Junior Alex Bigelow’s hopes of going to New York City with her father fulfilled
It all started with a bet. In the summer of 2013, junior Alex Bigelow asked her dad to take her to Broadway to see a show after becoming a theater connoisseur. Her father, DJ Bigelow, is also the girls varsity volleyball coach, decided to strike up a deal. He said that if Alex were to become a true Seahawks fan, and they won the Super Bowl, he would take her to New York City to see a Broadway show. The only condition was that Alex had to be able to name four players and their positions. After purchasing a Seahawks jersey and watching all the games, she could do so. Russell Wilson, Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, and Golden Tate were the lucky four.
“Knowing that it was her 16th birthday soon and knowing how much she wanted it, I decided to make the bet thinking I would’ve taken her regardless and then they won so we really had to do it. Making her become a fan was fun because it got her more connected to something I like”, DJ said.
On Feb. 2, 2014, the Seahawks won the Super Bowl 43-8 against the Denver Broncos.
However, DJ, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2010 that metastasized to his right lung which called for lung removal in May 2013, had his cancer reappear on ribs in the summer of 2014. DJ’s sixth and seventh ribs were removed on July 18. After experiencing post-surgery pain, doctors noticed that he had a hypermetabolic mass on his 8th rib and a mass 2.6 cm in size near his esophagus. On Oct. 12, DJ and wife Holly Bigelow embarked on a trip to the cancer center in Chicago, Illinois and met with multiple specialists to talk about the plan for DJ’s health. Would DJ’s health threaten the trip to Broadway? Absolutely not.
“I said, ‘You MUST take your daughter to New York, and enjoy precious moments with her, sooner rather than later,’” Holly said.
Jon Flynn, a member of the NYPD, shared DJ and Alex’s story with Broadway theater owner Jim Neederlander who thought that they deserved a little special treatment. On Nov. 5, the first night of their trip, Alex and DJ saw “Wicked.” Since Neederlander owned the theatre, he gave Alex and DJ a tour of backstage where they saw dressing rooms, props, sets, and met the main characters, Elphaba and Galinda. The bonus of the tour was getting to stand on a broadway stage, one of Alex’s biggest dreams.
Next was the show that Alex enjoyed the most; “Once.”
“I had heard a lot of good praise about it so I was really excited to see it…There was a lot of talent and it was beautiful, they presented the story incredibly well. There was so much emotion brought out on that stage. Every bit of it was fantastic” Alex said.
Once is a musical set in Dublin, Ireland in which two musically gifted people meet and create music. The girl, who’s name is never mentioned in the show or program, helps the nameless guy create music so that he can win back his ex-girlfriend, however he falls in love with the girl and is left to make the decision between the two. With no orchestra, all music is played by the actors on stage throughout the entire show and is known to be one of the best musical soundtracks.
After the show, Alex and DJ “stage doored”, waiting for the cast to emerge. They were lucky enough to meet all the actors and take pictures with the leads, including Paul Alexander Nolan, who played the “Guy”. Talking to Nolan was deemed Alex’s favorite moment of the trip.
Day four in the Big Apple started with a visit from two Bearcat volleyball alumni who go to school in New York, Amanda Burgh and Kellie Reynolds. After navigating the subway, the four were able to ride in a police boat around New York and saw the Statue of Liberty before heading back to the theatre to see “The Lion King”. After the show, Alex and DJ were taken to meet the actors who played Young Simba and Young Nala and had another photo opportunity.
The trip concluded on day five with a performance of the off Broadway show “Stomp”, DJ’s personal request. After the show, the actors emerged from backstage to meet fans, which included DJ and Alex.
As the trip came to a close DJ and Alex both value the experience they had.
“My favorite part was watching Alex have fun. She doesn’t show her excitement a lot and seeing her backstage talking to the actors of Once and seeing how nice they were to her was really fun,” DJ said.