That theatre bug


Reading the post on Jamiahsh’s blog about his favorite things, I started to respond to his post then realized I probably had enough information for my own post, so here goes.  While I was in a school play when I was 7 and in the chorus of one when I was 10, theatre didn’t really enter my vocabulary until I was 16, before my senior year in high school.  Here are some of my milestones and interests in this regard:

Cheaper by the Dozen [note: link is not my production] (yes, it was a book, play, and movie before Steve Martin came along…) was a play my church at the time did as a student show.  I got to play the role of a 10-year old (I was 16 at the time, but then none of us were younger than high school) and had such a blast at it I would delve into theatre big time after this.

Scapino! was the first show I acted in in high school.  I played the part of Argante.  Very fun, and probably the most interesting audition I had ever.  This included theatre games and improv in addition to a little singing and script reading.

South Pacific was another high school show I didn’t try out for since it was a musical (hadn’t been bitten by that particular bug yet), but it was the first and only show I ever played in the pit orchestra.  I used to play trumpet but I wasn’t very good at it.  I never could get past moving my jaw as I played, a big no-no in technique.

Bishop of Aahs was written in-house (in-church I guess) as a parody of, you guessed it, Wizard of Oz.  This was the second show I did at my church and the second show that opened new doors for me, this time into musical theatre.  I played one of several “munchkins” (teenage kids).  Unfortunately that’s about all I remember of it.  Of course we sang munchkin songs with new lyrics.  Of course I started trying out for musicals after this.

Finian’s Rainbow was the first community theatre show I ever performed in.  Well, it was youth community theatre and not really a very well-run group (though it still exists today).  Anyway I was just in the chorus for this one, but hey, chorus members are people too!  After this show I would start private vocal lessons.

Phantom of the Opera was a show I have never been in, though I did do a different Phantom about 12 years ago.  Rather, this was the first professional musical I heard on CD, and later saw in Chicago.  This would be the only musical I listened to for awhile, though I did eventually broaden my horizons first with other Andrew Lloyd Webber shows including the dreadful Aspects of Love, and later with other shows.  Les Miserables would become my new favorite a few years later.  I still want to be in that show- come on, release the amateur rights already!

Speaking of Les Miz, it was the first and only show I ever auditioned for professionally.  They never called me…

Grease was a show I was in twice and didn’t perform even once.  Both times the rights were pulled when the tour came to town.  If you ask me, the second time the group should have done it anyway- pulling the rights is just evil.  Once give, the publisher shouldn’t be able to go back on it.  The first time they lost the rights immediately and so were able to do another show with the cast they had (Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?).  This became the first show I had a solo song in.  I was never told what role I had in Grease, though a friend tells me it was a combination of the Teen Angel and another role.  The second time I was actually asked to be in the show and was given the role of Roger.  We made it about halfway through rehearsing before we lost the rights.

Little Shop of Horrors… Okay, let’s not talk about this one.

Oliver! was a show I had a huge interest in at one time (I still have multiple CDs of this show).  I did try out for it a couple of times previously, but just a couple of years ago it became the first show I ever had a true lead in.  I was offered the role of Fagin, and according to several people I did an outstanding job at it.  Life has kept me from community theatre since, but I have been doing drama at my church so it hasn’t been all bad.  Next show…?  I would like to do Secret Garden I think, but who knows what the future will bring?

5 thoughts on “That theatre bug”

  1. Ah… Grease, our production is better left unmentioned. Aspects (eech). I can’t wait until we get to do Little Shop (if the board approved our list for ’09?). I did mention South Pacific before. Patent Leather Shoes sounds interesting. Finian’s was done at my high school a few years after Carousel. Sadly, musicals and plays seem to have gone out of fashion at EHS.

  2. Forgot you were in Scapin(o) and played the same role as Chris – I loved that show even though no one came to see it! Jamiah – don’t get your hopes up about Little Shop… board meets tomorrow but might put it off til after the holiday, giving more time for conflict – and it’s been mentioned that the director for L Wmn wants to do something during that slot, which the board will pry approve given the great success of L Wmn = a blessing and a curse at the same time.

  3. Yep… Poor EHS was my alma mater. For years it produced great musicals then levies came along… lack of interest on the part of teachers willing to direct. O/c what is the first thing to go at least in this neck of the woods.

    Won’t comment on taylhis’s observation until I hear definitively. I will say thst I made an effort to be at play readings during LW’s run.

  4. @taylhis: Well, if not Little Shop hopefully another successful show. And then hopefully C’s plan will work out in completion for the following year.

    @jamiahsh: Unfortunately I can see that happening in a small school. I can even see it happening in a larger school though more in terms of funding than interest in that case.

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