This show is everything that I love in storytelling. Like a Dickens novel, this play tells the story of those wise and caring angels who ”drift” into the lives of young people struggling with hardship and emotional wounds. I had the pleasure of hearing many of David’s “Marie” stories when we worked together at Subway many years ago and I’m thrilled to see that David & Thomas have brought them to life in this wonderful play. It’s a must see for anyone who has had their life changed by a special teacher.
Take someone you love a little to this show; when you come out you will love them more. And don’t forget to bring a hanky!
The Driftwood Bridge is a song of discovery – of self and of love. Most particularly it is the story of two men navigating a cultural environment often hostile to homosexuality and finding each other.
David and Tom give their audience the gift of themselves, always honest, revealing, loving, forgiving, and emotionally daring. You can’t help but understand the pain and confusion they had to navigate to become open to love and each other. Their journey is so satisfying because it was difficult and because each, in his own way, triumphs over much to become that person who knows he deserves to find that one person to share love and life.
I am so lucky that I was able to see The Driftwood Bridge yesterday. It picked me up, stretched me out, broke me open, and put me back together. I didn’t expect to sob for so much of it (any of it really). I didn’t expect to feel so much around my own experiences of being a child, growing up, being a parent and now having old parents – the tables have turned. I’m not sure what The Driftwood Bridge now holds in store, I can just hope that the world has a chance to see it.
I found myself at the opening night performance after a particularly difficult week of work in the city. Yet, from its hushed first few moments to its raucously joyful finale, The Driftwood Bridge invited me to set aside my ‘hectic mad rush of busyness’ to ‘wonder, ponder and observe’* through the well-remembered experiences of David and Tom. The show appeals to everyone at any age. Their original songs and stories introduced us to a child who received loving support from a teacher, a young adult who lost himself in intellectual pursuits, two dear friends who provided ballast in turbulent times, a dying father who finally saw his son, and others, including our two guides, Tom and David, who found their way to each other and fell in love.
The performance has an intentionality that is a refreshing antidote to my usually frenetic distracted daily tumble. The driftwood on the stage had not been scattered by the surf. Rather, as we began to realize as the show unfolded, each piece had been placed with great care and was used for a specific purpose to tell the story. Similarly, David and Tom fully shared their many talents in the telling of the story of The Driftwood Bridge. They harmonized, swapped off on the piano, and tickled our funny bones. Tom delighted with magic, and David sang heart-wrenching tributes to his parents. The fullness and intentionality of the show seem to reflect the fullness and intentionality with which David and Tom live their lives.
By the end of the show, still clutching my soggy tissue, I was on my feet clapping and cheering with the rest of the audience for the joyful final anthem. And weeks later, I still find myself returning to The Driftwood Bridge to wonder and ponder. In the show, we learned that eight-year-old David was called a “fem-boy” at school. It had been over 40 years since I thought about the young boy in my own grade school who had been tormented for speaking softly and befriending girls, but now I wonder what his journey has been. Now I wonder how I can be more like David’s teacher/mentor/friend/collaborator, Marie. Now I wonder about the bridges that I need to build and step across with the great care demonstrated by Tom and David.
The Driftwood Bridge is a truly engaging and entertaining respite from the hectic mad rush. The show is authentically and insistently focused on love – love between parents and children, friends, collaborators, and life partners. In this era of grand-scale bullying and incivility, Tom and David’s heartfelt songs and stories are like a soothing salve. But, beware, The Driftwood Bridge may also inspire you to live a bit more fully and intentionally.
*“Instead of the hectic mad rush of busyness we intended a quiet pace, with time to wonder, ponder and observe. We hoped to replace worry, fear, and hate with serenity, purpose, and at-one-ness.”
Helen Nearing, from The Good Life: Helen and Scott Nearing’s Sixty Years of Self-Sufficient Living