Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More Gravy Than Grave

Laura as Jacob Marley

Marley and Scrooge

Laura as Jacob Marley

This happened tonight: Laura as Jacob Marley in the school production of A Christmas Carol. I don't know if anyone has ever played the role with more relish. Certainly no ten year-old girl has. Her Marley was just a little too happy to be wearing the chains he forged in life, and she brought a refreshingly brisk impatience to her exchange with Scrooge. Like, "Okay, dude, lemme break it down for you. You're gonna be visited by three ghosts. No, three besides me. Try to stop talking for a second. This is important." She speaks well, though. And of course I thought she was the best one, NATURALLY.

The whole performance made me think of this David Sedaris piece from Holidays on Ice. 

Although the program listed no director, the apathetic staging suggested the limp, partially paralyzed hand of Sister Mary Elizabeth Bronson, who should have been excommunicated after last season's disastrous Thanksgiving program.


Once again, the sadists at the Jane Snow-Hernandez Middle School have taken up their burning pokers in an attempt to prod A Christmas Carol into some form of submission. I might have overlooked the shoddy production values and dry, leaden pacing, but these are sixth-graders we're talking about and they should have known better.

Laura asked us what our favorite part of the play was, and I told her it was when she first said, "SCROOGE!" from offstage. It was startling! And then she was clinking her chains. Jacob Marley gets a fine entrance.

She wore a pirate shirt from my old Halloween costume, a Mrs. Claus wig we bought at Party City today, and some dog chain my dad procured from the hardware store. She also gave great thought to the single, torn sock she wore. She wondered whether to rip the toe entirely off or leave it dangling. She decided that partially attached was more suitable to her vision of the character.

The girl doesn't have a nervous bone in her body. After the curtain calls, another mom came up to me and said, "If you could just get the child out of her shell a little." And Matt was like, "She's related to me how?"

Hank needed to tell how, at school today, they acted out the first Christmas in Chapel, and he got to be one of the Wise Men, the one with the gold, and there was no gold in the box but they pretended, and he got to wear a purple shirt and a purple sash, and it was very exciting because another Wise Man was the darling Annabelle, whom he loves.

So neither child is hiding any lights under bushels.

I hope you are all feeling festive out there.


Aimee said...

I so love A Christmas Carol! Good for her; I have never been comfortable as a solo act on stage...lines? No, thank you! Again, good for her. What fun it must have been to watch!

More gravy than grave - one of my favorite lines, in anything, ever. Especially as spoken by Sir Patrick Stewart. Le sigh.

Elizabeth said...

Adorable. You and Matt have done good. (and while I read this, I was listening to Mindy Gledhill, that Mormon chanteuse extraordinaire)

Amy said...

Love it! Go, Laura! She looks too pretty to be Marley, tho. Her get-up and makeup isn't too far from what one might see at Fashion Week. You know, like, from Proenza Schouler or something.

Of COURSE she was the best one. That girl's got moxie!

Amy said...

Also, I was *just* thinking of that David Sedaris piece. It's pretty much the funniest thing ever.

Star said...

Cosmos bless them, that they are able to keep their lights shining bright, and bushels at bay, for ever and ever, Amen.

Amy said...

Great review. I felt like I was there, hearing her 'SCROOGE!' And Matt's comment... I get that, being married to a pure cliche of an engineer/geek type.

Now, about Annabelle. Does Kira need to be worried? ;)

Lisa Lilienthal said...

So proud!

Elle said...

Excellent! And when they memorize something to project it out, blurting, in front of an audience? So good for them!

I agree with yr sis, she is a little runway-glam in her Marley duds. I hope you got a million great snapshots! xo

Veronica said...

I love Matt's comment. And, in response to Elle's comment on how good it is to memorize -- look for Billy Collins's article "The Companionship of a Poem" in the archives of the Chronicle of Higher Ed.

Kelly said...

I really hope you filmed this! I would love to see her performance!

gretchen said...

Clearly, they both have the bug. She is definitely the prettiest Jacob Marley EVER. Laura's performance reminds me very much of my own performance as Benjamin Franklin in my 7th Grade production of "1776". If either of your children end up making their way to Hollywood searching for their big break, I promise to allow them to do their laundry at my house, and feed them an occasional meal. Sigh.