2.16.2016

wherein i gush over the lion king, jr.

Here are our city's fifth graders being phenomenal:

rafiki young simba, mufasa, ensemble nala, simba, zazu scar pumba breaks wind nala dance tribe circle of life

(These pictures were taken during the photo session after curtain call on opening night. So these kids were even more phenomenal during the actual performance, I just couldn't take photos then!)

We saw The Lion King, the Broadway musical, when it showed at the Pantages a couple of years ago, and we were really curious to see how it would translate on a small stage with 5th graders. Were we in for a surprise! The production was fantastic (check out those costumes and props), and, man, those kids could perform!

Asha was part of the dance tribe, and even though it wasn't a lead role, she was almost always on stage, playing a variety of animals, including the antelope that gets eaten by the lionesses, and a tree at one time, haha. Asha is an excellent dancer! And I'm not just saying that because I am her mother. She is so graceful and strong, and was always in character! She had to sing while dancing too! Even their choreographer (who is a professional) said that she was a natural talent. Her only dance training is from gymnastics, which is a big help, I admit. Still, I am amazed at what she can do. Where did this person come from? (Me! Ha! Though I can't say I can take much credit. Maybe Imo is secretly a great dancer?! And maybe theater really runs in our blood?) Also, her dedication during the past few months was unbelievable -- from school to rehearsals to gymnastics. She was on top of it all, despite suffering two injuries (gymnastics-related, but she continued to go to workout and practices with her arm in a cast), and those late nights when she would struggle to finish homework, exhausted and in tears! But she did it! I'm so glad she soldiered on. That girl, she knows what she wants and she will work hard to get it. We are so proud of her.

lioness hunt lioness hunt zazu & dance tribe curtain call

More photos and a little write-up about this year's musical can be found in our local newspaper here. The musical is a yearly tradition for 5th graders and is a community effort! My only regret was that Imo and I, unsure in the beginning about how much of our time we could commit, and with our heads already spinning from all three children's after-school activities, opted for the buy-out in place of volunteering. The production is really made possible by SPEF and so many parent volunteers! This city is awesome and we love it. Anyway, I swear, next time, when it's Yumi's turn (if she wants to do it, that is, and she most probably will -- she was so inspired by her sister's performance, even Nacho was impressed and regretted not doing the musical when he was in the 5th grade, aww), I'm forcing myself to get involved! What a wonderful thing to be a part of!

cast

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