"She stole the show!"
"She was amazing!"
"You are not going to believe how good she is!"
And those were unsolicited. I swear. But she really was good as the genie in the Christ the King 7th Grade production of "Aladdin." Directed by the incredible Mrs. Donna Aragon, the play was, well, it was a small school production. But it was pretty awesome.
Jeff captured great video. We're trying to figure out the best way to reproduce it for some of the parents who've already asked for it.
Among the best parts were having Jenna, Aunts Debbie and Donna and cousin Rebecca in the audience. The out-of-towners had to drive -- on a school/work night -- for the 7 p.m. show, and Jenna stayed up way later than her normal bedtime. (Thanks, Amer!)
Another great part was seeing the playbill, which included a thank you to Jenna, who'd loaned her family's strobe light to make the magical scenes more magical. Jenna had gone with Ali and me on the Saturday before the Wednesday play. We didn't do much. Beth Christoff, Annmarie Phelps, the Kaciuses, J'netta Crawford and Chris Williams had done a ton more. Everyone contributed. But Mrs. Aragon took the time to remember Jenna -- not even a CKS student. That's why we love CKS. It's just a really good place to be.
All the kids did a great job. Hair and makeup was superb, thanks to Mary of David & Mary, grandparents of harem girl, Madison Miller. At one point I started to thank David even thought I'd witnessed Mary and some helpers doing the actual work. "Oh, I didn't do anything," he said.
"I know, but it's what you're supposed to say," I said, grinning. David and Mary are way fun.
Anyway, the play was great and Alison is still singing and dancing around. If it's not the Wicked soundtrack going, it's Aladdin.
"Mom, do you think I have what it takes to be an actress?" she asked me.
I reminded her that "Penny" from "The Big Bang Theory" is still a waitress at The Cheesecake Factory.
"Uh, Mom. That's a TV show and the real Penny HAS a job. Acting," Alison responded.
Damn. I thought. "She's good." (That's a line from the play. I just cracked myself up.)
But we'll explore the Children's Acting Theatre here in town. Our friend Hannah Ogden is a veteran there and Ali and I have been to a few of her shows. It's worth exploring if only for the amazing jolt of confidence it's given her.
I'm not the only one to notice it. Her third grade teacher (one of her all-time favorites) sent me an email the next day saying how she couldn't believe her little pupil who was afraid to give a speech in class had offered up such a show-stopping performance.
At four, Ali wanted to be a paleontologist. She could even spell it. I bought her (as did her grandparents) a horde of rubber dinosaurs. She built a dinosaur hotel and later had a dinosaur section of her McGroo zoo that took up most of the family room floor for a few weeks.
Lately she's wanted to be a baker and we've survived untold dozens of actually very good cupcakes, macaroons and cookies. (I'll just not mention our tiramisu attempts.)