November 6, 2024

Going to the theater is one of my favorite pastimes. Hence, I have been a subscriber to the Broadway Series here in Cleveland, OH for almost 15 years. That means I get to see at least seven shows each season.

I was super excited to learn the first show of the 2023-2024 season was The Wiz. It has been 50 years since the musical debuted on Broadway. Although I didn't get a chance to see the musical live back then, I was able to see the movie adaptation with Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and so many other legendary actors. The movie has been a staple in my home over the years. The musical was finally back and I couldn't wait to see it!

Fortunately, I didn't have to wait too long because we were able to see the pre-production of the show before it hits Broadway early next year. I really wanted to see how they updated the story and who was going to play which character. Let me just say this, each person in the play was amazing. The voices...whew. It was a fun show and hopefully, you'll get to see and and maybe I'll get to see it again.

There was one moment in the play where I became emotional listening to the Cowardly Lion share his heart. In that moment, I was reminded about the blog I had written about him last year. There are so many lessons he can teach. I wanted to share the blog with you again. It's based on the Cowardly Lion, who I must say had an amazing and emotional performance in the play. Here it is:

"I'm afraid there's no denyin, I'm just a Dandy-Lion, a fate I don't deserve! But I could show my prowess, be a Lion, not a mouse...if I only had the Nerve! ― Cowardly Lion (1939)

Prior to the pandemic, I used to travel all the time. It was one of my favorite pastimes. Oh, how I miss thee! Fortunately, I have a great imagination. Since the mind doesn't know the difference between what's real and what's imagined, I have "traveled" to a different island every week. Also, in to make it a more enjoyable travel experience, I'll look at some of my pictures to help me imagine what it's like.

Recently, I ran across this picture which was taken a few years ago when I stayed at the Gaylord Resort in Texas. I was minding my own business, skipping down the yellow brick road when I ran into the Cowardly Lion. I was happy to see him because he was a BIG part of my childhood. Although I liked the Wizard of Oz, but I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the musical, The Wiz. This 1978 adaptation of the Wizard of Oz, starred Diana Ross as Dorothy, Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow, Nipsey Russell as the Tinman, and Richard Pryor as the Wiz. It's a classic. The singing, dancing and overall talent makes it enjoyable to watch...still.

In The Wiz, Ted Ross was the actor who portrayed the Cowardly Lion. Although fierceness and ferocious are part of his nature, the Cowardly Lion believed his insecurities made him inadequate to other lions and beasts. He lived his life scared. Scared to be fierce. Scared to let his light shine brightly. Scared to be brave.

Look at the Cowardly Lion's face in the photo. He looks distressed. He looks like he's not comfortable in his own lion skin. Would you want to live a life like this? Hopefully, not. Imagine the freedom that the lion would have...if only he had the nerve. If only he didn't doubt himself and had the courage to stand in his true power.

Fortunately, at the end of the story, the Cowardly Lion eventually received what he desired (courage); only to realize he had it all along. Thus becoming the most respected and the bravest beast in all of Oz.

"You know I'm ready to Fight and turn your Day into Night, cause I'm a Mean Ole Lion!" ― The Cowardly Lion, The Wiz (1978)

This story is a lesson to all of us. Whatever you want to do or become, you can. The power is already inside of you. You have to be courageous in order to achieve your dreams/desires. You—and no one else—are responsible for your life and making it what you want it to be.

For this week, take some time to reflect on the following questions:



"The only courage you ever need is the courage to fulfill the dream of your own life." ― Oprah