The Grasshopper and the Ants
We did it! We actually pulled it off! I'm talking about the Ward Roadshow. The day of the performance (which was last Tuesday, Nov. 18), I started calling people, well not so much calling as it was more like begging, groveling and threatening. And we had over 10 new people agree to strut their stuff onstage (Do you think it had anything to do with offering protection from speaking in church for 5 years?? I hope not...because I don't have the authority to keep that promise!) Poor Paula Ariola, she got nailed while at Steamrollers. She was just minding her own business, preparing Sunday lesson, and next thing you know she has agreed to be in the roadshow! You are awesome Paula!
The newbies learned their part at 5:00 and performed it at 7:00. That is better impromptu work than Robin Williams! In the end, our cast was impressive...with over 40 participants from ages 4 to 89. I can't believe I'm admitting this...it was fun. And I'm all for doing roadshows again. In 20 years. When Janessa can direct it.
Rhonda Anderton and Debbie Gubler saved the day. They helped me paint the scenery the day before which was a good thing we did, because the other wards had incredible scenery. If we had shown up to our performance without painted scenery, it would have been like showing up for a dance performance in a birthday suit..shockingly bare.
We had many great stories that came out of our roadshow: Blanche, our 89 year old ladybug, made her own costume; Laura LeBaron stole the show after taking over the lead part just days before the performance (and went on to win BEST FEMALE DANCER at the Moroni Awards Night), Thomas Christiansen hopped along on a sprained ankle in true "show must go on" fashion, Bonnie and Leanne wrote incredible music and script (and going on to win BEST INTREPRETATION OF A FABLE), the Anderton family were such great help with all kinds of things like hunting down my car keys that I gave away to someone like a dork, and being present at every single practice; Laura Dutton got all the young women involved to make costumes; Jessica Behunin saved my behind by helping me glitterize the costumes at the final hour; Bruce and Colleen Smith made a clever set easy to assemble and disassemble; Larry, Arthur and Chris LeBaron, the backbone of the show, were faithful and helped with moving scenery over and over again; Andrea LeBaron played mom and actress at the same time...she was so awesome to bring her whole family who did such a great job; Bonnie LeBaron had lively dancing fingers on the keyboard; Janna Gifford who made the most darlingest poster ever (The Grasshopper and the Ants in 3-D!), Paul Thompson and his incredible operatic voice and Marba with her jamming on the keyboard. I had no idea she could play like that!! And all of the fabulous cast who sang with gusto and did a fantastic job.
There is one overarching lesson in all of this: procrastination got the job done! haha.
That's what we get when you ask a working mother in graduate school to head up the roadshow. At least no one's clothes fell off.... oh wait.... uh...ok that's another story!
Jessica Behunin putting glitter on the ant masks 1 hour before show-time!
Cuteness squared. Carter Anderton and Thomas Christiansen
Janessa practicing first time with Bonnie just minutes before the performance
Directing. Still. With just minutes to go until showtime. I'm excited...things are lookin' good!
Fabulous worker ants! Tradition!
Wow...who knew Janessa performed the same thing in 1943!
Narrator: Mother Goose in full disguise so you won't be able to tell who the crazy coot is.
Some of the cast before our 8 pm performance at the Stake Center
Grand Finale: Keep the Girl