My Sondheim Story


"Careful the tale you tell. That is the spell. Children will listen." ― The Witch, Into The Woods, by Stephen Sondheim

I first moved to NYC in 1996 for my MFA degree in Performing Arts Management. That season on Broadway, I attended the revival of Stephen Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, starring Nathan Lane. What I remember most is body-shaking laughter watching Nathan Lane. A few days later, I was at a small off-Broadway theater when my friend next to me whispered, "Stephen Sondheim is sitting right behind us." Still new to New York and not knowing how many more chances I'd ever get to say something to THE Stephen Sondheim, I just went for it. I slowly turned around and spontaneously adopted some kind of posh character about three times my age and, like I was a lady who lunches, I drawled with an arched brow and total deadpan, "Hi, Stephen. I saw Forum last week. Loved it." Silly, I know, but how exhilarating to watch a show along with Stephen Sondheim your first year living in New York. Moments like that you know you're always going to remember them, even as they're happening. Nathan Lane won the Tony that year, and Forum won three others including Best Revival of a Musical.

I first learned about Stephen Sondheim my senior year of high school with our production of Into the Woods. Not exactly a singer, instead you can see high school me in our yearbook donning a headset and stage managing the show - plus pictures above of my friends (several of whom are still friends today). What's so magical is I can still hear the Baker's Wife singing how no one is alone and The Witch cautioning how children will listen, 30 years later. They're beautiful echoes, hovering in my heart. Sometimes I catch myself humming them out of nowhere. Sondheim's words and music are bewitching and unforgettable. Hard news for music lovers to hear this weekend, that his life's song came to an end.

Other than that, pretty slow news week, right?

Kidding! Of course Omicron is all over the news right now. Q1 2020 me would be on high alert. Q4 2021 me is more defiant, like: Really? REALLY?! THIS now? Making it through 2020 and 2021, still running a successful travel business, I don't even know what it would take to faze me at this point honestly. My message is the same: You don't need to worry about navigating the world of travel alone. I'm always here to help make it as easy possible and very importantly - protect your travel investment! I work with the most trusted and respected tour operators who offer the most flexible change and cancellation terms in the market. I also customize trip protection plan quotes from industry-leading insurance providers with robust benefits you may not have even known were possible to get before and during travel. So just like the Baker's Wife in Into the Woods I'm saying to you: You are not alone!

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Danielle Dybiec

Founder & President

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