Friday, February 19, 2010

Where's The Lifetime Supply Of Chocolate?

Last Tuesday, the kids had auditions for the upcoming community children's theatre musical, Willy Wonka Jr. This is Sweet Pea's second try out and Number One Son is trying to land his fifth role. This was also the first time that I was able to attend the auditions, luckily having the night off from work.

Auditions are pretty simple in that the kids get on stage in front of the directors in groups of five and sing a verse from a favorite song to show where their voice range fits, and recite a few lines from the play to gauge their expressiveness. Three years ago when N1S tried out for Kokonut Kapers as a second grader, he sang Jingle Bells and got a role as a dancing pirate. Even way back then, Lady Di noticed how comfortable he was on stage. For some reason, he doesn't get nervous at all while performing.
Our kids were about the sixth group to audition. I didn't know how excited they were until their names were called. I leaned over to offer some last minute encouragement only to find two empty seats and a small whirl of dust. They ran up on stage and N1S got a small whoop from a few of his friends which he answered with a 'rock-n-roll' hand sign. Did I mention how comfortable he is on stage?
SP sang 'You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch' complete with her own original choreography. N1S sang 'Benjamin Calypso' from Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat musical. They each read a few lines from the play and were done. I'm glad we got there early and were done early because I heard auditions went pretty late into the evening.

That night you could sense quite a bit of nervousness from some of the kids. I guess I would have been nervous too since the auditorium was full of kids and parents watching all of the auditions. This year's production has two casts of sixty roles each. On the first night of two audition nights, over one hundred and eighty kids tried out. The unfortunate thing for Sweet Pea is that about one hundred and sixty five of them were girls. She has much more competition than her brother. It's really too bad that more boys don't get involved with theatre as much. Our kids have had a blast with it! They learn music, dancing, teamwork, discipline (it can't be easy keeping 60 kids quiet back stage) all while having fun.

One of SP's friends was all ready to try out until he heard that he had to sing a song on stage. N1S also has a friend from church that said he was excited to try out this year. Unfortunately, on Ash Wednesday we found out that he had changed his mind also. His mother told us that he too was intimidated by singing a song in front of people. He said, "Singing? Nope, I'm not singing on stage." His mother then asked him, "You did read it was a musical, didn't you?" She then confided to us that she thinks her son only heard the word 'chocolate' and figured that would be the extent of his involvement with the Willy Wonka Jr. production. I hope that both boys attend this years play and change their minds for next year.
We are really lucky to have such a strong children's theatre program. This year they had to limit auditions to only our local school district and the turn out was still overwhelming.

We will find out next week whether the kids get a role in one of the casts or not. With that much competition for roles I'm guessing that there will a lot of Oompa Loompas on stage.

As a side note, I mentioned that we talked to N1S's friend on Ash Wednesday. Two years ago SP was nervous about going to service because she thought the ashes were going to hurt. This year she had no such worries. In fact, when people were lining up to receive their ashes, SP noticed some people lifting up their bangs to expose their foreheads. I then noticed SP immediately pull her headband out of her hair and comb some of her bangs down. She was deliberately messing up her hair just so she could lift her bangs for Pastor. When I told her to put her headband back in she complained that it hurt her behind her ears. I guess it only hurts on Ash Wednesday, because she wears one to school every day with no complaints. She reluctantly replaced her headband and we all received our ashes.

Don't worry, our pastor didn't get overzealous with the ashes. This is SP from last year's production of 'Alms For The Poor'.


Anonymous said...

Oh My..... You, once again, had me laughing! I was thinking (as I was scrolling down the photo) "when did he take a photo of the kids on Ash Wednesday". I then saw the photo of SP from the play. Made me giggle! Good writing husband!


The Father of Five said...

Oooo... Best wishes to both N1S and SP for parts in the upcoming play!

I had sort of wished I would have gotten involved in Stage Crew but, alas I never took part in Theater... My sister did though!

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I'm a 40 year old dad of two. My wonderful wife, Lady Di, and I try to keep the kids from blowing things up here in central Minnesota.