December 8, 2008

Wooden soldiers on parade . . .

That is the song that keeps playing in my head! We had a wonderful opening weekend of The Singing Christmas Trees. To give you a little background, my church has put on this show, each with a different theme, for almost 25 years. They haven't had it the past two years so they brought it back bigger than ever for 2008. It is my first time being part of it since I've only been living in Orlando for 2.5 years now. The focus of the show is the trees. There are two 45-foot trees made up of 350 choir members. The choir is in rows that make up levels inside and coming out of the trees, all the way to the very top. They stand on boxes so that they all become six feet tall. In the second act they do what they call a "kabuki drop" and the two big shiny silver curtains drop to the ground at the same time and reveal the trees. I love hearing the woosh of the drop and the audience gasp in amazement. It's such a cool effect! 
This year's theme is Imagination. Everything is "through a child's eyes." In the first half, there are two little kids who discover a world of toys. The first song of the show is "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka when they are discovering the toys. The toys are soldiers, Raggedy Anne dolls, cowgirls and cowboys, elves, gingerbread boys and girls, and three ballerinas. Our costume designers did a fabulous job!! After the opening song is an overture where all the toys march down and dance together and spell out words with gigantic blocks among other happenings. The elves are doing flips and juggling etc. That leads into the next song that is the part of the show I choreographed — March of the Wooden Soldiers. This song is in the Rockettes show when they're soldiers, but our version is very upbeat and peppy. As wooden soldiers, we start to come to life and it's a tap number. It is so fun! All the other toys are down on the floor dancing and just the soldiers on stage. At the end we march around on "parade." The next big number is a hip hop version of "Little Drummer Boy." It starts out as a battle between the ballerinas, hip hop elves and a few of us soldiers. Then we just unite and all do hip hop together. The music for this is so fun! After that, one of the ballerinas does a beautiful dance to "If Christmas Never Came" where she is a music box ballerina come to life. This song reminds everyone what would happen if we didn't have Christmas and Jesus' birth. This leads to the kabuki drop and the singing trees. The second half is the worshipful half where Joesph and Mary come out and the songs tell about their journey. I dance ballet in this half as an angel. I do a slower ballet and then a very rejoiceful ballet where we dance with big white streamers. "Adore Him" honors the manger with Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus as we all bow to him and celebrate his birth. There are many other songs mixed in, but the very last song is very powerful. It's called "Song of Christmas" and people wearing all kinds of different uniforms and work outfits (flight attendant, sports uniforms, bride and groom, grocery bagger, scientist, everything you can think of!) come out and go about their day to day life, but all the sudden they all look up and "see" Jesus. They are all touched and thankful to have him in their lives. It's hard to explain, but such a moving piece.
Overall, it has been such an honor to be part of this. So many people made this happen. There are 115 actors and dancers, 350 in the choir, a 70-piece orchestra, more than 700 volunteers, 2,500 hours to build the trees, and 250,000 lights on the trees. We were filmed this past Thursday and it is going to be shown on TV worldwide, so I will find out when and what station and let you all know. I had four shows this past weekend and I have three more this upcoming weekend. My family is coming down Friday and I can't wait for them to see the show!!     

Below: Here is a picture of some of the dancers. I am the fourth soldier from the left. 

Above is a picture of the trees after the show. I wish I had one with the choir in the trees. I will try to get one because it's so beautiful. This picture definitely does not show them very well, but gives you an idea.

Thanks for reading and I hope everyone is having a great Monday! I am off to Magic Kingdom tomorrow with my boyfriend for his work Christmas party. I can't wait to see the park all decorated and to play all day!!


With Love from New Orleans said...

Ahh ya'll look awesome! I wish there was a video to watch. My director is in our NOLA based Nutcracker... can't wait to see it Sunday!

thepreppyprincess said...

Ooooh, Miss Pink Tutu, this is just too cool! And you choreographed it!

The picture with you is darling - congrats on such a fabulous production!

I hope the rest of the week is wonderful!

Princess Freckles said...

Wow, that sounds beautiful! That's so neat you are apart of this!

Hve fun at Disney! I got engaged there!

Lilly P. Wannabe said...

I am so impressed! What a great show... I love the setting and the costumes!

Pink Maple said...

Sounds like a wonderful production!

p.s. So jealous you are headed to MK for a Christmas party!

Molly said...

Your show sounds fabulous. And the magic kingdom for a work party, I am jealous, I've only been to Disney once and I was 7 and cried. Hope you have a wonderful time!

Preppy in Philly said...

I holiday tagged you on my blog (but I see you already were tagged by others - oops). Hope you are having a great day!

Newlywed Hostess said...

I am sure that the performance was awesome. I always loved going to see the Nutcracker growing up.
I also wanted to thank you for your kind note to me during this difficult time. It was much appreciated.

Mrs. Nurse said...

love the outfits :)

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