Friday, August 13, 2010

Green Room

Just returned from seeing the week-capping show for Jarrah's "Our Little Stars" theater camp.

The show was presented on the basketball court, and introduced by a woman named Miss Stephanie, who then pointed to the woman next to her and said "And this is also Miss Stephanie." This struck me as hilarious for some reason and I laughed a little too loudly.

The two cute, young counselors, Mr. Kyle and Miss Julia, were on hand to walk the stars through their paces. The parents were seated two rows deep at one end of the court, and I snagged a front-row seat.

First, there was a dance number to Justin Bieber's "Baby." I only know that because Mr. Kyle told us so--I wouldn't otherwise recognize Justin Bieber and might in fact have sworn the singer was Hilary Duff or somesuch if pressed. The song is quite long, but the kids danced a full-on hip-hop number to the whole thing, with lots of complicated kicks and shoulder thrusts. It was awkward and slick all at the same time, and completely mesmerizing. I was proud of Jarrah for putting herself in the front row, and she really kept up well. The counselors had passed out hand puppets right before, and Jarrah was the only kid who chose to dance with her puppet on her arm, so it was sort of multi-media.

Then they split into four groups for a series of skits. The first one was performed so far away and so quietly that I couldn't hear a thing. The second one involved a puppet theater in which the puppets did knock-knock jokes: ("Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Britney Spears." "Britney Spears who?" "Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Britney Spears." "Britney Spears who?" "Oops, I said it again.") The last one brought in Mr. Bieber again and included Mr. Kyle and two older girls who were trying to get backstage passes through a series of machinations which included fake mustaches (they got no love.)

The third skit was Jarrah's group, and it was the funniest. It was all about how the puppets were possessed and made their owners act mean. One large boy got a little too method-y on my daughter and whacked her in the head during the fight scene (the rest of the kids were just getting the puppets to fight, but this kid aimed directly for Jarrah's noggin with a resounding THWACK) ["He said sorry," she shrugged afterward. "It's part of the story."] Jarrah had two lines, which she delivered with aplomb and impressive volume. The first one was something like "Uh-oh, our puppets have been taken over by evil aliens!" after which everyone laughed and the people behind me went "Oh, she's soooo cute!" I wanted to to turn around and say "Yeah she is." She also had the final line, something like "Let's be friends and not fight anymore." Way to sell the message, Jarrah!

The final segment was a song they sang all together, for which the counselors had changed the lyrics to the Mickey Mouse Club House theme (they explained.) This was the best because it involved some real acting on Jarrah's part, so much so that she obviously had the entire group fooled. I could tell that she was the youngest (or maybe second youngest--there was a tiny boy who stood shyly in the back whom Jarrah described as "my main man") but she is tall and talks a lot so clearly everyone assumed she could read and she didn't disabuse them of this notion. They passed out lavender sheets with the lyrics and she took one, stood in the front row, and sang from the sheet in a practiced way that exactly mimicked how the older kids were doing it. I tell you, for a second there I was convinced she really COULD read.

I loved how Jarrah was putting on her own show that no one even knew about. Except me. Color me impressed.


Logical Libby said...

You make sitting through one of those performances actually sound fun. Or maybe you just have more talented kids in San Diego...

Caroline said...

Any more, and you're going to have to make Jarrah a fan page on Facebook. She is AWESOME! My main man! He said sorry! Faking the reading. I love your stories about her.

Stephanie said...

Hmmmm, did J have a hand in writing that little skit I wonder? She's gonna have her own 48 hour team in no time!

Jen said...

"my main man" LOL!!!! And that is SO funny about faking she was reading. She's hilarious!