Thank You Shrek and Pinocchio

That’s it, folks. The curtain is closed, the stage is dark, and another successful musical theatre production is only but a memory. But WHAT a memory!

A year ago when we went to see the touring production of Shrek the Musical little did I know what the following months would bring. David said back then that he wanted the part of Shrek, but my goodness, what a part…Shrek is on stage for all but about 15 minutes of the 2 and a half hour show! And he has MANY powerful songs to sing. What else can a mom do, but support her son and say “GO FOR IT!”?

Matthew, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure. He wanted to be in the show but didn’t want the attention that a speaking and singing part would bring. However, the choreographer and directors had other things in mind. They wanted Pinocchio to break dance and Matt is a break dancer. He had to step up and find the confidence he lacked to bring Pinocchio to life.

I will be forever grateful to Willis Taylor (artistic director) and Allen Reynolds (musical director) who had enough faith in my boys to entrust their production to my boys’ acting, singing, dancing and leadership abilities. The opportunities that Willis and Allen gave my boys have helped them develop into the wonderful young men they are today. Yes, I think my boys are wonderful! I’m biased and I am ok with that. 😉

I even brought Shrek the Musical into my classroom. My students and I read every fairy tale associated with the show. We created portraits of all of the characters in Shrek the Musical. We learned about character, plot, setting, problems in storylines and resolutions for happy ever afters. We had a Fairy Tale Day and created a Fairy Tale Museum. I even had David and Matthew visit the school to explain the audition and rehearsal process to prepare the students for seeing the musical. My entire school dressed in green and went to the Abby Arts Center to see the show. My students made Shrek ears and tiaras to wear in the audience. My students were just as excited about the show as I was! My students even wrote thank you letters to the cast after we returned from the performance.  We immersed ourselves in the world of Shrek, Donkey, Fiona and Lord Farquaad and loved every minute of it.

I saw Shrek the Musical from the audience three times and from backstage five times. The boys and I even joked that I could step in to play a part if one of the actors was sick, I knew the show so well.  I helped out wherever I could: doing make-up, doing hair, removing green make-up (it took 1.5 hours for the make-up artist to get him into the make-up, 30 minutes for FOUR of us to take it off), washing costumes soiled with stage make-up, and just being available wherever needed…even kneeling in the orchestra pit when one of the performers had stage fright. I didn’t want to be in the way (as some stage moms can be), but wanted to be as supportive as possible. Being there for my boys, their friends and their production made for an exhausting two weeks, as I tried to keep up with university work, school work and everything else life usually entails (thanks to Shawn for keeping the house running!) but I would not have missed the experience for anything.

I appreciate being able to show my boys that I am behind them 100%, not only in words, but in actions: being a cheerleader, encourager, and sometime butt-kicker when energy and emotion was running low. These memories we created will always have a special place in my heart.

David, you were unbelievable! I was blown away by how you KILLED every single performance. You owned that stage! The way you and your buddy Zach played Shrek and Donkey is a memory I will cherish forever. I could not think of a better way for you two to end your high school acting careers.P1090393

Matthew, I am so proud of how you overcame your hesitation for taking on the role of Pinocchio! Your voice was hilarious, your dancing was awesome, and your comedic timing was impeccable. I am so glad that Mr. Taylor and Mr. Reynolds saw your talent and gave you this opportunity.

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Thank you, David and Matthew, for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful journey with you. Thank you for wanting me to be there. Thank you for all the hugs. I love you and I am blessed to be your mom!

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