The Big Bad Musical – A Howling Courtroom Comedy
It is always a very interesting process to bring a musical to life…starting with auditions and trying to match students up with the parts that best fit their abilities…to helping them to grow into their characters. This year’s cast has worked hard as they brought the charm of an Enchanted Forest into a modern day courtroom alive on the stage. Our lawyers have had an awful lot of fun playing out their roles, preparing statements and examining witnesses. The defendant and his number one fan were begging for mercy. The many plaintiffs were happy to recount the various injustices done against them. The reporter tried to comment on the proceedings. And the Judge! How happy our judge was indeed to dispense his unique brand of philosophy and enjoy his magic beans! :-)
A musical like this one requires much from many. Students have lines and songs to learn in addition to blocking on the stage and remembering dance movements, props needed for each scene, costumes changes for various scenes and so forth. This particular program required that students memorize three different endings for the trial and be prepared to act out any one of the three with no advance warning. We have seen such growth in our young actors through our two months together and really hope that they will come back again next year for another fun musical opportunity. It is an undertaking to sign up for the Middle School Musical – these kiddos are shining stars!!
Parents have helped their children learn lines and songs, allowed them to participate in practices, encouraged them to stay on top of their school work, ferried them hither and yon for school and track and practices, and much more. We have had parents make or purchase costumes, prepare desserts, arrange for set décor, assist with make-up, and continue to lift us all up in prayer.
As is common in a public dinner theater, the cast served the tables for dessert. Dessert was black forest cupcakes, renamed "Enchanted Forest Cake". Fifth grade families helped in the kitchen during the production, a newer tradition at Immanuel.
Regarding set and stage, one of our young actors lent her artistic design ideas as well as the work she did with her grandma to create our beautiful set design and bring our Enchanted Forest Courtroom to life. Part of this program included a line by one character suggesting we take a commercial break – so students wrote their own commercials to perform!
Another unique aspect of this year’s production was that audience participation was required! I know that some of you have received a summons to serve on a jury a time or two in your life. I also know there are probably mixed reactions to receiving those – some rejoice while others would rather not exercise this civic duty. At the trial, every audience member served on the jury. Mr. Big B. Wolf was on trial. He had been accused of a number of crimes, including huffing and puffing with intent to destroy, attempted sheep abduction, grandmother impersonation, attempted murder by ingestion, and lurking. The audience determined if Mr. Wolf was innocent or guilty. Was he by nature big and bad or was he created that way by society’s expectations?
We so enjoyed the opportunity to watch these students become actors and use the gifts God has given them. May you find joy in seeing God’s blessings throughout your days…and may all your Ever-Afters be filled with Joy and Laughter!
– Elizabeth Grimm
Big Bad Musical Director