Months of preparation culminated at the Oakville Centre with the All-School Musical: Leader of the Pack, the Ellie Greenwich Story, performance at the end of February. I knew nothing about this musical and I made every effort to not listen to the songs and preparation happening through my house since late autumn.
I'm so happy I did! At the performances I was BLOWN AWAY.
Leading up to the performance, there was a lot of off-stage drama: Chloé our "Chez Smooch Waitress" badly sprained her ankle a few weeks before the big night. Her part called for a lot of dancing and her "big scene" called for her to carry a tray full of drinks - impossible to do with crutches. With much credit to my girl, she dealt with her injury with great dignity and patience as she moved onto duties with the set crew bringing enthusiasm and understanding. Less than a week before the performances, Chloé was crutch-free. Much to the credit of the producer and director of the play, Chloé was re-assigned and back on stage!
I am always proud of Chloé, but more so knowing that she is able to maneuver herself through theatre challenges like the professional she is and might be in the future :)
Personal note: anyone who thinks playing a sport is the only collective group opportunity should spend some time as part of a theatrical or choir production to realize the real meaning of TEAM.
Cole? Oh, yeah, him, the male "lead" of the show. Yes. The word "lead" is in quotations as this show was not about one performer or another. It was simply amazing in that this show was highlighted by MANY performers. I think it was a wonderful choice. (I really wish there were more musicals that would be written to highlight many performers as opposed to a few "lead"s.)
Back to Cole ... he was remarkable. So confident and poised on stage! He researched his part of Jeff Barry for months, getting the attitude, haircut, speech and timing right. He was confident: movements and mannerisms smooth, lines delivered with confidence, singing voice modulated well, dancing strong (no counting!) and everyone in the audience could tell he was having fun on stage. Of course, as his mama, I was in the audience (taking forbidden photos, below) holding my breath!
Chloé and Caden were both so incredibly dedicated and wonderful, as were all of the performers!
Though there were kids with their agents and coaches in the seats, this was a performance done by a number of kids who don't have theatre in their future. Most of these kids are going off to university for anything but arts and performing. Their dedication and enthusiasm is incredible. Beyond any elite sport my kids have performed, the dedication of these kids (along with parents, faculty and other support) is remarkable and inspiring.
SHOUT OUT: Special thanks to our family guests for attending and to our friends for their kind accolades - especially those who don't have to attend student performances.