An email that reminded me of why we’re lucky to be independent.

There’s a lot of things to whine about in this one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The health care system is still a mess.  We disagree about things like why “assault weapons” should be a little more difficult to get your hands on.  And Congress, the institution that is supposed to help us through all this, seems to be making it worse.

But then something like the email that I got this week pops into your life to remind you that despite the cracks in our Liberty Bell, there’s still no better place to be.

Every once in a while, I get these super flattering invitations to speak to students, arts executives, high net worth investors, and the like.  And what’s doubly cool is when those invitations come from outside the US, and I get invited to a foreign land to help spread the gospel of The Broadway!  (These foreign invites are just another bit of proof that my prediction is gonna come true, btw.)  Since part of my mission is to amplify the conversation about Broadway, and since I believe the global audience is such a growing demographic, I’m usually halfway to the airport before I can even reply.

This week I got one of those emails.  And it came from an exotic and far off land that is on my bucket list of places to go.  And while reviewing the information I got about what would be expected of my “talk,” I was informed that the shows I included in my talk should not involve such topics as . . . politics, religion, sexuality, infidelity, transsexual themes, violence, dating, etc.

I’m sure your mouth is on the floor just like mine was.  (And how ironic to be asked to speak about drama . . . when I wouldn’t be allowed to talk about anything dramatic . . . I mean what’s left?)

I got mad, of course.  And I’m not going (although I probably would have if I could have gotten some details worked out, just to see if I could push the envelope and broaden a horizon just a teensy bit . . . while avoiding jail).

But then I smiled.

Because I realized despite the fact that my co-pay for my general practitioner is $75 (if I can even find one that will take my “insurance”), and despite the fact that rich lobbyists shape more of the laws than Congress, we’re a pretty fortunate group of people, and on days like today, we need to remember not to take what we have for granted.

I can produce what I want.  I can go see what I want.

Heck, I can even write a blog with strong opinions that may upset a lot of people . . . without the risk of having someone knocking on my door five minutes after I publish it looking to make me disappear.

We’re lucky to be where we are.   We’re lucky to be “independent.”

Happy Fourth of July, all.


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  • Kelson says:

    God Bless DTE. A super patriot of American Theatre…

  • Mary says:

    Happy Indie day to you Ken and to all you awesome folks south of the border. We just celebrated Canada Day and if you haven’t noticed a few of us are, in our polite and quiet way making waves on THE BROADWAY! And we too are free to speak and sing and dance what is in our minds and our hearts. We truly are blessed, cousins north and south of the 49th Parallel!

  • Dewey says:

    Go Ken!!! You know I tend to write about…oh, gee…all the things you just listed that you weren’t supposed to talk about! But it is always great to be reminded of just how free we are to express ourselves through our talents and the arts! This year my goal for the Fourth: To be grateful.

  • Happy July 4th to you and everyone at DTE! Your blog posts, emails, podcasts and shows always end with me wanting to cheer: Bravo! Encore!

  • Dan Radakovich says:

    Sounds like Singapore. Actually there are a lot of topics to discuss not involved in those advisories, and cultural export is the only real way in which to achieve any change [consider the pingpong aspect in accessing Red China where their economy has loosened if their politival bods remain, things are better there now than in N korea, and South Africa which a mixture of sanctions and tradde opened up aling with wise leadership by the leaders, especially Mandela and Tutu]. As Churchil supposedly said, Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the rest :). It takes travel to oppressive regimes to appreciate what we live under here, I still am glad i took a trip to East Germany in late 1987 researching Napoleonic battlefields a year before the wall fell down, very enlightening, though I got much more relieved re. the Warsaw Pact’s threat[The economy was obviously kaput as on boarding a train in Paris I helped a Polish lady who worked in their train s/National Railwaty system with her luggage, a massive duffel bag. I asjed what was in it she showed me, full of French cabbages. So if Poles erre importing cabbages their economy was on its last legs, and in East Germany i had to halt my taxi to rescue 2 Russian soldiers whose truck had careened down a cliff, they had had no snow tires, which proved their military was even more screwed up than our own-grin!]. But every crack weakens a wall, Nevve tiy sgiuld cinsuder the trip. Anyhoos happy 4th, all!

  • Carvanpool says:

    Not always true, even in the good ol’ USA. Not anymore.

    Just sayin’.

  • Thanks, Toby, for accepting my invitation.

    “Doctor George’s Magnificent Zeppelin” is a two act musical comedy by Grant Sutor Vuille. May I please send you a script of my work to see if it would be something for your Boston’s Children’s Theatre to produce?

    DGMZ is a musical comedy satire of children’s entertainment & theme park megalomania featuring Dr. George & his young two man zeppelin crew, an attractive female reporter & love interest, pirates, mermaids, a dragon, fairies, an imprisoned but kind fairy king, & an evil fairy queen bent on turning their fantasy island paradise into an obnoxious theme park.

    Dr. George sets out on an adventure to rid the world of evil doers & tyrants by exposing them to his latest invention, the vanity ego reflector. Spirited musical accompaniment & hysterical encounters make this musical an attractive family entertainment.

    Thanks, again, TPP, for allowing me to comment.

    –Sincerely, Grant Sutor Vuille

    DGMZ is also available from publisher & online bookstores such as &

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