150 kids on stage… 10 new songs to learn with stage directions and choreographed movements… 2 weeks to prepare, following Chinese New Year break and a rescheduled Sports Day….. It’s not les Miserables, iiiiiitttt’s the Kennedy School Year 4 Show to kick off their next learning unit: Sharing The Environment.
Planet Plenty on the left, Planet Pleasant on the right
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, was a certain Planet, aptly named Plenty. The inhabitants “lived for today”, staying up late as much as they wanted, driving around in their cars and rocket ships, with a swimming pool in every yard.
One day, Planet Plenty’s king has an epiphany: “What’s going on, my lawn’s all brown?” When the animals start dying and the lion kings petition the human king, they know they have to do something.
Rockstar: Cos all their animals died except the lion king.
Me: ?? There were like, 3 lions? Maybe more?
Rockstar: <shrugs> KingS. The animal kingdom’s not the same as the humans, they can have more than one king.
Me: You guys just make this up along the way, don’t you.
Rockstar: <not looking up> O-or, there’s Google.
The Royal Scientists had some chim (deep) lines in the play…
The Royal Scientists explaining carbon dioxide from emissions (sorry ah, I really like their facial expressions in this one… That means however, other people’s children’s faces on the blog… I took the picture on my cellphone, of one of the pics displayed around the school..)
Like so… (And there goes the king about his business behind Rockstar)
(Drop me a line if the shot of the Scientists is not ok, it’ll be gone in a flash…)
Rockstar the gangsta rapper homeless hippie alien narrator
He was Narrator #17. I don’t know how many narrators there were in the whole play, he said the kids could choose speaking or non-speaking parts (really love this about the school – in this sense there is no vying for a top role, anyone who wants to speak will get some lines, and there’s no pressure for kids to speak or not; Rockstar chose to have a speaking role, and it was nice to see some of his friends who have had stage fright in the past in speaking roles too.
With more pressure or competition I’m not sure Rockstar and some of his friends would’ve enjoyed their little start at “public speaking” – he’s really not a competitive kid, nor the sort who enjoys a spotlight (his sister, on the other hand… :D) Narrators can choose whether to dress as Residents of the Planet Plenty, or Pleasantites. Rockstar being Rockstar said no way is he ever wearing anything posh. Since his best buddies were all hippies or cyclists, even more so.
Speaking of costumes.
Rockstar’s came from an old Halloween costume…. and a Zara girls’ cardigan (which I was careful to remove the labels from as well, when I chopped off the sleeves).
But there’s a little sidestory behind his bling (recycled rubber Ryze bracelets and that Peace chain):
Firstly, that one with the green cord is not Rockstar’s, it’s his friend’s – the mums were thinking to take metal cutters to the chains those big Peace signs came with; but when I tried to do it Rockstar said don’t bother –
He fine wit da bling (Pic of Fabolous from telegraph.co.uk)
Thing with the costumes was, while the kids had 2 weeks to learn the material for the show, the mums had *just* maybe half that time to source clothes for their kids, because they wear all the stuff to rehearse and do the show preliminarily for kids in other years in the school. This is where I invoke the Divine Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood of Mums Whose Kids Need To Get Stuff And Fast. One of my mum friends cottoned on the Peace signs – at 9am in some market place, no less – and that’s how we all wit da bling. There is just no way you can easily go it alone, sourcing all the stuff kids “need” (money has nothing to do with it, it’s all about the cool and your kid’s idea of cool is not likely to also be yours) without sharing the load of sourcing stuff with some mum friends.
Kid With Retro Aviators And Long Blond Hair has my vote for Best Costume Ever though; and as for the decadent Inhabitants of Plenty, I like the coral blazer with the gold chain.
Wonder where they got the blazer, I don’t think tailored clothes come cheap, so non-basic coloured (i.e. harder to reuse) tailored clothes for kids to me are quite decadent. So Plenty. He’s even got shoulder pads. So I wouldn’t be surprised if some mum altered that for their kid in the two weeks we had.
Remember this one couple Halloweens ago where Rockstar’s friend went as Geronimo Stilton? His mum tailored the green jacket herself…
Rockstar goes to school with the COOL kids…
Re Best Dressed Hippie Kid, was thinking Wow This Kid Really Looks Like One Of The Original Charlie’s Angels. And then much later Rockstar happened to mention the long blond hair is a wig, and that’s one of his buddies under those flowing locks.
Me: That’s (Rockstar’s buddy’s name)?!
Rockstar: Yeah. I know. Everybody thought he should’ve been a shepherd. We kept asking, ‘You’d get to carry a big stick. Why don’t you be a shepherd?’
Me: ? You mean…. like…….. Moses?
Rockstar: Yeah! He gets to wave the stick, and……..!
pic from shows.sights-sounds.com
Me: Um, different storyline?
Rockstars: <ignores> No more swimming lessons. Done.
Me: I thought you liked swimming lessons.
Rockstar: Huh. Yeah, but… that would be so cool with the water, like the Force or something. Right Miss?
Miss: Elsa! I want Elsa! <starts doing the ice-ray motion>
pic from Disney.wikia.com
This plot, the inhabitants of Planet Plenty lead an environmentally irresponsible life that ruins their planet, and to save it they travel to Planet Pleasant, to learn from the Pleasantites (who reuse, reduce, recycle, ride bikes instead of joyride around in their rockets).
Rockstar in the playground a little later with one of his good friends, dressed as a cyclist (whose jersey however is personalised with his own name in back :)
Bunch of Rockstar’s friends (himself included) enjoyed the lively singing and dancing. Wait. Rockstar doesn’t sing. Wasn’t too long ago, I watched Rockstar stand up on that same stage amongst a smaller group, and…. totally kayu. Not move. Forget he was supposed to have some actions along with the words to the song they were singing. I once put Rockstar in a local music creativity class because I remembered playdates where his friends would be doing whole dance sequences, whereas Rockstar didn’t really like to sing unless he’d forgotten it was actual singing.
But wow, now lookit.
OMG. He’s singing, he’s actually singing – and with gusto – in this one
There’s kids who ride, dance or cartwheel across the stage with newly-acquired cycling/ dancing/ gymnastics skills (all the better to not let those extra classes go to waste – last Chinese Assembly some kids showed off martial arts skills as well as fluency in Chinese too)… and there’s usually rapping or beat-boxing too.
And this. Recycled bottles and things as musical instruments. Yes they really played those giant water bottles as part of the show.
In about 45 minutes, 10 songs, choreographed routines and various Science facts and figures (not to mention comic relief), Planet Plenty is saved.
Lots more dancing and singing. The Ends.
Back to class (because Business As Usual)…
Around the school and leading up to the hall are the kids’ pictures – before performing for parents, they do the shows for the other year bands as well. That means the kids always get some extra entertaining “lessons” by watching each other, in addition to passing the artwork and photographs as they go about their school day…
Thanks for installing the Bottom of every post plugin by Corey Salzano. Contact me if you need custom WordPress plugins or website design.