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I promised to tell all about the musical my daughter was in, which was performed at the Cole Auditorium at East Noble High School, Kendallville, Indiana, USA. (That covers wherever you're reading this from!) Being a freshman in only her second play, Jillian had only a small part -- literally. She was a Who (I got lots of puns out of that).

No flash photography was allowed, but with high speed film I was able to get some kinda/sort clear shots of the action. I can't do justice to this play or its director -- it was an incredible job, worthy of a professional production.

As you know, the Who's live on a speck of dust, and can only been seen in a magnifying glass. (Of course you knew that!) In other Who news, they love Christmas a lot -- although the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did not. That was long ago, though, and he's generally a jolly fellow wearing a Santa suit in this play.
Here are the Who's (you gotta picture them small.) My daughter is on the far left, near the wall.
You tend to start rhyming after seeing this play, which puts many Dr. Seuss books in play.
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Here Horton the Elephant holds onto the clover on which perches the tiny Who planet. He pledges to protect them, singing "People are people, no matter how small" -- the theme of the play. unfortunately, only he can hear them, and the other animals in this scene are saying, in no uncertain terms, that he's nuts. Center stage is the Sour Kangaroo, who in real life is the sister of the guy playing Horton. She didn't need a sound system, believe me -- they both have great voices.
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Horton allows himself to be talked into incubating Maizie's egg in this scene. moments after this picture was taken, she quite literally flies off, and he has to climb into the nest. The actor playing Horton has a fear of heights, but did just fine -- as did the people operating the wire harnesses throughout the play.
To the right is the Cat in the Hat, our guide through this crazy world. If there's an Oscar for high school musicals, that guy deserves one. I can only compare him with Jim Carey on a good day.
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Maizie's egg hatches, and -- it's an elephant-bird! That got quite a laugh out of the adults, who had earlier understood that -- frankly -- Maizie was an unwed mother who abandoned her egg and moved to Florida. Now, it seems, she knew Horton better than we'd thought. It's not the first time Dr. Seuss dealt in multiple layers.
You can't tell in these pictures, but the girl holding the egg -- Gertrude the Bird -- bears an uncanny resemblance to Charisma Carpenter. Even her mannerisms were often similar.
That's Jillian in the back row to the left, over the left shoulder of the girl in black leather (who looks like she just saw a large snake).
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Some main members of the cast, from left: The Mayor of Whoville (minus his head, sorry), Maizie the Bird, JoJO the overly imaginative boy, the frentic Cat in the Hat, Horton, Gertrude, the Sour Kangaroo, General Schmidt, and three lovely birds.
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The Cat in the Hat takes a bow. In an earlier performance he sprinted out onto the stage and learned a lesson about the laws of motion. He came right to the edge, windmilling his arms and backpedeling furiously, and almost went over. That led me to write the poem that follows these pics, and I'm happy to report it was quite a hit when Jillian printed the poem and took it to school.
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The Cat in the Hat Almost Went Splat

A Cat that went splat wouldn't be very good
Covered with blood, couldn't host as he should.
So aren't we all glad, that he really did try
to stay up on the stage, and didn't just die?

He clawed his way down toward the orchestra pit
while the audience waited to see his head hit
But I think we were all very lucky that day
that he didn't go "Bam!" and could still host the play.

Yes the cat, he hung on, if just by a claw
it was no disasterous fall that we saw
You can be sure there'd be no happy end
if his joints ended up on a bad backward bend.

Horton blared warning, Jo Jo gave a squeal,
and even Mazie dimmed her sex appeal
And all of the Who's, down in Whoville below
could be heard very clearly screaming out "No!"

Even the Grinch was afraid that he'd see
a Cat in the Hat go "Timber!" like a tree,
and take a dive into the orchestra pit
which none of us paid for; oh no, not a bit.

The general yelled "Medic!" without even waiting
to see if the Cat would need medicating.
Gertrude was afraid that she'd have to fly
that poor cat to the Vet, who she hoped lived nearby.

But the Cat pulled it out; he's a very spry fellow
who acted as if he was calm, cool and mellow.
But if you looked very closely you'd see he was shook --
there's no "Cat in the Hat in the Morgue" in a book.

And for the rest of the day he carried that egg;
so no one would see the Cat peed down his leg.


( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 30th, 2006 09:46 am (UTC)
I have always enjoyed East Noble's plays. I saw Fiddler there ... a long time ago. It was very good.
Apr. 30th, 2006 09:58 am (UTC)
They do a great job. Of course, they've got more resources and a much higher budget than Central Noble (I said, trying not to sound jealous.)
Apr. 30th, 2006 11:28 am (UTC)
THe pictures are really clear even though you didn't use a flash. Looks like everyone really was enjoying themselves.
Apr. 30th, 2006 03:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, everybody had a blast, both in the cast and in the audience. It was the most fun two hours I've had since I stole the nitros oxide from the dentist's office.
Apr. 30th, 2006 01:43 pm (UTC)
Those are excellent photos - the production looks wonderful. I hope Jillian enjoyed every minute - Kat was once a Munchkin in the Wizard of Oz (she decided once was enough, and left the musicals to others after that!) - and musicals depend on their choruses!

Loved the poem as well!
Apr. 30th, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC)
Jillian really enjoyed the experience, although it exhausted her. however, she's in show choir next year -- which is much more demanding than when I was in it -- and so she thinks she's not going to be in the theater. It depends on what play they do, she says.

I was in about a dozen plays all told, some musicals and some not. My parts ranged from Father Mulcahy in M.A.S.H. to Herr Zeller -- the main Nazi -- in "The Sound of Music". Didn't think I had that much range, huh? :->
Apr. 30th, 2006 02:08 pm (UTC)
Wow! It looks like a really big production!
Apr. 30th, 2006 03:28 pm (UTC)
A cast of thousands! Well, hundreds ... heck, I didn't count. There were lots. :-) But it certainly was a big production. They had, among other things, 16 wireless microphones and a special team to operate the flying harnesses.
Apr. 30th, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
Flying Harnesses It sounds gigantic. Was it school or community theatre? It must have been a lot of work to drive to all the rehearsals. Your daughter must be grateful to have a dad as committed as you!
May. 1st, 2006 04:56 am (UTC)
I don't know if she's grateful -- I'm afraid to ask. :-) (Yes, I'm sure she is.)

It's a school production. East Noble is the largest school in Noble County, and their theater director, Craig Monk, has been there for something like 26 years. (If you've ever watched Gilmore Girls, he looks, sounds and acts exactly like Taylor Dosie.) He has lots of personal contacts and resources, and knows how to raise money and get things done. It's one of those deals in which, when he finally leaves, you know things are going to fall apart.
May. 1st, 2006 02:21 pm (UTC)
You should ask. And she should be. My parents don't drive me anywhere, or even let me participate in an activity where they might have to drive me. Sometimes my head swims w/ jealousy when my friends talk about their sports/theatre.

It certainly looks like a big high school! I hope they find the best out there to replace Craig.
May. 2nd, 2006 01:51 am (UTC)
Is she grateful?
She says "yes". *grin* Of course, she's in the shower, and I'd have flushed the toilet if she said no.

You can move in with us, I'll drive you places ... I do my best reading, and some writing, while waiting in the car. But do you do housecleaning?
But wait -- aren't you about old enough to get a driver's license? Not that it would help, if you can't get ahold of a car. Jeez, I'm no help at all -- I keep shooting down my own ideas.
May. 2nd, 2006 02:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Is she grateful?
I can clean like you wouldn't believe. The Tedfords drop all other household activities: cooking, family time, soccer... in favour of cleaning (my mom's rule).
And yeah, I can do the test in 28 days! I'll have to be accompanied by an adult in the car for a year and a half, but it's a start.

*packs suitcases*
May. 2nd, 2006 02:32 pm (UTC)
Okay, truth in advertising: yes, I would like to see a clean house, but mine's usually a cluttered mess -- I just don't think keeping things spic and span is all that important, in the vast scheme of things. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you want green stuff growing across your kitchen counter. But scrubbing the sink and cleaning the baseboards is way less important than learning new things, getting outside, hanging out with your family, writing fiction (ahem) ....

To paraphrase an old saying, nobody's going to reach the end of their life and say, "I wish I'd cleaned the oven more often" ... I *like* a clean house. It's a good thing, and if I had the money I'd hire a maid. But it just isn't *important*. That's just my opinion.

Lucky for you I have a spare bedroom, but didn't you get accepted into that special school? That would be one whale of a commute! I don't think I could afford the gas to go 2,000 miles a day. But you're still welcome to visit, as long as you don't complain about my house being cluttered. :-/
Apr. 30th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
I have the soundtrack now so we can put on our own play and bug Jillian! Yes!!!!!
Apr. 30th, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC)
YAY! Don't tell her -- let it be a surprise. *evil grin*
May. 1st, 2006 09:23 pm (UTC)
Oh dear god...
May. 1st, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC)
Let the Torture begin!!!!!!
May. 2nd, 2006 02:03 am (UTC)
Let's all sing along!!!
May. 2nd, 2006 02:03 am (UTC)
Hee hee ....
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May. 1st, 2006 04:46 am (UTC)
They had a blast, we had a blast, the cat almost ended up in a cast ... I'm kind of sorry it's all in the past.
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May. 2nd, 2006 01:34 am (UTC)
May. 1st, 2006 04:51 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing! It looks like a really fun production. I love all the bright colours. And your poem is very very funny! :)
May. 1st, 2006 05:23 am (UTC)
I'm very proud of that poem; I wrote it in one sitting, in the space of less than an hour. I'm sure my Sophomore English Teacher who was a poetry nut woke up screaming, but I thought it was pretty good.

Seussical was all about fun. They went out of their way to make the sets and costumes color splashed, just as you might find in a Dr. Seuss book, and it paid off by the way most of the kids were enraptured through the whole thing.
May. 1st, 2006 08:10 am (UTC)
The photos came out really well, despite having no flash. Looks like a great fun, colourful performance - I'm glad everyone enjoyed it.
May. 1st, 2006 10:00 am (UTC)
The trick to low light photography is good support, holding your breath, being very still ... oh, who am I kidding? It's luck.
May. 6th, 2006 01:03 am (UTC)
Looks like fun! Belated congratulations to your daughter for having a part in the musical.
May. 6th, 2006 08:16 am (UTC)
Thanks -- she had a blast, and so did I. :-)
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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