a small thing really, a song. Heard a long time ago. A lifetime ago. I knew so little then about love and life and loss. And yet when Audra introduced her next number as one written by Jason Robert Brown (wait, what?), from the production Songs for a New World (could this happen?), titled "Stars and the Moon" (No. Way.), I could only bring my hand to my mouth in an attempt to contain my glee. Again, it's a small thing. A song. But I wanted to hear her sing it all these years later, to see the sincerity I'd always detected in those lyrics.

I attended the concert with my darling boyfriend, who, let's just say, is not the Broadway enthusiast that I am. He wasn't familiar with Audra or, barring a very few exceptions, the songs she performed, but understanding after the first few numbers that these were songs from shows, he leaned over and asked, as sincerely and innocently as only the Broadway-clueless can, "Will she sing Wizard of Oz? I like Wizard of Oz." I stifled a smile and replied, "No, that's not really Broadway, honey." And then she closed the concert with Somewhere Over the Rainbow, at which point I could no longer stifle the smile. Some nights are just perfect. Some songs are, too.

My dear hometown jeweler, who recently passed way, has a son who spent several years of his life in the world of theater. A talented performer, during one summer that he spent home in Oregon, he staged a local production of the then-new show, Songs for a New World. I was working at his dad's store at the time, dreaming of how life would unfold and incredibly impressed by anyone who, like my jeweler's son, had left town to pursue a dream, a talent, and then come home to nurture our community with the spoils.

I attended the show multiple times, one song in particular resonating with me in a way I couldn't describe. It was nothing I'd experienced for myself, but the story spoke so strongly of the importance of following your heart, of choosing love, of not letting worldly things or wants become more important than anything else. The song, "Stars and the Moon," was originally performed by Audra McDonald, a fact I learned after tracking down the original recording. I didn't know who Audra was, but the song stayed with me for years, this thing I never wanted to forget as I made my way in the world.

For those keeping track at home, Audra McDonald has won a record six Tony Awards and is one of the biggest names on Broadway. She may not have been when she recorded "Stars and the Moon," which is why when I saw her for the first time in concert this week, I was certain she wouldn't sing it. It's a small thing really, a song. Heard a long time ago. A lifetime ago. I knew so little then about love and life and loss. And yet when Audra introduced her next number as one written by Jason Robert Brown (wait, what?), from the production Songs for a New World (could this happen?), titled "Stars and the Moon" (No. Way.), I could only bring my hand to my mouth in an attempt to contain my glee. Again, it's a small thing. A song. But I wanted to hear her sing it all these years later, to see the sincerity I'd always detected in those lyrics.

I attended the concert with my darling boyfriend, who, let's just say, is not the Broadway enthusiast that I am. He wasn't familiar with Audra or, barring a very few exceptions, the songs she performed, but understanding after the first few numbers that these were songs from shows, he leaned over and asked, as sincerely and innocently as only the Broadway-clueless can, "Will she sing Wizard of Oz? I like Wizard of Oz." I stifled a smile and replied, "No, that's not really Broadway, honey." And then she closed the concert with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," at which point I could no longer stifle the smile. Some nights are just perfect. Some songs are, too.

 

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