Monday, June 3, 2013

"The Fabulous Flying Car"

Tessa had the opportunity in May to participate in her dance studio's production of "The Fabulous Flying Car" --which is a shorter adaptation of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Her rehearsals started a few months before. Here is Tessa with a couple of her dance buddies, Liam and Alyssa, at rehearsal:
The week of the show (last year we did Peter Pan) is a crazy week devoted to the theatre. Tessa had long rehearsals every night, so we were back and forth and all over the place. But it's fun! Cole didn't mind going to the "feater" every night and was pretty upset that he didn't have a costume so he could perform as well.
I felt much more comfortable coming and going this year from rehearsals and found myself very grateful to have Tessa taking part in a dance studio where we feel comfortable with the teachers, parents, kids, and quality of instruction and performances.
Here is my beautiful clown:

 And her cutest clown buddies:
 Alyssa and Tessa:
 Tessa had three costumes in the show this year, which was pretty exciting and grown up for her. She was a clown in the circus portion of the show, a townsperson passing during the "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" song, and then she was a sad hidden away child in the Hushabye part of the show, complete with knickers and a newsboy hat.
Here she is after the show in her townsperson costume with Cole after her first show (there were two). As much as Tessa enjoys the excitement of being onstage and performing with friends (and wearing makeup), the FLOWERS were apparently the most important thing. All week long she'd say things like, "I can't believe I'm going to get flowers for my show."
That's a dream we can make come true:
 We got a babysitter for Paige and took Cole to the show with us. He loved it and had so much fun going to watch it with Mom and Dad. We're still hearing him singing the songs from the show at home.
 In her performing and floral glory:
A funny story:
During one of the dress rehearsals, I was in the audience watching them go through the "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" song. Tessa had on the costume she's wearing in the above photo for the first time, and I was glad to see she fit right in with the clothes we'd found, altered, and dyed for her. (Hooray for thrift shops!) In this scene, the Potts family and Truly Scrumptious are driving their new fixed up Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car. Clearly, the car wasn't going to really drive on stage, so instead the director had the car facing sideways with the scenery moving stage right to left to create the illusion of movement. Dancers walked/skipped/strolled on backward as different townspeople waving as the car "passed by." Tessa held hands with two bigger girls for her part --they went across the stage twice in the course of the song. The cast went through the complete song once. Ms. Teri, the director, wasn't happy with it. Cole and Paige in the audience with me were happy with it, but they aren't as picky. Ms. Teri called for a repeat.
I watched for Tessa's first walk on, and her skirt was missing as she waved at the Truly and Potts in the car. Little Miss was wearing her shirt and black tights. Ms. Teri absentmindedly called back into the dark theatre, "Tessa's dress is too short!"
My immediate mental response was, "Well, that's because it's not a dress. She's not wearing bottoms."
What in the world?! I knew the skirt wasn't too big because I'd altered it to fit, so there was no way it just fell off. My Skirtless Wonder went through her second pass through on stage, and I couldn't help it. I ran up backstage to ask one of the assistants, Ms. Betty, where Tessa's skirt had gone. She affirmed that, yes, Tessa had a skirt, but after the first time through, she got a little excited and ran like the wind for the next costume change. Then when she was told to get on the stage immediately for another run through, she obeyed and left her skirt on the floor of the dressing room. Ms. Betty and I had a great laugh over how the "show must go on" even in tights and panties, and I made sure to talk through with Tessa later about staying with her group and focusing on what is going on, rather than speeding through things.

Tessa was actually pretty responsible about her parts considering she's six and had so many costume changes and entrances and exits to worry about. I attribute that to good teaching/rehearsals, but also to Tessa for soaking it all in and being a good cast member.
Another great spring show, PDT! I'm grateful Tessa can have these experiences. It was tiring, but a lot of fun for us all.

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