I was sorry to learn from Rosie O’Donnell’s blog that Broadway actor/singer/dancer and all-around-great-guy Jason Opsahl is dead. She misses him and so do I. Jason died of a brain tumor called “anaplastic astrocytoma” on Oct. 25, 2002. He was 39.
I met Jason in 1991 while working on the Broadway musical The Will Rogers Follies and he was always kind and friendly to me and everyone else he touched. Jason was an incredibly talented singer and dancer. He was effortlessly alive while many of us just live.
Working in the theatre is a strange life. For three months you see everyone every day all day and all night and then the show opens and sometimes you never see them again but you never forget them and you always remember the tender moments of beauty that everyone worked so hard to create together for the audience. Jason Opsahl will be missed by more than his family and friends.
He will be missed for the void he leaves on the Broadway. He will be missed for the loss of light his life brought to an ever-darkening world. He will be missed for the promise of a talent sabotaged by the very thing that makes us of the moment.
I am fond of saying we are not our bodies and that we all have a life energy that tells beyond bones and skin and muscle and, for the sake of us all, I hope I’m right because the world without Jason Opsahl’s energy is one that is less-friendly, less-warm and less-good.
Goodness is hard to find in a broken world and goodness has great human value because it brings together shattered lives and shards of people and, for a moment anyway, goodness makes everything okay for awhile.
The Will Rogers Follies lost other good people who helped wind the world and I miss them all: Peter Stone Cy Coleman Adolph Green Phil Oesterman I’m sure there are others who are gone that I should be missing and I’m sure I’ll hear about them soon enough. Right now, though, I’m still trying to find the goodness in the death of Jason Opsahl.