While we celebrate independence, others do not. But they sing about it.

Happy fourth, everyone.  I hope that you’re reading this on your smartphone by a pool somewhere, taking a bite out of a BBQ’d burger, waiting for the fireworks to  . . . well . . . fire.

We’re a lucky country, you know.  We may have some effed up health care issues, and pot holes the size of the pool you’re sitting by, but we get a ton of freedoms and liberties that a lot of other people don’t have . . . including the right to produce theater about whatever the heck we want.

Our fellow super-power citizens in China don’t have these unalienable rights.  And earlier this week, a whole bunch of them took to the streets in Hong Kong to push for a more democratic rule.

You know what they used as their anthem?  A show tune.

Thousands of Chinese broke out into a Cantonese version of “Do You Hear The People Sing” from Les Miz as they rallied for their freedoms.

And my grandma once told me that she didn’t think musical theater could make a difference.  Take that Grams!

Click here to read an article about the protest and watch a video of the protesters singing along.

But if you really want a treat, watch this video of a boy singing along as the protesters gather behind him.  It’s the stuff of . . . well . . . a musical.  And a good one.

Watch the videos.  Support the Chinese citizens in their fight (God knows they probably can’t even read this blog right now), and remind yourself of how lucky we are that can we create whatever kind of art we want and put it on a stage . . . and that art can inspire people all over the world to want to change their lives for the better.

Happy, happy 4th.


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  • Cydney Halpin says:

    AMEN!!! (Which by definition means…I agree!!!)

  • Dear Ken: after another full day of rehearsal forbFiddler on the Roof your blog struck me unusually hard. This is the 7th time I’ve done this show and the same pursuit for freedoms we enjoy here in U S of A were the struggles back then where this brilliant play takes place in the late 1800’s. China, Russia, Iran and onward- these freedoms we so readily enjoy.
    Yes, God Bless this country and what we continue to strive for

  • Paula says:

    Happy Birthday USA and many, many more! God Bless America and my life in this country. People, remember how blessed we are. Thank you, Ken, for this

  • I read your blog everyday, and I enjoy it and learn from it. But this post, well, it was the best yet.
    Thanks Ken!

  • Dear Ken:
    Thank you for the very thoughtful post. How rewarding it is to create a musical that has the ability to touch the hearts and minds of people everywhere. Looking forward to your next post!

  • Zanne says:

    Good to remember & reflect on the freedoms we have that others do not. (Afghanistan is another perfect example.) We must also remember that we need to safeguard it and be suspicious of an “overly protective” government with too many restraints and sticking its nose in our businesses in the name of “security.” If we are not watching the watchers (and I mean ALL political parties) our freedom can slowly be chipped away and gone while we weren’t vigilant.

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