For the last three years, I have celebrated my birthday the entire month. The month has been titled the #monthofme. I take this chance to reflect on the years past and plan for the year ahead. I fill the month with an abundance of my favorite things.
One of my all time favorite things to do is attend the theater. I love the theater in general but especially Broadway musicals. My love of musicals has made me want to relocate to New York City on many occasions. The cost of living is probably the only reason why I have not. Fortunately for me, I live in a city with an amazing performing arts center. The Straz hosts plays, musicals, musical performances and more. Each year The Straz hosts a Broadway series with a sampling of some of the most popular off Broadway productions.
Last night I had the pleasure of starting my #monthofme doing one of my favorite things. Thanks to my membership in Tampa Bay Bloggers and their partnership with The Straz, I was able to attend The King and I as an early birthday present.
My evening started with happy hour at Malio’s where myself and my friend, Yvar enjoyed a lovely meal before the show.
As a child, I remember The King and I as one of the first musicals I saw on screen. Being an inquisitive child I not only loved the musical arrangement and dance but also the cultural themes presented. Seeing the show live as an adult brought back fond memories but it also created some new ones. As a child, I am not sure I paid attention to the political and cultural themes highlighted in the overall story.
Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.
In watching the musical I realized that I could identify with Anna in many ways.
Anna is a teacher.
Anna was an impassioned educator who took her role in the children’s lives seriously. She genuinely cared for her students’ overall well being and worked hard to make sure they learned life lessons as well as their curriculum. I have often been quoted as saying that my job as an educator is to teach the subject matter assigned but also the life lessons that growth and maturity provide.
Anna enjoyed traveling and exploring new lands and culture.
Prior to moving to Siam as an educator, Anna traveled to several countries. She shared her comfort with exploring and learning about the new lands in which she visited. Her mind was open as she allowed her experiences to form her thoughts versus the opinions of others, as do I.
Anna is a hopeless romantic.
Anna truly believed in the power of love. She had the fortune of experiencing a deep love with her deceased husband. Although I have not had the fortune of marrying my true love yet. I truly have been bitten by the love bug. I delight in seeing two people who love and support each other in a partnership.
Anna is strong and at times stubborn yet very compassionate.
Anna was a strong willed independent thinker who did not take any mess. She was not hesitant to voice her opinion even when it was not favorable to the King. Even though she can be a force to be reckoned with, she can also be a listening ear, confidant and great friend. Like Anna, my tough exterior is not all that exists.
Anna had a strong desire to encourage change.
I am an educator because I want to see the young people I teach do amazing things in the future. With a quality education, proper guidance and adults who care about nurturing their development, the children today can change this world for the better.
The King and I will be showing at the Straz Center until the 7th of this month. I definitely recommend you take the time to see the show while it is in town. The production is amazing and I think you will definitely enjoy it if you are a lover of Broadway like me.