Monday, August 13, 2012


Aladeen is how "Aladdin" is pronounced here. The boys' big production was this weekend. For my Mormon friends - think "Roadshow". It was so much fun.

At the final dress rehearsal on Thursday, I wasn't 100% sure it would all come together. Andrew didn't have his part memorized and Jasmine wasn't singing her part of the song all the way through. Kids were everywhere on stage.

Keep in mind everything with this group takes twice as long. You have some spanish-only speakers, some english-only speakers and 1 dual speaker. So you can imagine: explain in spanish, now explain in english. Spanish kid has question. Answer in spanish, repeat in english. English kid has response. Translate back to spanish kids. All night long, every single day. It's the blessing and curse of our ward. The leaders are so patient and so very good with these kids.

By then end of that rehearsal on Thursday. I wasn't sure how the performance would actually go. But truly, these type of things ALWAYS come together. Always. The only explanation - lots of prayers :)

And true to form, these amazing teens pulled off a fantastic little mini-musical. Andrew memorized his part of "A whole new world" in espanol. He did fantastic. The only downside was the fact that his mic didn't work (he had a cordless clip-on mic) so we could barely hear him through Jasmine's microphone.

Scene 1 was a street scene to "Arabian Nights". The group of the kids did a fun little dance number. Alex juggled for part of it while everyone gathered around to watch. In the background, Andrew (as Aladdin) was stealing fruit from the stands and passed it out to the judges in the front row. A little fruity bribery never hurts. Seriously though, Alex is an amazing juggler. Everyone is so very impressed with his skills and that he has REAL juggling balls. We'll have to look into some juggling pins next...

Scene 2 was Aladdin and Jasmine singing "A whole new world". The leaders put together a 'magic carpet' that was so fun. It was a piece of plywood with large caster wheels and heavy-duty eye hooks on either end. A rug was stapled to the wood and a rope attached to either end. With a fog machine pumping fog on the stage and people pulling the rope back and forth - it appeared to be 'floating in the air' well, kind of. It was cool none-the-less and you totally got the idea. The two of them did a fantastic job.

Scene 3 was a group number "You've never had a friend like me". Yes, this is out of order of the real movie, but it made more sense to end with a fun, big group number. The genie was played by one of my seminary kids, Sam. He was awesome! Perfect for the part. Blue face and all. Alex juggled across stage to "can your friends do this" there were kids doing backflips, dancing, it was all so much fun!

Our ward won an award for what translates to be something like Best Screenplay. Everyone received some type of award. It's less about the competition, more about getting there, but it was fun to acknowledge each group up on stage. They also handed out goodie bags for each performer.

I am so proud of these kids. They really did work hard to pull this off and I think it bonded them all as a single group. They are more comfortable with each other now than ever before. They are working harder to try and communicate with each other. This activity couldn't have happened at a better time. It really helped my kids integrate right away.

The trophy was a beautiful engraved crystal piece. A REAL trophy. My kids were impressed.

Two little super funny side notes about the night:

#1. When Jasmine was goofing around shortly before the start of the show, she jumped up on the 'magic carpet' and it split in two. Right down the middle. So all the dads were frantically scrambling to put it together at the last second. Not so funny for them in that moment - but pretty funny after the fact. She's not a big girl - just hit it in the wrong place.

#2 It was so funny for us 'gringos' to be at this production. There are 6 wards and the stake went all out to make it a fun night for the kids. A real DJ was there. The emcee was really entertaining (well, the crowd really liked him - I couldn't understand a word he said). The whole thing was a blast. The only problem, most of the songs were in english. And most of the songs were NOT appropriate for this venue - but nobody knew it. There were kids up on stage lip-syncing the "F" word. When they announced that Grease would be next I cringed just a little. Nothing about that music is appropriate. So yes, there they were singing about getting 'down in the sand' and then the ever so fantastic "Grease Lightening" with it's T & A and on and on... NOT APPROPRIATE! Even the songs in-between by the DJ were not good. "Sexy and I know it" is a favorite song of mine, but maybe not something that you want to play in a church building. Good times! A conversation was initiated by our english-native speakers (the leaders) and the coordinators. To prevent this type of thing in the future. But seriously - it gave Greg and I a good laugh. My kids would get all wide-eyed and look at us with that "holy cow can you believe this?" expression on their faces.

Awesome memories!

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