Cough Drops, Combs and Compression Shorts…Tales of a 10th Grade Stage Mom

Wow – April 30th – where has my spring semester gone?!  There was a hint of potentially big “ancient”  news Tuesday, but truthfully, my brain is far to fried to actually process it.  I will eventually have some further reflection about Yaël Farber, Richard Armitage and Sophocles, but 5 classes in progress, 2 classes to prep for next session, with a week to go before finals precludes me at the moment (pre-confession…I haven’t found time to watch The Crucible stream yet…or fiddle with the download, so another reason to postpone…) 

Additionally, Showbiz Son has kept me hopping this term…January through March were rehearsals for the high school theatre production of Annie.  In addition to a heap of ensemble parts…a bum (that’s a vagrant on this side of the pond), a butler, and a chef, Showbiz had a feature role and vocal solo as the radio announcer Bert Healy.

"You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile"  or your goldenrod zoot suit and Boylan Sisters backup.

“You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” or your goldenrod zoot suit and Boylan Sisters backup!

That production added about 2000 miles of back and forth to my van and a new term to my vocabulary:  Compression Shorts.  As it turns out, these little spandex and Lycra lovelies are essential to the quick costume change.  Showbiz had 5 costume changes in the production…down to skivvies for each one, and apparently the trousers stick on regular boxers jamming up the whole process.

An actual text conversation about underwear...

An actual text conversation about underwear…

Stage Mom (and Target) to the rescue…”pants” delivered in plenty of time for his “Call Time”  (Does this make anyone else wonder if Margaret Armitage was transporting Lycra unmentionables to another budding thespian once upon a time?)  Speaking of ‘unmentionables,’ another new nugget I learned in this production?  Completely co-ed dressing room space for all…

Me:  You all strip down to underwear in the same un-curtained room?

Showbiz:  Yeah.  Nobody cares…we’re all to self absorbed to notice anyone else anyway.

*shrugs* Alrighty then…moving right along.  Back in February, Showbiz participated in the regional Solo and Ensemble Event with 5 vocal entries – qualifying for the state event for all of them despite having been sick with the flu for the entire week before the event.  Stage Mom came prepared with a giant bag of cough drops which helped a little.  The joke of the day was that he would deny my very existence if I ever came at him with a comb in public the way that I described the mother of one of his friends do to her cringing kid in a 3/4 full auditorium.  Seriously?  Can’t just tell the kid to fix his hair before he performs again??  They’re 16 not 6.  In any case, the state festival was this past weekend and Showbiz KILLED it, earning top scores in each of his events…even the duet where they had to compensate on the fly and sing their piece a full step lower than usual…how low can you go Bari-tenor? 

While we were standing in the hall waiting to go in for his first piece, I busted a big back pocket comb out of my bag and offered to tidy his hair…he declined with an icy glance and dismissed me to dutifully follow him into the room.  This one was my favorite piece of the day.


I wasn’t familiar with this poem, but it is lovely…(I may be slightly partial to the vocal version though.   🙂   )  

We’ve now moved on to rehearsals for the summer production of Hands on a Hardbody…Showbiz will be appearing in the role of “Mike” that’s it…”Mike.” in this Tony nominated musical based on a documentary of the same name.

I'm told there will be an actual truck there for the performances...

I’m told there will be an actual truck there for the performances…

I’m currently killing some time in my office rather than going home and then running back out to pick the kid up from rehearsal at 9pm.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say that sometimes the constant running around…Rehearsal, fittings, costumes, makeup, voice lessons, food, food, food (he’s that six footer laid out on the floor…it takes a lot of fuel to keep that machine running), but the pride I feel as he hits and surpasses each milestone makes it all worthwhile…so does the grin on his face in that picture!  (If I ponder it for long, I find myself wondering how many amateur – and now professional – production cast photos decorate a mantle in Leicester.)

Just in case you were wondering where Mini Me is in this musical menagerie…she came home this week with paperwork from school…she’s decided to take up the cello!

And the night shall be filled with music….

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Day Is Done

9 comments on “Cough Drops, Combs and Compression Shorts…Tales of a 10th Grade Stage Mom

  1. Servetus says:

    Beautiful song, beautifully song!

  2. jholland says:

    And I thought I was busy juggling climbing club, gymnastics and ballet! LOL. The song was lovely. LOL at the icy look.

    • obscura says:

      It should get marginally better if he ever gets his driver’s license…he might be the only 16 year old I’ve met who’s in no particular hurry to drive, then again, he has a car service 😉

      He could freeze magma with that look!

      • katie70 says:

        No you don’t have the only sixteen year old boy in no hurry to get their drivers license and mine really could care less about the whole driving thing. He will be going on May 18th I made the appointment. He needs the license to drive the golf cart at his cousin’s wedding, to take guest’s to the lake side wedding at the resort the cousin’s getting married at, in June. It is need for insurance reasons by the resort. He will be doing this with another cousin so they should have fun. Good job by your son and good luck with Mini Me and the Cello. Not in a hurry to drive sixteen year old played the violin and trumpet, son3 played the viola and mom missing hearing them practice.

  3. Perry says:

    Congrats to you and Showbiz on his great result in the state competition. The song is wonderful – he has such great diction aside from his terrific voice. The day may be done for Longfellow, but it sounds like yours is still running, at least at the time of your post.

    • obscura says:

      Just got home…

      They do an exceptionally good job fostering the musically inclined at his high school. It helps that the musical community is relatively small…his teachers at school know his outside vocal coach well, so they coordinate their efforts to cover more ground. I found it interesting that the judge for this piece (they all have their buttons) keyed in on his body positioning and mentioned the Alexander Technique which I’d heard of in an Armitage context somewhere along the way..small world 🙂

  4. Hariclea says:

    wonderful 🙂 and you’re holding up well as showbiz mom, will need to send you some vitamins soon though if your kids talents keep increasing like this. How mini- you will enjoy the cello :-))
    Oh, when Showbiz lands on Broadway i want tickets! :-)))

    • obscura says:

      I really love the cello, so I hope she doesn’t change her mind between now and September and cave to the lure of the flute!

      I have to admit that the showbiz schedule is running me a bit ragged – (I’d be a complete zombie if my mom and dad didn’t help with a lot of the running) Auditions for GREASE are coming up in May – I’m really bummed that I’m going to miss that one as I’ll be on the left coast 😦

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