Memorial Day is a special day for me as a musician because my first performance ever as a harpist was accompanying my friend Louis Weiner at a Memorial Day service. For this I hit the jackpot – earning a whopping $10. My first $10 as a musician. But beyond this extravagant windfall, that day showed me the power of music to evoke emotions, to honor memory, to shape the meaning of an event.

I remember the light filtering through the church window, the pastor’s telling the meaning of Memorial Day, and I was surprised. I’d had no idea this holiday was about something other than Memorial Day sales. No one had ever told me the story.

I’d left High School at 16, run away to live in a truck, but at the moment in the church with Louis, I was about 20, and I’d gone back to school with a mission to fill in the gaps in my musical education, which were many.

Specifically, I’d never learned to read or write music, always having played by ear. But at 19 I’d become passionate about a story I wanted to tell: A musical about two creatures obsessed with a Golden Cage: a melodramatic Diva stuck inside it and a flying creature with a life-long obsession to possess it.

No ordinary cage, it was on a remote mountain peak. From the outside it was an irresistible glorious sanctuary. From the inside, a cement and iron prison.

I could see the whole show, the words and music came fast and furious, but I knew that if I couldn’t write it down, it would be lost. And I couldn’t write music.

So off to school I went, to learn to read and write the language of my heart, and in that school was a harp, and because I’d once had 6 harp lessons as a kid, I became the harpist.

And thus was I sitting with Louis Weiner in a church in Mill Valley, California on Memorial Day, learning what Memorial Day was about but not knowing that the harp I was playing was about to take me on a journey so far away from the story I wanted to tell that I feared I’d never get to tell it.

For years I was on that journey which is still glorious to this day – but I had left something essential of me behind. It broke my heart for decades that only a few people in the world knew the story of The Golden Cage, or had ever heard the music. It’s as if that story was slipping through my fingers with each strum of the harp.

Meanwhile the harp was teaching me to fly – to improvise, to play jazz with other musicians, to write music for symphony orchestra and get to soar through that glorious sound on stage.

But a huge part of me was untold. For decades.

And then … one day I told it. In 2022 I completed The Golden Cage, workshopped it in NYC, filmed it and released it – and now anyone – you! – can see that film right here. Soon new theater companies will produce their own productions of the show. The story I longed to tell will be told over and over by many people.

So here’s what I want to say to you: On this Memorial Day, in addition to reflecting on the solemn remembrance of the sacrifices made by others for our freedom – what do you remember that you’ve left behind of yourself? What part of you has slipped through your fingers in the adventure of life? What part of you is still untold?

What if you started telling it?

I hope you do.

The Golden Cage

Did you miss the new YouTube Premiere of “The Golden Cage” last week? Well, good news! You can still watch it for FREE!

Watch “The Golden Cage” here!

It’s not a typical musical theater plot

A grumpy, melodramatic Diva is trapped in a glorious Golden Cage on a remote mountain-peak. A mythical flying creature is on a life-long quest to posses that legendary cage. When they meet: murder, madness, singing and dancing (of course – because it’s a musical! and an exhilarating, moving journey to discover the key to true freedom.

“I was completely immersed within minutes … fabulous players, and your wonderful music …What a treasure!” ~Dan B.

“​​​​What a clever parable for our times. Brilliant. ​The music, the singing/acting, the staging – even the title is perfect. Thanks!” ~Jay M.

“Powerful ending & much needed message!” ~Sandy S

Got a local theater you love? The script and music is now available for licensing. Send them to our “Producers Page” for the Producer’s Kit and License Request form or invite them to watch it with you!


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