I received one of the best birthday gifts of my life this year when I turned 40; tickets to a Broadway show. Without getting long winded about how I hemmed and hawed over what I was going to see, I will just fast forward to the part where my sister-in-law Meg mentioned the show “Love Letters” of which I knew nothing about. So I looked it up. There staring at me on the page was Carol Burnett. Could this be true? Could I actually have the chance to see Carol Burnett live on stage? This is something I had only been dreaming about since I was a kid.
Fast forward to today. I patiently worked through my day, knowing that at 7pm, one of my long time dreams would become a reality. I got out of work and I nervously walked to the train station with all of the anticipation of Charlie who had won the golden ticket and was finally going to meet Willy Wonka. I had butterflies in my stomach, as did my beloved sister who shares my excitement with me to such a level that only she and I can understand. I met David at the theatre and walked in to quite a lovely, quaint little intimate theatre that I never imagined was on Broadway. Gorgeous place (Brooks Atkinson Theatre for those who are wondering). I had written a letter for Carol earlier in the day, and saw the house manager and asked if she would please deliver. I can only trust that she did (fingers crossed). We got to our seats and I had no words. I had nothing to say. I had been waiting for this moment for so long that I didn’t know what to say. I just know I was happy. And then the lights dimmed.
She walked on stage with Brian Dennehy and the tears flowed. A moment in time that I will forever keep tucked away in my memory.
The play was very well done. The story was beautiful and the two of them did a remarkable job at bringing two characters to life as they sat in two chairs at a table reading love letters. It was the same Carol that I have always known and loved; same hand gestures, same intonations, same facial expressions. I loved seeing all of that in person. Beautiful.
She didn’t sign autographs at the end of the night. She quietly left out another door as we all waited by the stage door. That’s ok though. I was in the same room with a person who was a part of a dream when I was a kid, and as I wrote in my letter to her, “Even if I don’t get to meet you, I can still check this off of my bucket list.”
As Jainie said to me the other day, “Rome and Carol Burnett all in the same year!” Yep. What a way to spend the year that I turn 40. I am happy.