Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Hold and Have Shame!

I've been thinking about some plays that we did in my elementary school in 5th grade. I probably wouldn't have thought to have 10-year-olds do either one, now that I look at them, but I guess kids are always more sophisticated than we give them credit for.
One was an in-class play with a small cast. I was Clytemnestra. Yes, it was a pretty artsy--or progressive--school, at least in the late '70s. (But who wasn't, in that time?) Upon looking it up now, it appears as though we probably did The Libation Bearers--I do remember that I was gruesomely murdered, which was fun. We didn't have to get dressed up in costumes for this one, but I did, wearing some sort of drapey thing including a white slip of my mother's. I think I went home at lunch to change into it.
The other was Gilbert & Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance, which was a more formal production that we presented in an evening performance for parents and community. I was a mere chorus member in that one; one of the general's daughters.  There were perhaps a dozen or so daughters in our production, as there were three 5th-grade classes combined. I wanted to be Ruth, but alas, was not chosen, though my friends said I sang the audition song better than the girl who got it "just because she did gestures." (Well, loyal friends are good to find, right?) I've always liked the songs from this operetta and they've often popped into my head at completely random moments throughout my life.
I've recently had the opportunity to revisit the experience, as Limelet enjoys pirates generally as well as people singing, so I bought a DVD of the Australian Opera's version of PoP. It's been a hit, and is still funny and clever after all these years. Though part of the humor for me in this production is the Australian accents (the Major General singing "General" in a way that rhymes with "dinner roll.")
I'm surprised at Limelet's level of attention to something like this that a lot of adults can't focus on for long, and he goes around quoting/singing excerpts. (From upstairs: "I sink a few more ships it's true/ than a well-bred monarch ought to do!") He also has been enjoying The Sound of Music. So much for TheLimey's declaration that Limelet can do whatever he wants in life--except become an actor. I told him that attitude would guarantee that Limelet becomes an actor, I told him, but did he listen?
Anyway, our ornate local theater does a lot of family shows, especially at Christmas time. I don't think Limelet is ready yet, as he wants to get up and walk around after 20 minutes tops, but next year definitely. And I hope that this fall we can go without him some time to see a murder mystery type of production. There are some reasons it is nice to live in a city, after all.

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