When an Interest Turns Into an Inspiration

The music starts playing, a melody that transforms reality while light dims and sets her in. The actors, running onto the stage creating a magical scene. The spotlights flashing, colors everywhere, backgrounds changing, she feels like she’s in a different reality. “You feel in awe… when the music starts playing you realize that you’re not in the real world,” Ava Lapinig says.

One of her favorites, Wicked, a musical based on the book by Winnie Holzman and music by Stephen Schwartz, perfectly displays this out-of-this-world feel. “It’s really impressive how something so fantasy-like came to life,” Ava says regarding the musical. She appreciates the different characters as well as the wide-ranging setting the show has to offer, “there’s the tin man, the scarecrow, and all kinds of different costumes.” There’s something unique in every show, and while Ava admits that some are better than others, she doesn’t regret seeing a single one.

Ava Lapinig with Beetlejuice actor Will Blum

Her collection of playbills lay in a plastic box, stacked neatly. As she goes through them, she smiles while explaining each show. She laughs as she points to different names inside, and describes her favorite actors. After scanning them individually, she sets each book aside.

Right from her first Broadway musical, Ava was amazed by all that was put into it “I like how it’s not like a movie and not just on the screen… they do this for you live,” Ava says.

She admires the hardworking actors and staff that put all the effort in and do eight shows a week. They have inspired her to continue to work hard in her own life. After acknowledging the dedication that goes on behind the scenes, she knows that she too can succeed with the same mindset.

Broadway musicals have been with her through all the good and bad, the music and plot giving her something to escape to during tough times.

One day, when opening up her homework she realizes how much she had to do. “This is going to take a long time,” she thinks to herself. Upon first taking on this task, she feels unmotivated and tired. By midway through, she finds herself desperately in need of a break. She picks up her phone and starts to look for her playlist of uplifting music, plugging in her headphones and tuning to the beats of a Broadway musical.“I took a walk around the house and listened to uplifting Broadway music… it really helped me get my groove back”. The stress inside her melts away as the new feeling of reassurance shines through. Before long she is back to work feeling better than ever, ready to get the homework done.

Musicals have taught her that no matter what difficulties may come about, there is always hope or a silver lining. “When the main character is at their lowest, they always get back up again and fix their problem either with their own determination or through the help of others,” she says.

Watching musicals also encouraged her to participate in musical theater at a local arts school. A few years ago, she took part in multiple plays such as Beauty and the Beast, Into the Woods, and more.

Justin Mehlbrech, one of Ava’s good friends, has seen multiple Broadway musicals with her. “[Musicals are] a way for her to spend time with friends and family,” he states. “I’ve noticed that she has a really deep connection with them.”

Today, Ava has seen over 40 Broadway musicals and plans to see many more in the future. These musicals continue to guide her through tough situations and motivate her through her daily life.