June 17, 2021
Being a creative type, I spend a lot of time thinking about the next project I’d like to spend a lot of time thinking about. I was doing this recently when my thoughts turned to Dad’s musical.
It’s not quite correct to refer to “Caffeine Dreams” this way. My father had at least two other musicals in the works when we lost him to cancer in 2019. But it was the only one to be brought onstage, with real people speaking his words and singing his melodies. I’ll never be comfortable with the fact that I was taking college exams while the world premiere played in Sun Prairie. However, I did make it home in time for the final performance and a tear-jerking company bow.
(Note: if you look up “Caffeine Dreams”, please DO NOT visit the official website. We weren’t vigilant enough about changing Dad’s login information, and the site has since been hacked.)
It’s one of my own caffeine-powered dreams to have this show put on again. Reading the script isn’t as fun as seeing it produced by local people who’ve been to the places mentioned therein. Dad’s story has a lot to offer, and it would be appreciated during this time of a cautious return to socializing.
I wish I were writing to say that you can go see “Caffeine Dreams” at the Gopher Prairie Community Theater this weekend for $10 general admission. But this is not the case. For now, we’ll all have to be satisfied with this short video from Wisconsin Life. In the months leading up to the world premiere, a friend of Dad’s who worked for what was then Wisconsin Public Television followed him through the process of directing his magnum opus.
This was a hard one to rewatch. I’ve seen Dad on video in the last two years, but those were videos of songs I’ve watched him perform hundreds of times. This is an organic, mostly true portrayal of who he was at an incredible moment in his life. Those who knew Joe Snare will notice that he can barely contain his smile, or his tears. I hope you’ll be inspired to use your own voice to make the world a little better.