At 7:00 on Thursday evening, my friend Joe and I were walking down Stephen Avenue, on our way to Arts Commons. We were heading to Theatre Calgary’s world premiere of The Little Prince: The Musical. We entered the bustling lobby amidst the other theatre-goers, checked out The Little Prince merchandise table — (The Little Prince jewellery anyone?) and promptly found our seats. I was excited! The world premiere! It was sure to be unforgettable. Dennis Garnhum, the Artistic Director of Theatre Calgary, who was clearly just as excited as I was, prepared us for the spectacle we were about to see.
In many stories themed around magic and believing in something fantastical, it often turns out that the grown ups in the story don’t understand everything because they just do not believe in magic anymore. For example, in The Polar Express, the parents can’t hear the bell because they no longer believe in Christmas magic, or in Hook when adult Peter returns to Neverland and is unable to fly because he knows it’s something humans should not be able to do. Whenever I read or hear a story like this, the same thing always happens: I think, “Challenge accepted!” I refuse to be one of those grown ups that doesn’t believe in magic. From the first scene in The Little Prince: The Musical, I was captivated. I believed! With each sensational and wondrous set change, each incredible costume that was introduced, each enchanting song, and each stunning lighting trick, my breath was taken away. Theatre Calgary have created a world in which anything and everything is possible. A world in which everyone belongs. I sat in the audience and I was the kid who was ringing The Polar Express bell and listening to its sweet, sweet sound. I was the kid who was flying high above Never Neverland with my best friend, Tinkerbell. With laughter, and surprise, and with tears of pure joy filling my eyes, The Little Prince taught me that “the essential is invisible.” Believing in magic was the easiest thing I did all day.
The Little Prince: The Musical runs at Theatre Calgary until February 28. Now, in the words of the Prince himself, “draw me a sheep”.