Saturday, July 18, 2009

Props to Andrea McArdle

Last weekend, it was all "Annie!" all the time. And this week, we're having a hard time letting go. So we're pretty much all still belting out "It's the Hard-Knock Life" and "You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile," on a moment's notice. Sam and Em were, respectively, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Miss Hannigan in the Children's Theater of Madison Summer Drama School production of "Annie!" And they were knock-em-out fabulous. I'm not even kidding. And yes, sure, I'm biased. They're my beautiful, talented children. But all of that aside, as my beautiful, talented children can tell you, I can also be unreasonably harsh and critical, even when things are pretty good. So I would tell you lovely folks, all of you who may actually at some point be reading my blog (and thank you, btw), the honest unvarnished truth. If they were cute, and ok, but really, it's just a kids' summer drama production and, well, it was fun and fine, but whatever--I'd tell you.

Honest to god, it was amazing. Not just Sam and Em, either. Everyone was amazing. The sets were great. The costumes were gorgeous. The staging and choreography was truly fantastic (even the numbers--and there were lots--that my kids WEREN'T in :-) ) Honestly, it was incredible. Even more incredible when you realize that the kids were assigned their parts exactly TWO WEEKS before opening night, so they had 10 working days to get the whole production together. I wish you all could have seen them. And I wish I had a video--but no one was allowed to tape it, so no record exists. You'll have to take my word.

Emma was scary as the drunken orphanage-runner Miss Hannigan. I can't tell you how many people came up to me and said "I didn't think she could do it. Sweet little Emma, she's always so quiet... I had no idea she could be so mean--or so LOUD!" And all I could say to that is, you haven't talked to Sam, have you? He could tell you just how mean and loud his sister can be...

Miss Hannigan a.k.a. Carol Burnett

Miss Hannigan a.k.a. Emma

For his part, Sam had his heart set on being FDR, even over bigger parts. And I have to say it was the perfect role for him. He spent the past 3 weeks watching Fireside Chats on YouTube and telling the folks at Whole Foods "You have nothing to feah but feah itself."

Sadly, Emma is smiling in all the pictures I took after the show. She didn't smile during the show. Believe me.

Sam also wrote a monologue in the character of FDR in the year 1933. He performed during the show just before the start of Act Two (one of several monologues and skits). I wanted to preserve the performance in some form, and since I don't have a recording of the show, I am reprinting Sam's monologue here, in its entirety:

Hello, my name is Franklin D. Roosevelt, known to most of you as FDR, and I am dead. However, I have come back to life for just two days. But I will not take this time for granted, no. What I will do is I will tell you things that you possibly didn’t know about me. Such as did you know that I am the only president to appear in a musical? I didn’t think so. Another fact is that I join JFK and LBJ as the only presidents known mainly by their initials. And not just the only one not to half to deal with the Vietnam War, and not just the only one that doesn’t have a J somewhere in their initials, but also the only one born in the 1800s. Did you know that in no other year than 1933, I survived an assassination attempt that missed me but unfortunately hit and killed Chicago mayor Anton Cermcurk (small shrug)? Did you know that when I was a boy, my family and me went to visit at that time President Grover Cleveland, who personally told me never to become president. Grover, God love yah, but you coulda chosen anyone else in my family, you had to choose me. Did you know that in order of Presidents, such as George Washington 1 John Addams 2, I am thirty two. Joining James Madison, Martin Van Buren, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Regan as presidents who’s number orders are factors of 4. (Bodyguard whispers into my ear) Barack Obama? Who’s he? Whatever, and Barack Obama. And lastly did you know that I am the first president who could have his mother vote for him. Thanks Mom, and thank you.

I was incredibly proud of both of 'em. Lemme tell ya.

1 comment:

mamele said...

rock on! mazel tov!