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Cinderella in Detroit

If I haven't mentioned it before, and I'm pretty sure that I have, our family has a great love for the stage. Shortly before Calvin was born I made an acquaintance who was very involved in children's theater and went to a performance of Charlotte's Web in order to see her perform. At the time she had a three month old waiting for her backstage, and my infant was about three months from making his own debut, but I was already sold on the idea of great children's theater. Calvin went to his first real show just a few years later and sat in rapt attention through the entire performance of fairy tales and legends done by Wild Swan, our award winning local children's theater group. He loved it, and we got season tickets for years after.

Even today we still go see some of Wild Swan's shows for older kids, but children's theater was really just a gateway drug. When Calvin was only five we went with friends to see the traveling Broadway performance of Mary Poppins. That went so well that we tried him out on Pirates of Penzance at the Stratford Festival that same fall.  A few shows in he started performing himself, first with his homeschooling group, then in camps, then, coming full circle, in a children's chorus for a Wild Swan show itself. It's a true love affair, not due necessarily to any strong aptitude, but to a great depth of enjoyment. 

I mention all this for two reasons. First, because a few weeks ago Calvin decided to audition for a coveted spot in a local children's performing troupe for the production of the musical Tarzan, and he won a place in the mid level chorus. The process required a full resume with head shot to be turned in at the audition where he was interviewed and put to the test for recitation, vocals, and dance choreography. I was nervous for him. I think it was the resume with head shot that made it clear how next level up this really was. Calvin was pretty easy about the whole thing, which might have been his saving grace. We'll never know. But the next few months in our house will be all Tarzan all the time.

The second reason I mention all this stagey stuff is because this weekend we went with our close friends (also known as our camping friends) to see the Broadway travelling performance of Cinderella in Detroit, almost four years to the day after we went with them to see Mary Poppins. It was a great show—a really surprisingly fresh and hilariously updated show with amazing costumes and perfect one-liners. It was a great show, plus it was a nice break from Tarzan.

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