In Friday’s October 23 Shoreline Times paper, theater-critic Brooks Appelbaum slipped on the metaphorical ice of superficiality. That is, she thumbed down the Goodspeed‘s theatrical musical A Wonderful Life, and only because it’s not like the famous movie.
Spoiler alert: it’s not suppose to be like the movie. Written by the Tony-winning co-creator of Fiddler on the Roof, it’s deliberately a RE-IMAGINING of the story.
Even if you don’t live near the Goodspeed Theater and you don’t get the Shoreline Times newspaper, this matters. It matters because it’s an innocent example of what our brains do: We knock down potentially wonderful opportunities, simply by comparing it to something superficially greater. We expect one thing, and then cannot imagine anything else.
I call this premeditated disappointment.
In the case of A Wonderful Life (which, by title alone, tickles the overall notion of what we all seek but unconsciously squash with our knock-down comparisons), we can see what happens if we try to have more open-minds. Theater-goers sitting in the Goodspeed discover a heartwarming theme: the power of love and the goodness in all of us.
And, if one can’t help but slip and fall through the ice of narrowly comparing this earnestly creative musical to the movie, then unlike the Shoreline Times single opinion, most will find themselves inspired, maybe even a tear, by the heartstrings of humbleness ~ not Hollywood.
Meanwhile, just as George Bailey saved his little brother from drowning in the icy river, maybe we Goodspeed lovers can pull Ms. Appelbaum & her readers up & out from her accidental slight. And, for the general reader here, we can do the same for ourselves when our life doesn’t quite measure up to what we expected.
Reference: @GoodspeedMusicals @GoodspeedOperaHouse