Mystic Chords of Connection

I first heard about White Noise from my dentist.

His son, an aspiring actor, was in the cast when the musical work-shopped in New Orleans.  According to my dentist, it was Broadway-bound. I hope it is, eventually.  Right now, it’s about to open in Chicago.

When the producer of White Noise reached out to the SPLC to partner on an educational guide, I had already heard of the play, courtesy of my dentist (his son is now on the road in Wicked).  Long story short: it touched on topics important in my work, plus I love theater.  I agreed that we would produce an educational guide.

Today I traveled to Chicago to attend the opening night, which is tomorrow, Saturday April 9 at the Royal George Theater.  I plan to write a blog about the play and our reasons for partnering, so I arranged to attend the final preview performance tonight to get some ideas.  I arrived, picked up my tickets at the Will Call window, and found my seat in the second row center. Before the show started, the producer I’d been working with found me and we chatted for a few minutes when she noticed the woman sitting two seats to my right.  Holly, the producer, greeted her — “Hi! You got here!”

I turned in time to hear, “Yes, and I’ve brought half of Brooklyn with me,” said the woman who, in profile, looked awfully familiar.  Oh, my God, I thought, it’s a former student … or is it? All I could see was her profile as they chatted for a minute;  when I had a chance I interjected, “Brooklyn?”

The woman from Brooklyn turned to me.  And that’s when it happened — the realization and shock, followed by “Ms. Costello?!”

Yes, it was indeed a former student, whose name eluded me but her face did not.  I don’t know what she remembered from what I taught, but she did tell me about the impact I had, which was good to hear, but beside the point now.  It gets stranger or more wonderful, depending I suppose on your point of view.  Colleen, my former student, now a lawyer, was there because her husband, along with his twin brother, was one of the composers.  His last name is somewhat common, so it hadn’t jogged any memories when I first read their interview in our guide, but it should have.  Turns out that Colleen (class of ’87), married the son of one of my colleagues.  And yes, that colleague, Alice Morris, was also in the audience, along with her husband.

And, folks, the small world phenomena continues:  one of the producers, whom I have yet to meet, seems to be a person from Great Kills, the town next to the one in Staten Island where I grew up.  His name will be familiar to anyone who came from the Island in that era, partly because he fronted a band that bore his name and did some wordplay with a well-known maker of semi-tractor trailers.  I mentioned it to Mr. NYer on the phone tonight, and I gathered that he (Mr. NYer) used to play Little League with the producer’s brother.

So, what do you think are the chances?