Alex

School Play

When my nephew was very little – two or three, I think – one of his favorite stories was “Jack and the Beanstalk.”  I remember reading it to him over.  And over and over.  Andoverandoverandoverandover.

“A-den!”

“Again?”

“A-den!!”

A lot.

I kind of grew a bit tired of that one.  And Little Red Riding Hood, too.  And the Three Little Pigs.

Well, this morning I got to revisit those stories, plus a couple more.

Alex’s class performed five little plays – versions of those three classic stories along with “Rumpelstiltzkin” and “The Crowded House.”

Alex was Jack, of Beanstalk fame.  He had all his lines memorized, and he was pretty funny.  For one thing, he’s taller than many of the kids in his class, including the two who played the giant and the giant’s wife.  For another thing, he seemed pretty comfortable performing in front of everyone. 

I remember being in some school plays.

In the first grade I was a “guest” at “The Wedding of the Painted Doll.”  I don’t remember a whole lot from that.  Two things – there was some line in one of the songs about the Preacher – “he will surely know his stuff/’cause he’s done it often enough” – and the fact that the Painted Doll and whichever toy she was marrying – probably a soldier or something – had to kiss.  oooooOOOOooooooooh…. 

Second grade…I think it was Bambi that year.  I had lines:

“With her nose the mother deer lifted his head until he looked around.  He pushed up on his long legs, trying to stand.

“He’s awfully wobbly, though,” said a little rabbit named Thumper”

Yeah.  I stole the show, as you can imagine.  I remember several of the songs, too.

In third grade we did some sort of christmas concert, and I remember walking in concentric circles – girls inside going in one direction, boys on the outside going the other direction – singing “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from Jesus Christ Superstar.  I was Alex’s age.  Kind of a weird song for third graders to be singing, isn’t it?  Oh well.

Let’s see, continuing with my performance bio…in the fourth grade I was a present.  Yes, I work a big cardboard box, and was part of the runaway hit “Mrs. Hurry-up and the Runaway Presents.”  This one stands out because, like I said, I was a present, and, because when we were backstage, waiting for all the parents to fill the multi-purpose room, some kid peeked under the curtain to see who was there so far, and he whispered “the Superintendant’s here!”  We’d been told to do a good job and to behave, because there was the possibility that The Superintendant Of Schools would be in attendance, and though none of us had a clue as to what he did or why it was a big deal, it WAS a big deal.  Or maybe it was just a way for the teachers to get us to be quiet and not fool around backstage.

But then another kid, who lived the next street over from me, peeked under the curtain as well.  He saw the distinguished-looking silver-haired man in a gray tweed suit sitting in the front row, too.

He whispered back at us – “That’s not the superintendant – that’s Jayne’s grandfather!”

Yep.  My grandfather – who may have looked superintendantly because he’d been a teacher for 30 years – believed that attending his granddaughter’s school play warranted a suit and tie.  He was always larger than life.

Anyway, I believe that was the last school play I was in.  There was a music thing in 6th grade, but that was singing in a group, not reciting lines.  So it’s different. 

I wanted to be comfortable up there on the stage, but I never was. 

So glad Alex doesn’t have that problem.

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