09 April 2008

Grade School Musical

The verdict is in: this year's Spring Muscial is not as hard to take as last year's.

Each year, Evan's school puts on a Spring "musical". It's not a musical in the traditional sense of the word, it's more like a school-wide concert surrounding a common theme. Last year they attempted Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a musical when done right is fantastic but when done not-so-much-right-but-incredibly-wrong is excruciatingly painful. I sat through it 2 times and could not force myself through the final performance, no matter how much I love my son. I have a bit of a background in theatre (I have a B.A. in Theatre Arts in addition to the English degree), so I may be judging these kids too harshly. But I recall my sister's junior high putting on this musical and doing a decent job of it (they also had a fantastic director in Mrs. Mary Ellen Page, the teacher who made me want to be a teacher and all of them actually wanted to be in the production).

This year's offering is selections from various Disney films and TV shows. The upper grades do some staging and a few of the 5th & 6th grade girls have fine voices. It's a cute show, but I've never seen more lack-luster pirates in my life (watching the upper grades you can tell who's so over being in the Spring musical and there's no getting out of it as I'm assuming most of the 4th quarter's music grade is dependent upon participation).

Evan's school does not have an auditorium. They have a gymatorium, which was opened last school year and is a very nice facility. For a basketball game. Musicals? Mmmm, not so much. What the stage really, really needs are mics suspended over it, all the better to hear the lovely, lilting voices of the children (mainly because they don't project very much). Need I say the acoustics in the gymatorium are not conducive to the spoken, much less singing, voice?

Flynn, being devoid of my critical eye, loved it. When the 1st grade girls broke into Hannah Montana's "Best of Both Worlds" she about lost it, "Mommy! It's Hannah Montana!". And when a 5th grade Cinderella was paraded around in a "glass" coach, she whispered, "She's so beautiful!" And even though she was desperate for a drink of water, she would not leave our seats because she didn't want to miss anything.

We're seeing it again tomorrow. Maybe the second performance will be better than the first, the kids won't be as nervous. Maybe they'll sing a little louder and enunciate. Maybe the pirates will have a little more energy.


And even if they don't, they'll still create a little magic for a certain 4-year-old little girl.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Ha, see if your kids were cool they'd go to Holy Cross where the good musicals are! Last year they did The Music Man and it was pretty amazing. Okay, done being twelve now...