Last week I had the opportunity to attend two really wonderful shows and I felt compelled to tell you about them. The first was the movie Blinded by the Light and the second, Assassins at Signature Theater. Funny enough, they both had the same universal theme – follow your dreams – and they both delivered the message articulately through music.
Blinded by the Light is based on the real life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor and brought to brilliant life by Gurinder Chadha whose past work includes the memorable Bend It Like Beckham. Javed is a Pakistani teen growing up in 1980’s England. He is caught between his British life and his Pakistani culture. Longing to belong and to express himself as a writer, which is frowned upon by his father, he turns to the music of the day. He finds solace in Brit Pop, but it’s not until his friend introduces him to Bruce Springsteen that he finds true inspiration and courage. Through Springsteen’s music he finds his own voice to share with the world his own gifts. The movie is about friendship, family, following your dreams, and the power that music has over all of us. Ann Hornaday wrote a much more eloquent review that you can read here. All I can say is that we loved it and believe me, you will too.
Assassins is the Tony award winning musical from composer Stephen Sondheim and book writer John Weidman that is currently being staged with aplomb at Signature Theater. My friend Kelley and I had the chance to see it last week and were both blown away by another fantastic production by this amazing theater. A musical about nine people who either successfully assassinated an American President or not so much so, Assassins looks through the warped lens of people whose dreams were so dashed by whatever cruel chances of fate were inflicted upon them that they were driven to madness. The performances and the staging were terrific. I’m always awestruck by what Signature can do with such and intimate space. If you haven’t seen a production here then this is your opportunity. I promise you won’t be disappointed. If you don’t believe me then read this review by Washington Post Theater Critic, Peter Marks. He says it way better than I can.
If you go to see either of these (and I really hope you do) I’d love to hear what you think so share in the comments! Enjoy!!
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