Tag Archives: supporting the arts

Time to talk about putting pain aside and thinking pink, my darlings

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I was asked by my old employer, for whom I do some stringing, to cover the local community theater’s production of “Pinkalicious: The Musical” Friday night.  And boy, am I glad I did. It’s not so much for the money I make for providing a story and picture page for the paper, although a few extra bucks are always welcome.

Instead, it’s the wonderful boost my spirits received from watching 14 of our most talented youngsters and young adults sing, dance and act up a storm in this sweet, funny production, based on the popular children’s book by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann.  For a couple of precious hours, I was able to chuckle, giggle and snicker as I snapped away, forgetting about the pain in my wrist, back and various other assorted and sundry parts of my body.  That, boys and girls, was NICE.

 

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I’ve watched some of the kids in the cast for years now, performing with the Greenville Area Arts Council’s Ritz Players for the organization’s annual musical fundraisers, playing piano and dancing in local recitals and acting in their respective schools’ plays. The arts are dear to my heart and have been for most of my life. I love being able to attend the performances (and in some cases, videotape them). I really enjoy the opportunity to encourage the young performers as well as the chance to spotlight them in our local media and in social media.

And, honestly, some of them are like family to me. The young lady who performed the lead role of “Pinkalicious” is the niece of my best friend in high school, someone I used to hang out with in the school’s pep club, sometimes spending the night at her home near Greenville during football season. My old friend is the Spanish teacher at our alma mater now; it’s always a hug and a “Hola, amiga” when we see each other, as we did Friday night. And another niece, daughter of one of Old Friend’s older sisters, is the mom of two of the little boys appearing in the cast.

As for the talented Abbie,  I started taking her photo several years ago for the newspaper when she started performing with the Ritz Players. From the first time I saw her in rehearsals, I thought, this child has “it”–that elusive quality that makes a particular performer stand out. She also studies dance with Miss Sonya and aspires to a career on Broadway one day. I hope those dreams can come true for her.

 

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The show was simply delightful. Pinkalicious Pinkerton loves pink–and pink cupcakes–so much, she always wants just ONE more . . . she even dreams in pink. And lo and behold, one day she wakes up pink from head to toe! She’s come down with a serious case of Pinktitis, which can only be cured by avoiding pink and consuming lots of green foods . . . otherwise, she will end up (literally) seeing RED! Soon she’s being plagued by bees, birds and butterflies, who think she’s a flower, and fighting with her BFF Alison. What’s Pinkalicious to do?

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My Old Friend’s adorable grand-nephew as the world’s cutest bee.

Fortunately, with the help of her little brother Peter, Pinkalicious is able to return to normal and learns some valuable lessons–a little pink can go a long way, and green foods can actually be good–not just good for you! The whole family learns to celebrate pink–a color that emphasizes love, happiness and joy.  And yes, BOYS can love pink, too.

 

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After the show, I snapped more photos and took the time to congratulate as many of the cast members as I could for a job well done. I saw Abbie with a group of young admirers quickly growing around her. Miss Congeniality at her school, Abbie was more than happy to sign autographs, pose for photos and even pucker up to press lip prints to the pink programs. It was really sweet and endearing to see the happy faces of those little girls.

 

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Hmmmm, sort of reminded me of someone else.
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Richard making our friend Valentina very happy. ❤

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In fact, I think Richard would be a great role model for young performers like Abbie–how to behave like a class act both on and off stage. ❤

Butterflies and Breaking Legs: Gearing Up for the Big Show

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All stills are from the dress rehearsal of “Putting on the Ritz,” our arts council’s annual musical fundraiser.  Originally conceived as a one-time event to celebrate the 80th birthday of the grande dame of our arts program, the event evolved into a spring showcase of our homegrown talent and a way to raise monies to bring professional performers to our little hometown. I am proud to say our town of less than 8,000 has one of the most active and thriving arts councils in the state.

I am exhausted and in pain and excited and nervous and eager all at the same time. I can only imagine the dozens of folks taking part in the show tonight and the next two nights are feeling somewhat the same way (except I hope the exhaustion and pain isn’t there!).  I know the director has butterflies in her tummy and so do I.

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We were up in the middle of the night–well, I’d never gone to bed and Benny hadn’t had a lot of sleep–watching the finished DVD.

We got nervous when it appeared that might be a problem with the sound, with Benny departing to watch the other copy on the other flat screen, but happily it appeared to be nothing more than a problem with my DVD player/TV connection *phew*

Benny had added an “old timey” look to a portion of the video, which worked beautifully, and the colors of the costumes were dazzling in the other footage. His close-up work shot at Monday night’s dress rehearsal was edited into  last night’s footage and really gives the video something extra the audience won’t get watching in the auditorium.

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I made a DVD sale sign in Photoshop using a red theatrical curtain backdrop I found for free online and we’ll display it on my table tonight, along with Benny’s tablet, loaded with the intro featuring more of my stills incorporated into an “American Idol” type of opening with a cheering crowd and lots of glitz.  And, of course, we will have copies of the souvenir DVDS . . . may they all sell this week and there be a demand for more, more, more.  *crosses fingers and toes*

We’ve put a lot of work into this; the folks appearing on stage, in the band and behind the scenes have worked even harder and longer, however. None are professional performers. We’ve got elementary and high school students, teachers, a city/county librarian, a newspaper editor, two judges, a lawyer,  juvenile probation officer, retail sales manager and more–a true cross-section of the community.

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They have jobs and families, homework and housework, church and social obligations, and they still devoted many nights of rehearsal learning songs and practicing dance steps. Numerous hours were set aside to design and make costumes, to build and paint the stage backdrops and create props.  It’s a labor of love, a labor for the arts. I hope we have full houses all three nights to cheer them all on!

(And OK, I wouldn’t mind selling a few extra DVDs. 😉 Hey, it’s my business now, right?)

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“Let’s raise the roof and have some fun . . .”  My former co-worker and editor, Kevin, who is now the city/county librarian, channeling his inner Lionel Richie for “All Night Long” number. Another former co-worker, now editor at a sister publication, is keyboardist for the show (and also plays the trumpet).  I have lots of talented friends, come to think of it . . . 😉