Wednesday, July 28, 2010

our musical theater experience

Whew, finally a few minutes to write about this! I'm spending this week and next chauffeuring J back and forth to Dance Camp (which I'll no doubt have to post about at some point as well....), and although I'm down to just one kid for the week, he's keeping me busy with stuff on HIS agenda!

Anyway! I've had lots of questions about Oliver! and I'm here to answer them all for you. Putting on a full-scale musical in six weeks was QUITE a process, and our entire family got involved. As I've already mentioned, J managed to land the starring role as Oliver Twist. He loved every single minute of the entire thing, from auditions to our final curtain call. He told me his favorite thing was when he finished singing a song and the audience applauded for him. (Which is pretty consistent with his entire personality -- one of the first things he'd ever wished for, back when he was about 4, was to dance on the stage and get all the applause, as he told me during intermission of The Nutcracker.)

This production was put on by a local YMCA group -- they've run this program for children for years under the name "Youth in the Limelight", but this year they decided to try something different and opened it up to adults as well and renamed the program "Community in the Limelight". When all was said and done, there were only three of us adults, but we rivaled the kids in how much fun we had. I had the role of Mrs. Bedwin, who, as it turns out, is Oliver's maid (hmmm....). It was the perfect role for me, small, just a few lines, a bit of stage time and a tiny solo (as seen in this photo). It's the first time I've been on the stage since high school (which was, ahem, quite awhile ago....), and I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it, and how much work putting on a show is.

Our dog Joy played the role of Bill Sikes' (the murderer) dog, and training and handling her in the show was even more fun than being in it myself (although less fun than watching J enjoy himself). The Map Man worked backstage, and helped with the dog handling and set design. Zoo Boy did quite a bit of painting of the set. And I painted all of the scenery for the show, including this fireplace that Joy is sitting in front of, and the bridge behind the boys in the next photo, as well as various other "flats" like them. I also helped out with the costumes and props. Needless to say, the show absorbed a lot of my time over the past six weeks. I've received some invitations to participate in other shows during the school year with other companies, but I just don't see how I would ever have the time. I think this sort of thing definitely needs to be restricted to the summertime!

We made a bunch of new friends through this program, most importantly a wonderful family whose son, I, played the role of The Artful Dodger. I is homeschooled, takes all sorts of dance classes, including ballet, and is totally in love with the theater. And science. Sort of like some other kid we know, eh?! His brother, A, is Zoo Boy's new best friend, and their parents and sisters are equally wonderful. We spent the day after the last show at their house for a cookout, and are already looking forward to more get-togethers with them.

Despite the fact that they are all very involved with a theater group not too terribly far from here, J has decided he'd rather concentrate on dance this year, so will put the acting on hold until this program runs again next year. I applaud his restraint -- he obviously does not possess my character flaw of getting myself over-extended. SOOOOO glad not to have passed that trait on!

Here's J -- the tiny dude in the center -- and his co-stars during curtain calls. The audience seemed to love the show, and much to J's ultimate delight, the volume of applause doubled when he stepped out to take his solo bow.

This might be my last post for awhile. My computer is doing it's best imitation of a dying creature, half the time when I turn it on, it tells me it can't find the operating system, and one by one various systems are failing on it. (Most recently I have lost the audio.) I'm going to drop it off with the geeks tomorrow morning after dropping J off at Dance Camp, hopefully they can perform CPR and get it up and running properly again, because I can't finance a new computer at this point in time.

So 'ta for now, and I hope to be back soon!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i wish i had seen this! it looks like it was an OUTSTANDING success!!!