Last night was the debut (and only) show for Alexander Elementary School’s Second Grade Class’ peformance of the critically acclaimed hit, “Who Ate the Cheese?” Actually I don’t remember the name of the show. I could barely hear the dialogue because the acoustics in a gym stink and their PA system is probably older than me, but I know it had something to do with cheese. I was able to deduce this mostly because the Ms. Snoodibaker’s class was all dressed like mice and Mrs. Pearl’s class had yellow construction paper wedges on top of their heads, so I assume cheese had something to do with the plot. Beyond that, I really couldn’t tell.
I came 5 minutes early, but unfortunately there was standing room only. There are about 60 kids in the second grade at Alexander Elementary, which translates into approximately 120 parents, 240 grandparents, 180 siblings, 23 faculty and staff, 1 brand new music teacher fresh out of college and 1 elderly principal who has been tenured since Regan and probably should have retired sometime after Clinton all crowded into a gym with a seating capacity of just over 420, or so the Fire Marshall posted above the door.
My wife picked the only seat left that was along the back wall next to the tumble mats and directly behind this lady:
This was my view for the next 45 minutes.
Just to occupy the time, I gave my 5 year old daughter one of her “My Little Pony” dolls and was about to ask her to slip it…but my wife said I couldn’t.
Then I realized I was being held hostage. I guess not enough parents went to the last PTA meeting back in November because since the Principal had us all there and knew we were not going anywhere, she spent the first 10 minutes, “Just making a few announcements.”
I couldn’t hear them anyway. I was being distracted because the woman in front of me kept bending over to pick up her daughter’s toys. This was very disturbing to me and my daughter kept asking me what I wanted her to do with “Pinky Pie.” My wife was still glaring at me, so I told her to just play with her on the floor.
Finally, the show was ready to start. The lights did not go down or anything. The kids just started marching in. I don’t even think that the Principal was finished, but whatever it was that she was saying that no one really cared about before lost any significance whatsoever when en masse over 500 people start waving to their children.
I stood up to look over Crack Lady until I saw my son smile back at me.
The music director waved to us and gave the prologue. It wasn’t quite as good as “Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Verona where we lay our scene…” but it did have something to do with a Farmer, a mouse, cheese and the real meaning of friendship.
I don’t know. I didn’t really get the subtle theatrical point on that one, but the director seemed pleased with the theme.
The show started with a round of dialogue. I didn’t care because I realized right away that my son wouldn’t have a line in the whole show. Since I don’t recall helping him memorize anything, it was a fair bet that once again he was passed over for any significant speaking role. Since I had no vested interest in what was being said I had nothing better to do than to stare straight ahead…oops…I mean avert my gaze to the side.
The first song was a classic, “Farmer and the Dale,” only there were a few verses I never knew were in there. Now maybe it was because I had ‘ass’ on the brain, but all I know is the entire second grade started singing about “The Farmer takes a wife, the farmer takes a wife, hi ho the dairy-o the farmer takes a wife.”
Sounded reasonable I suppose, but I cracked a joke to my wife (seriously, no punn intended. Get your mind out of the gutter) about the fact that it looks like the farmer is taking his wife out behind the barn for a little roll in the hay as two kids marched in front of the audience, hand in hand.
But then the song just got creepy because evidently the wife also takes the child behind the barn. By the time the child took the dog behind the barn I was about to get a warning from the Principal because it seems as though I was causing somewhat of a disturbance.
I told the Principal that I”m not the one singing a disturbing song about all the activity that goes on at this farm.
The dog takes the cat, the cat takes the mouse and by the end of the song the mouse takes the cheese and I guess that was the “Inciting Incident” for the rest of the plot.
The climax of the show involved a rap in which my son displayed his total lack of rhythm in front of the entire school. The kids next to him were showing off their bad selves but my son just kinda wiggled a little.
I called out, “Go white boy, go white boy, GO GO GO!”
Again, my wife glared at me. She glares at me a lot when I go to these things.
As the hour drew to a close the children all bowed for a final time and we were all given instructions by the Principal about what to do with our chairs.
Overall, the show “Who Cut the Cheese” was well directed by Allen Q. Dickerson and his chique construction paper motif was actually quite charming, considering the budget cuts the School Board gave to the performing arts department this past year. Evidently the Athletic Department needed new football uniforms.
I get to do this again in May when my daughter has her show with theKindergarten class.