Sound familiar? Well, if it does, you have probably seen (or even appeared in) Bugsy Malone - that wonderful stage show that has always intended its cast to be 100% children.
So - tonight I saw Bugsby Malone live, at the local school. I was lucky to get in actually, because I didn't have a ticket. Well, long story, but of the three tickets we did have, none of them ended up for me. However, I did get in and I will get to see it tomorrow. Why? How? What canniving did I perform to achieve this end? The answer is limes.
As chair of the PTA, I knew I'd get in - but there's always a price to pay and I had volunteered to help with interval refreshments. So I turned up in good time, was handed a sharp knife and some lemons and limes. Chop chop! Citrus duly sliced, jugs ready for the juice prepared, I sneaked in to the play.
It's quite a complex show to put on for a middle school (age 9-13 ish), but they did fantastically. A simple but effective set for "Fat Sam's" and clever curtain work for intervening scenes and scene changes. The dancing was great, there was live music, but... best of all... was the leading lady, "Blousy".
13, a willowy blonde, Melody looked the part, sang the part, and played the part. Her leading man, her Bugsy, was an ex-boyfriend (in fact, we all think she's rather fond of Dandy Dan), but the team spirit and sense of fun that the cast obviously had just radiated from the stage.
With Blousy's 'Hard headed Bugsy' solo closing the first act, I sneaked out again to go help with pouring the drinks - Elderflower Pressé with sparkling spring water, and fruit juice. We (good old PTA team plus dedicated staff) opened the spring water bottles and were sprayed! No matter how carefully we opened the bottles, the water came flying out. But not as quickly as the very warm crowd from the school hall - over 200 of them! We poured and handed out drinks to proud parents, glowing grandparents and grudgingly admiring siblings.
But you couldn't beat my smile, not a chance. "Your daughter, she's brilliant..." and other such words were said to me many times. Yep - that wonderful Blousy is my daughter, and the pride and love and admiration I feel for her is almost impossible to express. I knew all her lines (having practiced with her for many weeks, I knew quite a few of Bugsy's too), but I'd never heard her sing the songs before tonight. When we got to a song when rehearsing at home she'd just say 'la la laa... another song' and then continue with the dialogue. She has no problem remembering song words.
She is 13 - learning about life, growing and changing almost every day. And the best thing of all is she found it fun. She enjoyed herself - despite start up nerves. She enjoyed it. Well, daughter of two musicians, granddaughter of an actor, great granddaughter of an actress - it's sort of in the blood I guess. But at 13 - I was just amazed at her confidence and ability.
I'm going again tomorrow night (more limes to cut). The emotions will run equally as high I know - I'm really looking forward to it.