I have a million other things that I should be doing in this very moment, like vacuuming or making my lunch for tomorrow or planning tomorrow’s lessons or grading or practicing the piano. But while I was practicing the piano, the magnitude of what will happen in two weeks laid me out flat, took away my breath and created minor sobs.
The musical opens March 2, and tonight I’ve spent the past hour going through the keyboard book and the cello book, trying to figure out when I need to be playing the piano and when I need to play a cello patch, a harp patch, a calliope patch, a xylophone patch, etc. etc. ad nauseum ad infinitum.
As I played a couple of the songs, I burst into tears–partly because the orchestration is just that beautiful. Have you ever heard a piece of music that inexplicably made you cry? This summer when I saw Rhapsody in Blue performed live for the first time in my life, I was in tears. I’ve heard that music a million times, but something about hearing it live, seeing an orchestra perform it, shook my soul in the best possible way.
Occasionally, the lyrics in this show also get to me–Music Man never made me cry. Neither did Into the Woods. Big Fish? I will likely be a soggy mess on the last night.
I took a break from practicing to change my laundry, and thought about what will happen March 2, and simply put, I was awestruck.
About 40 teenagers are going to perform a musical.
They will sing, dance, act, play music, change costumes, switch sets, manage lights and create special effects. They have been doing this in three- or four-hour chunks of time–after sitting in classes all day–and they come in on weekends to build props and sew costumes.
They started this in January.
And two months later, they will perform a musical.
Isn’t that something? I mean, really. Stop and think about it–isn’t that absolutely something–a group of amateur students (who we expect to be professionals, from the pit to the crew to the cast) after two months of rehearsals, will perform a musical. Four times.
I googled how long it takes for a typical broadway show to be up and running, assuming it’s an existing work that isn’t being workshopped.
A standard day is 8 hours. Musicals usually rehearse every day. They don’t go to school and then rehearse–rehearsing IS their job.
So if you happen upon your local high school’s production of Fiddler on the Roof or Seussical or, ahem, Big Fish, remember that the people performing are a) teens and b) did this in addition to school and work.
Isn’t that just amazing, when you stop and think about it?