Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Music and Drama

I must admit I do really enjoy musical theater. The first show I ever saw was Cats in San Francisco as a young teen. I was overwhelmed by the creativity, poetry, silliness and the vocal talent.

Then, in college, I saw Les Miserables in London. I was transfixed by the power of the simple revolving stage, the story, the music. I got a tshirt and wore it until it hung in rags. I went out and bought and read Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. The unabridged version (over 1,200 pages). I tortured my family and friends by singing along with the soundtrack. And it was torture because I really couldn't (and still can't) sing at all.

My first date with my husband was at the theater where we saw West Side Story. We had season tickets for nineteen years, until our local theater company recently went BK and took our season renewal fees, donations, and 2nd row center seats down with it. For various reasons, we have not renewed with the new theater company.

We have more than enough music and drama in our house to make up for the lack of seeing it on the stage. Even though my house is all boys, there is some drama once in a while, even if I have to provide it myself. In fact just now I had to yell at all three boys to turn their music down. They are all listening and singing to different music on their computers, at the same time. Doesn't bother them at all but drives me crazy.

I remember vividly being pregnant and sitting and watching a show about ten years ago. I don't remember the show but I remember how the baby inside me seemed to be doing a whole dance and song number along with the performers. It was so fascinating and distracting that I couldn't watch the show on the stage.

Now that baby is close to ten years old and is going to be in a musical! After so many years of being completely immersed in sports, I never really considered the possibility of being a stage mom. Yet here I am. My youngest happily spent the day of Little League try-outs at a rehearsal for the show Once Upon A Mattress, in which he plays an Honorable Knight.

With a little encouragement (or was that a shove?) from a few people who know my son well, we decided to have him audition in early January. Although the audition was arduous and confusing and long, especially for those who have never been through it, my son got in front of that audience of judges and just shined. He loved it. And his brothers got to see him get up there and do something that they would never do. It was all worth it just for the audition. He even got a call-back. We weren't even sure what that was.

We are lucky to have the nationally recognized Children's Musical Theater in our area, where every child who auditions get a part in the performance. My son is going to rehearsals and just soaking it all up, learning how being a part of a production works. So far he loves it.

I am excited too because the parent volunteer opportunities (uh, I mean requirements) are way more fun than keeping score at the Little League games. So whether this is just one show or the first of many, I am enjoying my stint as a proud stage mom.


Saskia said...

Love it!!! Having spent 4 years in Connecticut and hoping on the train to Broadway, then several years in San Diego, watching productions at the Old Globe Theatre when my dad presided over the board...I absolutely, completely adore the theater...and with four boys, am determined that I will get them to sit through a production without burping, yelling, etc....and then, to have them thoroughly enjoy the magic. So...when you hear a crazy cakkle, or a quiet burb (followed, hopefully, by a giggling "excuse me") at Once Upon A Mattress (we have friends in both casts), know that it's the Choudry's...following mommy's dream of getting back to the theater. We did make it to Little League tryouts (and 3 soccer games) last weekend, but we may throw in a CMT workshop amongst the summer sweat of sports camps! See you at the show!

Sandra Smith-Dugan said...

Awesome!! After seeing him do Elvis for Halloween, I'm not surprised :)

EDubyaH said...

Aren't the auditions great? I do the same thing. Watching them up there is so amazing. They are so courageous, so much braver than I was at that age!

Jane LaFazio said...

fabulous! I too LOVE theatre and most especially musicals, so how very wonderful that your son is going on stage....great, great experience for him.

Meredith said...

That's really exciting, and I hope one day I'll be down in Cali and can come watch one...if there's more.