Went to M’s play last night.
(I’ll skip over the obvious Socialist education messages. “Wishing we could change ancient laws that are just wrong.” Yeah, I know me, and my tin foil hat, see Socialists and Big Gooferment subliminal advertising everywhere in the Gooferment Skrules!)
The entrance was manned by a “welcoming committee”. With water, apples, and shopping bags. (Shopping bags? Courtesy of the local school improvement cooperative.) Adults were asked if they’d like to register to vote. (School funding?) And, if you said that you were registered, they offered you, what I would call, a “wake up service”. They gave you a form to fill out and some one from the collective “would call and remind you when it was time to vote for better schools”. (I swear. No joke. I listened very carefully. I couldn’t make this up.)
But this isn’t about politics!
Interesting idea. Give children and adults apples as refreshments. But no paper towels? Obviously a well-thought out plan to have sticky hands and a lot of people holding cores. (Being a fat old white guy injineer, I immediately look for paper products but couldn’t find any. And, being a bit of fanatic, I wasn’t sure if they were washed so I declined. Algar? Wasn’t that the greenies’ scare that ruined the Washington apple industry until sanity resumed to people who asked for evidence that we were all going to roll up and die eating it. If unwashed, should folks have been keeling over in the aisle. Maybe humans, like pigs, can eat anything and survive?)
After the obligatory “welcome” by one of the less senior Gooferment Skrule Bureaucrat. Complete with “rules”. (Do they think that they are dealing with “large size children”.) And, an urging to “support our schools”. They got organized.
Wish I could rescue all the children from, as Rush says, “having their little minds filled with mush! But wishing ain’t gonna make it so.
At various spots in the play, I saw flashes of enthusiasm and happiness on many little faces. Surprisingly, even M looked positively joyous at one point. I wish I could have had a picture of that.
There were no child prodigies. No Andrea McArdle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfvxYTL7EkM (I saw here on Broadway. Fantastic! Always inspiring when you see someone in their bliss. In the zone. Reaching their potential.) But there were some introverts, some extroverts, some with raw talent, some with what would be be characterized as “enthusiasm”. At several times in the play, usually in the group songs, the cast really put their hearts and souls in the song.
Interestingly one of the non-singing points were I saw enthusiasm was in the “magic carpet ride” scene. Even those in the chorus, who were sitting quietly, were somehow happily transfixed on the actions — perhaps dreaming of escape on a magic carpet with a beautiful price or princess.
(Do kids really believe this stuff? They are so hard to communicate with. It’s difficult to determine what they believe. Other than I need a puppy. My assistant photographer and ipad game playing best bud again put his pitch in that I need a puppy so I’m not lonely. I patiently re-explained my “one dog, one wife, one house” policy. He just nodded knowingly.)
The other time the children were really happy and excited was at the end of the play (Me2!) when they recognized and gave a gift bag to each one of those that helped. Big cheers and instance for the Student Teacher to come out. But more about that later.
The “big honcho” Gooferment Skrules Bureaucrat came out to close. He reminded us that these were just little kids who had put in 96 hours of time and more than 20 rehearsals. (First, did any one think they were on Broadway? Or that these were just small adults. Second, maybe this is as good as they could be, but may they needed more time or talent. Or better Gooferment Skrules Bureaucrats?) He again gave us more rules and 15 minute deadline before the children had to be at their cast party.
Then the children passed around the mike for the recognizing those helpers and give their gift bags.
(Couldn’t catch the names, the children were so excited. They become almost non-verbal. But their actions said volumes. You could sense who was really loved and who was just an obligatory “ty”. That was infectious. But those called out from the audience were really embarrassed. But the children insisted.)
The teacher, the music guy, some lady who did something, and M’s Mom got applause. (I left my audience participation noise meter at home, but clearly to this fat old white guy injineer the Student Teacher was the most beloved. And humorously the most embarrassed. (Thought that was cute, and the children were most animated. The young woman obviously had touched their hearts and souls. That was nice to see.)
Then the cast was free. Adults were up to the stage taking pictures. Some girls got flowers. Some of the children looked like they were lost in a busy train station. By my eye M had the most flowers. And seemed pleased with the attention.
M’s brothers were ready to go home. (Me2!) They had just sat through their second viewing since they had seen it that afternoon. My assistant photographer’s only comment was “It was better the first time.” From the mouths of babes. Things usually are.
So I was trooper and represented Frau Reinke at this family event. About mid way through, I was very sad that she missed it. She would have loved it. She was always happy any time she saw someone “hitting their stride”. In basketball, even if her girls lost, as long as the played their best and had fun, she was happy. (Of course, she liked to win. But that wasn’t the only thing.) She’s have been positive that the children were beautiful and the production was one step from Broadway. (I’d say a LONG step.) But, I’d agree that the children had fun and at times hit their bliss. So on that scale, it was a hit!
However, I couldn’t get to sleep until about 3AM thinking about all she had missed.
Donna Nobis Pacem.
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