Sunday, March 06, 2016
Today I am grateful for grandchildren’s events. When I was a kid, my mom made it her business to attend all of our events, which were mostly musical, so that was pretty easy for her. She insisted that my dad come along, too, even though he could often be found “resting-his-eyes” during some of the longer concerts. Still. . .he was there.
I did the same thing with my kids and they do the same thing with theirs. Now, as grandparents living an hour away, we still try to get to all of the biggies and most of the smaller events.
Yesterday was granddaughter, Izzy, in “The Music Man” at her local high school. She was one of the 7th grade townspeople. I saw a sliver of her twice, including at the curtain call, when the line was too long and she could not get all the way into it for bows.
This is to the director, or all directors of high school shows. . .Look, I get that you want to include as many kids as possible in a production of this magnitude for many reasons. . .an opportunity for those of lesser talent but greater enthusiasm, a new experience and not the least of which to sell tickets to all of us grandparents who are willing to sit for three hours to get a glimpse of one of our grands. I managed a regional theater and know that each kid brings in a bunch of tickets. But 209 kids in one production? Yes, I counted them in the program! It was insane.
Small kids were hidden by big kids. Parts of the stage were not used at all, or rarely. There were no clusters of people in normal business, just one blanket of people. The mass of humanity was so great that it was impossible to even know which section the dialogue was coming from. Cast a bunch if you must, but don’t use ALL of them in every scene. There was nothing to draw the eye because everyone drew the eye. It was like watching a busy ant farm with each ant wearing a pretty dress, fancy bow, or knickers!
When we saw our granddaughter after the show, it was clear to see that she didn’t care one bit if she was noticed on stage or not. Guess she didn’t get that moth-to-the-spotlight thing her grandma has by nature. Nobody sticks Mary Mooney in the back! She just knows she had a blast with all of her friends. And for that reason alone. . .every second was worth attending.