This week I visited my parents in CT and attended my niece Dasha’s high school musical performance of Cinderella, where she played the Fairy Godmother. Seeing my brother earlier in the day, I asked him if he was excited and he admitted he was a bit nervous. My sister in-law later in the day expressed the same sentiment. Watching them anticipating their daughter’s performance and beaming with pride was nearly as much fun as the performance itself.
Driving home after Dasha’s wonderful performance, mom and dad reminisced about their own musical experiences in high school. They’d each been in Gilbert & Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore, (different schools, different states), and remembered every line that sang. I too remembered making the chorus in my high school’s production of Carousel as a freshman. I sang “Where is Love” from Oliver for my audition and still remember every line from Carousel. By my sophomore year, I joined the backstage crew, helping to operate the lighting.
During elementary school, my parents took us to the local high school productions. I remember seeing Annie Get Your Gun and South Pacific, and thinking the students seemed so grown up. A local friend always took her kids to high school shows — the tickets are much cheaper than Broadway and offer high quality entertainment.
I remember returning home while in college to see my sister Madeline and her best friend Wendy play the strippers in Gypsy. My sister Naomi and I attended and still convulse with laughter thinking of how they looked, acted and sang.
In middle school, our eldest son was the mayor in The Music Man and our second son was in Guys & Dolls. In high school he played his trumpet in the Peter Pan pit orchestra and our daughter spent a couple years helping with hair and makeup until tennis took priority. I also volunteered to help with sewing costumes and enjoyed the “sweatshop” atmosphere where sewing machines lined a hallway and students appeared to try on their altered costumes.
I share my brother’s and sister-in-law’s pride in Dasha and their passion for her school and its community.
What school musicals were you in? Do you remember the song lyrics?