this week I love :: One Enchanted Evening
I know it’s cheesy but you’ll just have to forgive me for today’s title pun. It’s impossible to see South Pacific without singing “Some Enchanted Evening” for hours afterward! And that’s just what I did last night as my family attended the preview performance of Kiwi’s stage debut with her college theatre group. Although she is a true performer and has dreams of an acting career, Kiwi never intended to jump in right away. She especially never considered doing so at the county college where she finds herself. But one letter from a high school instructor earned her a scholarship into the drama program. With the first production being a classic musical, Kiwi also learned that she has a bit of vocal talent in addition to her gifts of dance and dramatic expression. She saw all those pieces fall into place this past month and threw herself into musical theatre as she embraced her new world.
Last night we were able to support our girl as she embodied a Navy nurse living it up in the South Pacific during World War II. Though her role was often used to transition scenes and carry attention across the stage, she truly lit up every scene she was in. With her broad expressions and gorgeous fluttering eyes, not to mention a fantastic Victory Roll hairstyle, Kiwi drew attention whenever she entered a scene. (I’m biased, but I think many others would agree!) She also led the chorus in dance numbers and debuted her singing voice in two short segments that did not require all eyes on her. Judging by her bright smile during the curtain call, I think she loved every minute of it!
The production itself was well-done and quite enjoyable. It was beautifully lit, conveying emotion through color and shadow even when the actors said very little, and I was particularly impressed with the set design and the transitions between scenes. The lead actor, Blake Rice, was also practically perfect with his rich singing voice elevating the entire musical. Though his leading lady was not his equal in song, she often captivated with her dramatic performance. The remainder of the cast provided laughs and lightness as a cohesive unit so that the action moved well. I expect the next two weekends will see the cast excel and the production tighten. Last night’s first performance was full of promise, and the team’s hard work was evident. I’m excited to return at the end of the run to see how much they’ve grown!
One last note: My favorite behind-the-scenes tidbit of the night came courtesy of a prop. The dog tags worn by the cast were actually “rejects” obtained by the drama department because of the crazy wording imprinted on them. One of Kiwi’s read: “A Positive Jewish.” Best ever!