Monday, November 22, 2010

It's a Hard Knock Post!

It's time again for my children's musical review. This is where I get to critique and rant about how the kids did in their most recent production, Annie Jr.. Actually, I usually just crow about them as any parent would. So get ready for some major proud parent crowing.

And speaking of crowing, N1S landed the part of Rooster and his little sister earned her role of orphan. While N1S had all of the funny lines, SP got more singing, dancing and stage time than her big brother.

Both kids had a blast though. N1S got to unleash some of his comedic skills and SP got to sing out loud. And the show started out with a bang too. This production was by far the best the kids have been in. When all of the orphans sang 'It's A Hard Knock Life', it sounded like a professional group. You could tell the kids really practiced hard for this one. There were no weak links at all. People familiar with local children's theatre will know that sprinkled through out each show are a few forgotten, rushed or too quiet to hear lines. This show had none of those and quite a few well delivered performances from the entire cast.
Here, SP just finished showing how she has a hard knock life.

All of the orphans sticking Miss Hannigan with a safety pin.
And then laughing at Miss Hannigan. The little brats.

video

Here is a short video of N1S's opening scene as Miss Hannigan's good for nothing brother, Rooster. The director told him to use a Jersey accent and he laid it on as thick as he could.

N1S wanted a picture with one of his good friends that he has shared the stage with for six shows. I think he also wanted a picture of his mustache which he asked to keep after the show.

video

This is N1S's big moment on 'Easy Street'. Make sure your volume is on.

And, of course, the big finale, singing 'Tomorrow' with President Roosevelt.
I mentioned before how impressed I was with this production, but it seems I say that about all of them. Well, it's true every time I say it. I'm very thankful to Acting Out (click for more pictures) for providing such a quality opportunity for youths to express themselves in a fun and positive way. We are so proud of our kids and the benefit they are receiving from these experiences truly can't be measured. Especially for N1S. He is not athletic and struggles socially with some of his peers. But the stage has given him a sense of pride and accomplishment that he hasn't gotten anywhere else.

Thanks once again to Amy and Kristen for taking our kids under their wings and helping them soar.

They aren't stopping here though. They will be appearing in their next musical 'The Elves and the Shoemaker' on Dec. 10th and 11th, so save the date.

And remember, you're never fully dressed without a smile.

Or a fake mustache.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Halloween Hangover

Halloween has come and gone, but like a Minnesota goodbye, I'm dragging the season out as long as possible. I finally got the last string of orange lights in the box and stowed in the attic this week. Remarkably, tearing down the decorations took a lot less time than the two weeks it took to properly haunt our front yard.

So here is the official recap of our most favorite holiday.

Our Halloween spirit got an early start with a cookie bake with the kids at the end of September. I waited a full week into October before hauling out the boxes and chests and cauldrons of happy horror. Here is a picture of our house mostly spookified. I had a few more bats and cobwebs to add before the big night. You can click on the picture to enlarge it if you dare.

I rigged the owl on the left to have light up orange eyes to match the orange flame bulbs around the archway.

I, once again, unearthed a forgotten cemetery under our gallows tree. I put the same orange lights hanging loosely from the tree and added a black pumpkin with green lighted face.

Last year's scarecrow flew into town on his broom just in time.
And then the windstorm hit. We had two days of wind gusts up to 60mph.Poor Jack Scarecrow's post snapped in two.

Even cute little Spidey-poo got tipped over.

But don't worry, this story has a happy ending. The Great Pumpkin came through on the day before All Hallow's Eve and set everything right.

Now just a note about our pumpkins to wrap things up. I did a few new things with this year's jack-o-lanterns. I decided to put a string of purple lights in two of our larger pumpkins and have them flash on and off. It really worked great but I seemed to have lost the picture of them.

Since the lights worked so well, I put a single green bulb in this shark pumpkin.

N1S called this our disco ball pumpkin. I made it with two sizes of drill bits. The candlelight really did shine out like a disco ball.

This is SP's small gray pumpkin that she named Squidward.

And about five or six other jack-o-lanterns filled up the remaining empty spots in the yard. Next year I may skip the tall skinny pumpkins because they are just too hard to clean out. I'll also allow about three extra hours for N1S to design his jack-o-lantern. SP finished three faces to his one.

Well, only 300 odd days until our next haunting. But less than two month until the next house decorating. If you live in Minnesota, I hope you already have your Christmas lights on the roof.

Stuff About Me

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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.