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Monday, October 31, 2011

Are we scared yet?

Had the opportunity to attend three plays over the weekend in the McKinney and Frisco area. The common thread was my daughter and grand daughter.

The Bremon Town Musicians

You see, my grand daughter, Alison, the freshest electee to the student council from the 3rd grade at Ogle Elementary School, was the Cat in the Bremon Town Musicians—with lines to deliver you can bet. She did a marvelous job—no brag, just fact. The performance was a short little ditty—no more than 30 minutes—for the monthly PTA meeting. The ones in charge—you all know how controlling PTA types can be—dispensed with all proceedings excluding the financial report. PTAs may have to report on their finances at their monthly meetings; maybe something to do with the transparency in government. In any event their current treasury stood at a little over $20,000. I don’t remember Crockett Elementary, which I had the thrill of attending for some five of the longest years of my life, ever reaching a combined total of $20,000 over the complete range of my attending years. Finishing with the business, they went straight into the play.

In any event, the kids were just fantastic. Everybody enjoyed it very much. Of course the audience was made up of some of the most impartial critics walking the earth—fathers, mothers, grand dads and grand mothers. The brothers and sisters forced to sit through the performance may not have held the same esteem as the rest of us, but most—well, almost most—were well behaved. I can’t believe they got that many kids to memorize that many songs by someone other than Justin Bieber. Scanning the entire group as they sang I could not detect a slacker on any of the risers. I will report that the first narrator either knew her lines so well from an immense amount of practice or she is the third fastest reader in the free world—I could understand only maybe every fifth or sixth word—good thing I knew the Grimm’s classic by heart having performed it in one of my first grades, either in New Mexico or Montana; I can’t recall which.

My granddaughter was PERFECT! She was the hit of the show. You can ask her grand mother; you don’t have to take my word for it.

We hard trudged over to the school in the blinding rain and wind—only two blocks away, you can see it over the back fence of my Son-in-law’s and daughter’s back fence—we now had to quickly hike back home. Now trailing two quick stepping kids—we had managed to acquire my grand son Gavin just prior to the performance, he’s a kindergartener at the same school. I don’t care what the calendar says, winter had come to McKinney this very evening. Arriving at the house, we quickly traded out for dry jackets for the kids and reloaded to make our way to the high school for the next two performances.

Horror High

The ticket booth had already quit collecting money, so we found some seats—an almost completely packed theatre made this fairly difficult—as the show was already in progress. Every character from your worst memories was represented in the students attending the mythical high school: Nosferata, Gillman, Jacqueline Heidi, Larry Wolf, Carol Ann, Georgia, Claudia, Holly Goblin, Bigfoot, Blair Witch, Doctor Frankenstein, The Monster, the Invisible Girl (not enough male actors available, I’m guessing), Jim Ho-Tep (I probably misspelled this one badly.), Principal Reaper, Miss Medusa the vice-principal, and Coach Minotaur (the football coach Minos). I’ll leave it to you to connect the dots between the characters and their original movie role—see how many you can match up.

Gavin got into the play on Saturday

The lines in the play were some of the lamest I have ever come across in my play-watching career, but the kids seemed to be having a good time and that’s all that counts, especially on opening night and the first performance of the year. This attempt would have challenged Yellowbeard (the movie) for it’s current position on my all time favorites list. The impression that I got from my daughter, Stephanie, was that she was not a bit satisfied with the performance. But, ya gotta start somewhere.

Alison is the cute one in the center!

You might have guessed that the play was all about love: the Blair Witch and Doctor Frankenstein, the Monster, Larry Wolf and Nosferata—their parents actually don’t want them together—you realize how well werewolves and vampires get along. , Bigfoot and Georgia (Braineater girl zombie), Jacqueline Heidi and Gillman,—it just goes on and on—love was everywhere and it all worked out at the end.

During the intermission, Gavin and I got us some popcorn and the extremely abbreviated concession table in the hall outside the theatre.

Night of the Living Dead

The lights soon dimmed and we were quickly into our third play of the night—another zombie filled thriller. Steph did use some nifty effects to help tell the story and I was impressed with one specifically. They had a tech guy sitting in front of the stage proper that projected the TV news leads up on the wall in front stage right in black and white.  I thought it was very effective, even though you knew that the videos were pre-recorded—at least you thought you knew.

After the first three or four killings my grand daughter appeared in a scene. She was sick and being comforted by her parents. You surely remember that the dead were brought back to life by a huge release of radiation from outer space. The stress of the daughter’s (Karen, actually my grand daughter Alison: I can’t say that enough) illness heightens the need to get to help before she expires and is effected by the radiation also. The cast keeps killing one-another as quickly as possible but never having to leave the stage—just to lie there motionless in full view of the audience. Keeping still for an extended period of time is tough for a kid; but for a teenager, I am sure they just took another nap.

The story continues and more deaths take place and Karen (my grand daughter—see how I worked that back in again) continues to grow worse and worse. Of course she is lying on the couch center stage and twisting and turning and feeling worse as time goes on. The sympathy of the situation has all our heart strings so tight that one could not believe. Still more deaths!

About this point in the proceedings, Gavin fell asleep in my lap. It had been a long day for a kindergartener. I still managed to watch the carnage taking place on the stage only three rows from my seat.

Miraculously, Karen (Alison) has expired, has now left the couch and is eating her own dad’s brains right in front of us all. From her dad she turns and takes out her grieving mother—what has my daughter done to my grand daughter?—how will she ever recover from this scaring? It’s so unbelievable, I can not imagine the results and the thoughts running through my grand daughter’s mind.

Alison about ready to expire!

All of a sudden, we are greeted with the curtain—an opportunity I had been wishing for some time now.

Quickly out to the parking lot and on our way to my son’s house in Forney to watch the end of Game 6 of the World Series. Patsy (my wife) sent him a text to stop watching at the seventh inning stretch and go no further so I can watch the ending with him. I’m hurrying now through north Dallas traffic in a pouring rain shower—are we there yet?

Actually both plays were much better on Saturday Afternoon. Have you seen any good young actors in plays yourself lately?

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