Multiple of the ATB bloggers have put together a special article to celebrate Christmas, and what some of our favourite Christmas themed shows and songs are. We hope you enjoy, and the ATB blog and admin teams wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Holidays, and a prosperous New Year.
I think the show that reminds me most of Christmas is Anastasia. I just took one of my best friends to see the tour, and it was sort of a Christmas gift to her because she wouldn't have been able to see the show otherwise. I also turned it into a huge surprise and she had no idea what we were doing until the day of. Also, I just saw the Broadway Princess Holiday Party and Liz Callaway, the original singing voice of Anastasia, sang "Once Upon a December", which is fitting because it's December and it sounds wintery. It's not that the show is even remotely Christmas-y, but I think it's a glitzy enough show that it's perfect, in a way, to see it during this season. I was also considering Little Women, because it's Christmas in one of the first scenes in the musical, and also Mary Poppins, because I saw the Broadway show one December, and the new movie Mary Poppins Returns just came out during this Christmas season.
Well, this isn’t a very Broadway pick, but hey, it’s written by Pasek & Paul, so why not. I’m going to go for the song ‘A Million Dreams’ from The Greatest Showman.
Why? Don’t ask me either, I couldn’t tell you. But the idea of there being a world that could be, one that only a million dreams could bring to us, is one that just fits so well with the warmth and spirit of goodwill of Christmas. There’s a whole world out there that we could bring to ourselves and others, if only we dream for it – that’s how I treat Christmas, as a time for giving and for self-betterment. That’s the sort of joy I get from Christmas and the Christmas spirit, and I feel this song best embodies that. For listening to this song reminds me of that, that over all obstacles we can better ourselves and give others a world we’re all going to make, together.
Merry Christmas, everyone!
“Prayer”, Come from Away.
Since the first time I listened to the cast recording of Come from Away, it resonated deeply with me. It brought back memories for me of learning of the tragedy and the aftermath. The music alone left me in tears. I grew up internationally, and this was truly an international tragedy. I found the song “Prayer” especially moving and relatable. Having lived in three countries, and having visited several others, the sense of unity in this song is particularly powerful for me. It beautifully weaves the prayer of St. Francis with Jewish, Sanskrit and Arabic prayers, all expressing a desire for peace and praise to God. This is the spirit of Christmas. In the Bible, the angels proclaimed “peace on earth” to the shepherds. St. Francis (and Kevin T. in the musical) prayed that God would “make me a channel of Your peace.” The rabbi and Eddie pray that God, who makes peace on high, make peace on us and all of Israel. Amen. The Sanskrit section of the song prays that they be led from falsehood to truth, from darkness to light, from death to immortality, and above all, peace, peace, peace. In Arabic, the character Ali praises Allah for his greatness and glory.
In his book Channel of Peace, and when I was interviewing him for my blog post in August, Kevin Tuerff mentioned that St. Francis’ prayer was in his head while stranded in Gander, but he did not recall mentioning that when Sankoff and Hein interviewed him in preparation for writing the musical. It seemed providential that they included it, and coming from Kevin T., no less. This song and Kevin Tuerff’s book have got me thinking more about how I can be used as a channel of peace. As a Christian, and as a human, I want to be someone who spreads peace. For too long, both Christianity and Islam have given good reasons for their violent stereotypes, exacerbated by the Crusades, terrorism, countless wars, and so much more. But both religions have peace at their hearts. The extremists on both sides have given their respective religions a bad name. We need to end the conflicts and work together to become a channel of “PEACE ON EARTH, GOODWILL TO MEN!”
PS. Did I mention I saw Come from Away three times when it came through Seattle in October? It is that good! In fact, it’s so good that even Grumpy Olde Guy liked it when he saw it a few weeks later in LA! A ticket would make a great Christmas present for anyone in your life if you get the chance.
While it takes place over a few different seasons, for me She Loves Me reminds me a lot of Christmas. It’s filled with hope and despite the fights, struggles, and dark times the characters face, they still end up with a good life. I feel like this musical exhibits a lot of the hope people feel around the Christmas season. And fittingly the show wraps up on the Christmas season. It exhibits its festive cheer or lack there of on a hilarious version of “12 Days of Christmas” but then quickly steps back to the main plotline in seeing if two young lovers will indeed realize how long they’ve been in love. And all the characters in the shop end being friendly and warm to each other. I feel like this is a great representation of Christmas. It’s one of the few times of the year where there is little conflict or fighting, and no matter how bad the rest of your year may have been Christmas is a chance to find some cheer and happiness. I feel like the way She Loves Me ends represents this well.