On a whim, my mother entered a contest to win a trip to the CN Tower. The contest was put on by Livent (who later went under and suffered all sorts of nastiness) and along with dinner at the CN Tower there were four tickets to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
I had already seen the play twice through school, once in the fourth grade and once in the sixth grade (earlier that year, I believe, though I might have the dates mixed up). My mother volunteered to be one of the helpers the second time. We got stuck with one of the trouble-making bully-type kids in our group and I don’t think she was fond of the experience, but it was still a great trip.
Now that I was familiar with the play, I was excited to see it again. This was just after Donny Osmond had been replaced by David Burnam which at first seemed almost disappointing until I saw him up close. As an eleven-year-old who was just discovering boys, it was a pretty fair trade. All silliness and shallow thoughts aside, his voice was amazing and I was impressed. I decided he had a “theatre voice,” that I was in love with him, and then I refused to sit next to him at dinner because I was terrified of small talk. I’m still socially awkward, but at least I’m no longer that painfully shy.
My mother put my grandmother’s name on the post card because we would be there for the summer, and they would have to contact us at my grandmother’s phone number. Lo and behold, a little while later, we get the phone call. My mother, grandmother, brother and I would be the ones to take the tickets, and my grandfather drove us. My dad was still at home working, as was the case during many of those summers at the grandparents’.
We took the approximately two-hour drive to Toronto that day. My memory isn’t the greatest so I can’t give all the details, but I know that we saw the play first. David Burnham’s voice was, as I said, impressive. After the show we went to the CN Tower where I couldn’t see out the cool elevator window due to my reduce height, and my grandma had to turn her back to the view because of her problem with heights. I’d love to go there again now to enjoy it but I would probably end up just like she was.
Dinner was steak and a potato, which I know I didn’t like because at the time I thought steak was gross. (I was a picky eater, like so many kids, but I hated most meat and always ate all my vegetables.) I believe David tried to talk to me a couple of times, asked me about school and the like, but I remember wishing I could disappear into my chair and I don’t think I even responded. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that we’d get over that shyness eventually.