CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine — There's a middle school student in Cape Elizabeth whose thank you letter to the cast members of his favorite musical turned into a dream trip.
In Andy Brooking's words, thank god for the internet.
It's YoutTbe that has allowed him to watch every scene, dance move and hear every lyric of the musical Starlight Express. It's also allowed his brain to become a rolodex of facts.
"In 1988 they opened in Bochum and they had like a big blow out success," Brooking said. "They had major revisions. They had an ice tour in the U.S. and it came to Portland."
Starlight Express is more than just Brooking's favorite play; it's what he uses to help cope with his Autism, according to his mom Jenn Brooking.
"Watching musicals just boosts his spirits and it's definitely something that he has always enjoyed as long as I can remember," Jenn Brooking said.
The 12-year-old has even taken his love of Starlight Express to the stage. Performing a song in the Cape Elizabeth Middle School talent show. A true fan who's not afraid to show it. It's why he asked his mom to help him write a letter to the German cast letting them know what they've done for him. No one expected the response from cast member, Sjoerd Van Der Meer.
"He came up with this idea to try to raise funds for Andy to be able to go over and see his favorite musical in Germany," Jenn Brooking said, "and it was never anything we could have imagined."
Van Der Meer created a Go Fund Me page. More than $2,000 later and Brooking has a trip booked to Bochum, Germany, 3,400 miles from home. He's most excited to thank the cast member who responded to his fan letter.
"Meeting Sjoerd because he's the guy who started it all with the Go Fund Me page," Brooking said.
Brooking and his mom will be seeing Starlight Express during his April vacation from school. He'll also attend a lighting show prior to the play and meet the cast after.