Julianna had her performance in Willy Wonka, Jr. on Thursday night.  She played Mrs. TeeVee (mom of Mike TeeVee in most productions, but mom of Michelle TeeVee in our girl-heavy cast).  The show was cast last June, but rehersals didn’t start until September.  The woman that started the school’s drama program was focused on the community-building aspects of the experience.  She said that the production itself was secondary and thus they only do it once per cast.  Most roles are double-cast so that all the kids that want to be involved have a role.  A few always drop out, so some characters are played by the same kid both nights.  Since it’s a 5th-8th grade performance, I see the value in letting everyone have a part.  I’m afraid I don’t really see the point in only two performances.  Why not Thurs, Fri, Sat, and a Sunday matinee?  I saw both shows and the kids that did their role both nights were muuuuuch better the second time through.  And, well, I’m afraid I see value in casting according to ability, not just enthusiasm.  But enough about that.  My wittle baby girl had on make-up, stockings, and heels (albeit low) and a retro-styled fitted dress.  She was suddenly 15.  Upsetting.

Here she is with her buddy-since-Kindergarten, Ally.  Ally was Veruca Salt’s mom:

I missed taking photos at the dress rehersal (she only got to go through it once)  so I only got a few shots at the final night of going over the musical numbers and then a few shots of them taking their bows on show night.  No flash photos during the show, of course.  It causes actors to go mad and rush into the audience, goring and stompling.

Here in the all-denim production, the moms and kids react with HORROR!  ACTING! to the notion of a world without chocolate (and seriously, I”m with them).

Only girls between 5’2″ and 5’4″ with hair of a blonde to sandy shade from shoulder length to mid-back will be cast.  Denim not optional.

The box step requires a high degree of concentration.  FOCUS, people. Remember, you have to go forward before you go back… Let’s not suggest a production of Fame, okay?

And show night, all on stage, clapping for the set-moving folk:

The real star takes a bow:

The squids go to school in what was once a Baptist church.  That’s why it looks like they’re in a church.  Because they are.  So it’s cool that they get a stage, but the seating isn’t stadium.  The folks that choose the back row at church are banking on no one seeing them when they doze off, but for theater seating it means it’s hard to see if you aren’t in the front row.  So Steve and I had Ben and/or Lily squirming all over us and moaning about not being able to see for the whole show.  That always makes for crankiness.

There’s a scene in which some kids are buying candy from a cart pushed by the disguised Wonka (yeah, not in the movie.  It’s what would be the candy-shop scene).  They buy lollipops and put them in their mouths.  Ben urgently whispered to me “The wrappers are still on, right?”  When he saw that they weren’t, he whispered “I hope they do this show again and I can play one of those parts!”  Yes, he’s planning, 2 years in advance, how to score a lollipop.  A candy he does not particularly favor and has access to on occasions fewer than 2 years apart.  he needs an intervention.

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