Sunday, November 20, 2011

Five down, twenty to go

The little monster himself in the Oregonian
Frankenstein: The Little Monster opened on Friday night, and today they completed their fifth performance. After a month of rehearsals five days a week, Kieran was delighted to transition from rehearsal to the real thing. Seeing him up on stage on Friday night was so bizarre...I never would have been able to do anything like that at age 8!

My only experience with theater as a child was when I was 5...before I even began elementary school, I attended some kind of summer theater class at Beaverton High School. (Now it's hard to imagine dropping off a kindergartener at a huge high school and expecting her to find her way to the classroom and participate with all those older kids, but things were different in 1969.) I remember that the class was going to act out "Alice in Wonderland" and insisted that I should play the part of a baby. I was so disgusted by this that I think I might have dropped out of the class! (I don't have clear memories of it.)

But enough of me. I didn't have the confidence or self-assurance that Kieran does. He doesn't get nervous at all before going up on stage (or at least he doesn't admit to getting nervous).
Nick in the lobby before the show

Hamming with a hand
Over the weekend, Kieran's performance got better and better. The first night I think he was a little starstruck by the audience and the "real theater" thing. As the weekend went on, he seemed to become more focused and comfortable with his role. He has to do a lot of screaming, jumping, and running around, and frankly it looks exhausting! (And it's hard to sing while you're running.)

After the show on opening night

With some of the cast and a few admirers

With his stage dad, Dr. Frankenstein

With me

With his friend Kayra, who came to the show with her family
Chris missed opening night because he played at the (rainy) Jesuit playoff game, so on Saturday afternoon he saw the play for the first time. After Saturday's performances, we went out to the wonderful Dick's Kitchen to celebrate.

Mike with a facepainted Nick

The little actor
Although this show is a huge commitment for his very first professional theater debut (5 weeks of 25 performances), especially given his young age, it's proving to be a great learning experience. He's learning a lot about how to stay in character, avoid "schmacting," and concentrate...something that he wasn't really getting in the theater classes he was taking. As much as I'm proud of him for being up on stage and doing his thing, I'm also proud of the way he's accepting feedback on his acting and applying it to his craft. And he has his first theater review--he's playing the role "with verve." Not bad for a first review!

I'm glad it's such a truly fun show and we don't mind seeing it again and again and again and again--I'm also glad it's free so we can do so. Mike took Kieran today and Nick and I were planning to stay home, but Nick wanted to see the show off we went for the second performance. He's enjoying seeing his big brother on stage and knows all the words to the songs. The music, written by Greg Paul, is very fun and clever, and the play is full of jokes and fun. I've enjoyed watching the script come alive on stage.

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