Sunday, April 14, 2013

I Dreamed a Dream in Time Gone By

I like to think that I'm old and cynical. But in reality, I'm still blown away by amazing things every day. I just don't like to tell anyone - it ruins my vibe.

But today I just can't help myself. Today Betty and I went to a school performance of Les Mis at the Dunham School, where Betty used to teach Kindergarten. And I'll be honest, I am in shock at how great it was.

Betty taught many of the kids who were in the performance. The kids from her first class are now in high school, and her last class is in fifth grade. She wanted to see them perform, and I wanted to make her happy, so I went with her.

I had never seen Les Mis or read the book by Victor Hugo. The latest theatrical release of Les Mis is on my NetFlix queue. But I sort of knew what it was about: France, independence and prostitutes. That's what most movies about France are about, right?

I don't know if kids have always been this talented, and maybe I hadn't noticed because I've been too busy watching Futurama and Archer on NetFlix, but these kids had some serious talent. They weren't shy, they didn't smile at their parents in the audience - they were all in. I thought I was watching a Broadway play.

It was fun learning about the students in the play as well. For example, one of the leads apparently plays football and had never been part of any kind of performance. The story is that when he told his dad that he was going to help with the play, his dad said, "What, you mean like moving boxes?" That kid had the part of Javert, the main antagonist of the play, and he was fantastic. And his parents didn't even know he could sing. Incredible.

Our friend Sydney was one of the leads as well. She had the voice of an angel. She also sings in a band, where she rocks out, so it was fun seeing this other side of her.

All in all, Dunham's performance of Les Mis makes me feel like I wasted my time in high school. What was I doing all that time? I mean, these kids in Baton Rouge just put on a Broadway-caliber play! All I did in high school was go to class, play soccer, and occasionally stay out twenty minutes past curfew just to see if my parents would get angry.

Kudos to the teachers and students at the Dunham School for their work on Les Mis. It's obvious that they put a lot of time and effort into their performance, and it shows. Sign us up for season tickets.

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