Claybourne Elder is a Broadway star today; fifteen years ago he was a twenty-something from Utah visiting New York City. While watching a play, he was approached by a random stranger who gave him $200 and told him to buy a ticket to see the musical Sweeney Todd the following day, saying, "It will change your life." Elder could have used the money for a lot of other things, but he did as instructed. Sweeney Todd was a play that, as Elder said, "felt like something I would be in," and it did change his life, in a small way at least initially. It humanized New York, a city that scared him. Elder recently posted on social media about the random stranger's act of kindness all those years ago and how he wanted to replicate the good deed; people spontaneously started sending him money to buy tickets to plays for random strangers. He estimates that he's received close to $10,000 in donations. And he was reunited with the random stranger from all those years ago, Mark Howe. "You had no idea that what you did was so much more than that. I am a kinder person because of what you did," Elder told Howe.
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