What a weekend. I spent Friday night being entertained by a brilliant young actor in his first stage role followed Saturday by a veteran performer who sang and danced like she has been on stage from birth.
And all this talent lives in my our house.
My son D took auditioned a few months ago for his first theatrical production. Everything outside of school has been athletics. I was thrilled that he stepped out of his comfort zone.
The play is Bye Bye Birdie. Honestly since he had no acting experience, no formal dance lessons and while he sings constantly in the house only about half the notes are in tune. Our expectations were that he might make the chorus. Not my son.
Hugo Peabody. For those who have seen the movie this role was played by teen idol Bobby Rydell. He is the boyfriend to Kim MacAfee, played by Ann-Margret. This is the fourth biggest male part in the play.
In this production, Hugo acts and dances but does not sing. He does do a handspring early in the first act. With D burning the candle at both ends, starting most days at 6 am for baseball workouts and finishing rehearsals at 11 pm, for weeks now I was not sure how he would react to the pressure of opening night. What pressure. From his first line to the handspring to his dance with Kim (including a lift) and every other moment on he was on stage he was on fire.
I know I am playing the role of the adoring parent but those that know me know that I am prone to brutal honestly and can be a touch critical. There was nothing to criticize, just a performance to enjoy. He delivered his lines with the air of a jealous high school kid, which is what his character is. He moved naturally across the stage and executed his dance number like a pro.
Right up there with the joy of watching my son was watching my son with a bunch of his buddies. Joey, Richie, David, Asher, Jon, and Mark and several others have been hanging around our house for years and years. What fun to be seeing them all act and dance on the same stage.
Several parents came up to me after the show, as well as one couple in a restaurant the next night, to tell me how well he did. I am proud. I am happy for him. He may or may not avail himself of opportunities to be on stage again. As one who believes in multi-faceted people I hope he does. And then I get to go to another show.
And this was just Friday.
Friday night people were asking me if my wife was at the show as well. No, my wife was in a performance of her own. Fortunately her show started last weekend and ends this weekend. D’s started Friday and runs next weekend as well. So she will see the remaining 4 performance of his show–like a true mother. (Tickets still available if you are interested.)
Saturday I saw the closing night of my wife’s show. Evey year The Women’s Club of Evanston produces a musical comedy review as a fundraiser for a local charity. My wife has participated for about 10 years. This year’s show was titled “Not Tonight Dear, I Have A Haddock”. Thirty three numbers in all.
My wife starred in such numbers as “Brain” in which she was a beautiful Zombie and “Fugue For Cyberchondriacs” in which she plays a nurse to people who self-diagnoseusing the Internet. She had a singing solo in “We All Live In The World…” in which people wistfully remember the days before recycling. Unfortunately she had some of the worst lyrics to sing including the words, verklempt, monkey snot and toe jam.
Overall, the lyrics were clever, the singing of high quality, the men had their annual dress as women number and the laughs came frequently and the dancing dazzled. Not bad for a group of amateurs.
At one time during the weekend as I told the story of my talented family a comparison was made to the Von Trapp family of Sound Of Music fame. That must make me the odd “Uncle Max”. No on stage talent in me.
Fortunately I will be able to retire as soon as talented my wife and/or talented son are discovered and become stars.