Christopher, The Musical
OK, so back in the early 1990's, the church stake I grew up in started a musical about Christopher Columbus. I was lucky enough to be cast in the musical. Now, you should know that pretty much if you were alive, could commit to the rehearsals and promised to behave-you were in the musical! LOL
The first year there was a musical it was performed at some kind of fair or something (help me out guys!! where was it..the Rose Garden festival? or Festival of flowers?...something like that) well, we had long practices and late night rehearsals because we had to practice when the festival or place we performed at was closed. This was soooo much fun! Brother Hail would drive us up to rehearsals and then take us out to Dairy Queen afterward for ice cream. My friends and I spent many nights during that summer making the long drive up to the Stake Center for rehearsal, but we didn't mind one bit! Of course we weren't driving OR paying for gas at the time *wink* LOL!
I don't have any pictures-or at least not ones I can find of this first production. One of the things I remember most though was that in one of the scenes I was suppose to "kiss" Keith Smith during one of the songs. The song said something about fresh breath or something related to that, so the kiss was suppose to relate to the song and be funny. WELL, he was NOT going to kiss me. At first I was pretty much adverse to the idea as well, but seeing his reaction just made me mad. OK, so I was actually hurt at first. What was wrong with kissing me?! LOL well, eventually the kiss was changed to a hug. Not as cute as the kiss would have been, but I guess it worked!
*side story* growing up Keith was dubbed the President of "The Virgin Lips Club"! This was because he somehow managed to make it through high school and quite a bit of college if I remember right without ever kissing a girl!! I know, crazy....but also sweet. :)
Back to The Musical!! So, the first year was lots of fun and set a tradition in motion for summers to come. The next time I was in the Musical it was performed by and on a ship that had been constructed and docked on the riverfront in down town Columbus, OH. VERY COOL! This year there were some changes to the script and another change was the music we had practiced so hard to learn was now pre-recorded and going to be piped through speakers. We still had to sing so those close enough could hear us singing and we didn't just looked like we were mouthing the songs and lip syncing. But....most of us did that anyway! Also added this year was a set group of dancers with special costumes and everything. Oh, you better believe I wanted to be a dancer! So, my friends and I tried out. During the try-outs we had to perform little dance moves and one by one DURING the dance we would be excused/eliminated from the dancers audition group. Well all my friends and I made it in! Then, disaster!! The head dancer "lady" came to me and said that I was actually going to be cut from the list because they only had so many dresses-ALREADY made and the one that would fit me was going to a girl that was coming out with her Dad from UT, who was going to perform the role of Christopher Columbus. Well, to say the least I was devastated.The next practice all my friends flitted off to dance rehearsal while I went to the gym for general rehearsal. How droll. Then, SURPRISE! The dance "lady", her name was Jocelyn, came and said the girl wasn't coming after all and would I still like to be a dancer?....um YEAH!! So, I was once again back in my happy place and no longer hating all my friends for abandoning me to "general rehearsal". Hee HeeThat year was a lot of fun. We got to perform on the river front and use the ship. I can still feel those rehearsals and the excitement of rehearsing and then the jitters of performance nights. I can still feel and remember the sadness as the last performance for that summer ended. I was extremely blessed to have the experiences that I did through out the summers I participated in Christopher.
NEXT! So, the next time I performed in the musical was very interesting. This year they added MALE dancers. WA-HOO! Or so we thought. Well, I got paired up with Frank Scardina. (not sure that's how you spell his last name? oh well) Now, Frank was a member of the amazing group of friends that I was blessed to grow up with. We always gathered at the dances and stake activities, parties at mine and other's houses, snow sledding and LOTS of other fun stuff.
Being Franks dance partner was pretty much a nightmare. Love ya Frank, but you can't dance. The boy has NO rhythm! This was a struggle, of course. What didn't help matters was Frank is a bit of a jokester, one that doesn't always know when to stop. I remember one rehearsal in particular where Frank and I were practicing a lift. He was suppose to lift me up in his arms, in the same fashion as being carried over a threshold of a house. Well, he kept missing the beat and dropping me.Instead of owning up to his dancing inadequacies (you really need to read this with smart sarcasm *wink, wink*) he started blaming me! The tears came when he said I was too heavy for him to lift. Well, that did it. I had had it and I let him have it! The dance instructor called for a brake and tried to talk to us and then our friends stepped in. The guys basically told Frank you just don't say that to a girl and the girls all told me that I was being too sensitive and Frank was just being "Frank". So we made up and in the end the lift worked just fine and we had a blast dancing together! And now this brings me to the last year I performed in Christopher. (or so I think....because my head is starting to swirl and get fuzzy with dates and memories so if anyone reading this can help me out or correct something I've said-PLEASE by all means do! :) We got new dancing costumes for this year and though they were much more comfortable than last years, they made us look 3-5 mo pregnant! Oh me!! Two of the new comers for this year were the new Mission President's kids. We had SO MUCH fun with them! I remember so many runs to Wendy's during these rehearsals. Much of that change was due to the fact that most of us now had driving licenses. Scary-yes.
At some point, maybe during the shows or after the last show all of us girls ended up spending the night in the Mission home. This was a blast! Imagine, a bunch of 16-17 year old girls sleeping in bunk beds that 19-21 year old boys had last slept in!! Now multiply that by like 20 and you're close to where we were that night! We had a blast. In this picture my friend Melissa and I are...well being weird yes and apparently puckering up for the shot. :) So much fun!Another change for this year was that our old Young Woman leader that had played the role of the Queen who gave Christopher the go head on his sailing discoveries in past performances was played this year by my friend Amber Smith. It's time to own up....I was SO jealous! She was a stunning Queen and delivered an amazing performance though. :)
The after parties for this final year for us were GREAT! We were less than mature and took all kinds of silly pictures. My personal favorite is this one where we are making our dresses look more like barmaids outfits than colonial maidens! So, here we have Bishopbric member's daughters, Stake President's daughter, Mission President's daughter, you get the picture....all "takin' it down" for the camera!! LOL Please note the dumb struck faces of the guys in the picture. So typical! But, can you blame them?...look at us! *random memories that just didn't fit in the story: Mark R. had never applied mascara before, phew, and so I helped him get it on each night. It was like putting mascara on Snuffalufugus from Sesame Street!! Longest thickest eyelashes I have EVER seen! We use to play hide and seek during the rehearsals that took place at the stake center when we weren't "rehearsing" at the moment...those were fun! We usually ended up in the room overlooking the gym and watched everyone below. I can't find the picture but one does exist of me fake kissing my best friends boyfriend..or maybe ex at the time (too hard to keep up!) and sent a copy of it to my boyfriend who was serving a mission...LOL! fyi- you put your thumbs over their mouth and kiss your thumbs, that's why it's fake*