Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Middle School Matinee

We used our final dress rehearsal today to do a matinee for the middle school, which, with a row of chairs set up along the back for the teachers, filled the house.

Adding an audience is always fun.  I enjoy finally not having to be the one to provide all of the appreciatory audience noises, although I did have to produce more than my fair share of clapping.  I skipped the pre-show welcome/instructions, having forgotten that the vast majority of mountain town kids haven't been to a play before, let alone a musical.  I had to start the clapping after every song, and even with my prompting only about 1/3 of the kids joined in while the rest kept looking around to see where the crazy person in the audience was.

I do love seeing other people's reactions to a play though.  There are so many parts that I forget are funny by the 150th time I've seen them, and the audience never fails to surprise me with their reactions.  For example, at the end of the narrator's lengthy wrapping-up speech (which I am usually just glad is over because I've always found it to be awkwardly written) the narrator says, "And even though I've lost touch with so many people over the years, I'll always have the memories here, in my heart."  And the audience "awwed"!  They "awwed" even more than they did when the main kid finally got his date to the prom!

Middle Schoolers!  What sappy emotional beings you are.

Also fun was watching the conception of crushes.  From Chris' physical antics to Ezra's facial expressions to Rebecca's dancing to Angelina's prom dress, I could pinpoint the exact moment when pockets of kids in the audience suddenly became devoted fans of certain members of my cast.  Do you remember how old and mature and occasionally dreamy those high schoolers were to your seventh-grade self?  I do.

Oh yes, the audience was into the show, but they were not as reactive as I would have liked.  The teachers on the other hand, they loved the show.  Every reference, every song got a strong reaction - guffaws, elbows to the neighbors, strongly confirming head nods, whispers of "It's 'Total Eclipse of the Heart'!" and such.  I can't wait to see how it goes when the audience is packed full of people who actually remember the 80's.

Speaking of which:

Link (via Neatorama)

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to braid my hair. Even the band dressed up in 80's costumes for the show.  Melody, our piano player, came as an outstanding Cyndi Lauper while Jesse rocked the Bruce Springsteen look.  By the time the show started, my hair felt entirely too flat. Time to crimp!

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