beauty and the beast

After some breakfast and chat-time with my visiting brother I drovedrovedrove to visit K's sister and her family.

I had time with my nieces and nephew, chatted with K's brother-in-law, slurped up some delectable soup (K's sister is a GENIUS in the kitchen) and bought my beautiful god-daughter some stacking rings from Etsy (a belated birthday gift).
But the real reason for my visit was to see niece M STAR in Beauty And The Beast.
It was a school production but I have to say that it could easily have been regional theater.

Each of the main players was wired for sound.
Parents spent hundreds of hours on costumes.
Makeup and hair was arranged by professionals.
I have never seen anything like it.

And, in the center of it all, tiny and beautiful, was niece M.


She was breathtaking.
Several times, when she sang or appeared suddenly in a gown, a quiet gasp fell over the audience.
She has had vocal training over the years, but she is young...and often seems small and fragile.

belle and gaston blur

The boy who played Gaston was a good match. He too had a strong voice and was purely natural in his part - neither of them ever stepped into that obnoxious wanting-to-sound-like-Broadway voices and set of mannerisms.

gaston and girls

I had nearly as good a time watching the supporting players as each put so much into their performance.

be our guest

And there were so many children (I can't even believe they WERE children) in the play that there was a steady stream of things to enjoy.


I had even more fun watching for my nephew who played a fellow in a tavern and an angry townsperson with equal enthusiasm.


Even the cameo roles won my heart -


Above: my favorite piece of pie!
There was adorable choreography and, I'm guessing, much complicated wrangling of dozens of kids.

But to think that M was the centerpiece of the play...

gold gown

to see her perform with just a trace of nervousness (she's only just 13) and yet watch her find her confidence...

with the prince

to hear the strength of her voice and realize that she has become a lady -

final dance

transformed her. Right in front of my eyes...which did not remain dry through the bows and curtain calls.


Unknown said…
Wow. You make me feel sorry that I missed it. I had a subscription to the Minneapolis Children's Theatre for years and they do all the things you are describing. You are so lucky to have such remarkable persons in your family.
Jess said…
My eyes aren't dry either, now. You have passionate prose, my dear.
robiewankenobie said…
my ratbastard brothers. do they know what they deprived me of what with their moving off to the far edges of the earth? what a fabulous night for you, m'dear!!!
KPB said…
KPB said…
Mind you, how gibbed would you have felt if you'd had to have been a chair.
Amy A. said…
I hope they give that theatre director a raise. That was amazing!
halloweenlover said…
Even I'm a little weepy after reading this. She IS Belle in those photos! Perfect!
Poppy Buxom said…
The production looks AMAZING.

She's lovely!

And she looks like you.

For me, as an aunt, it amazes me how quickly my one niece and many nephews are growing. I don't know how I'm going to feel when one of them is 13 and does something amazing like this.
TheOneTrueSue said…
How wonderful. She will never forget playing Belle. I am so impressed by the production values - wow. Wonderful.
Wow! Impressive production.
Mary said…
I'm a bit weepy too!

And how wonderful that they didn't sound like something out of "High School Musical."

That nasal uptight singing irritates me to tears. Of a bad kind.
Anonymous said…
Beautiful! These are the important moments in a child's life. You were so right to bask in her glow.
Miz S said…
Auntie blackbird! How nice that you could be there.
Jennifer said…
Wow the costumes and the stage.... AMAZING!

I'm sure your neice and nephew really appreciate you being there. :)
Anonymous said…
Lovely. It's so refreshing to read that there are kids like these to makes us breathe.
It's not all grumpy little kids with no aspiration or will.
There are sweet kids, young people willing to do stuff.
And do it just fine.
RW said…
How wonderful for you to be able to witness her performance!

What kind of lens.. do you have on your camera? How far were you from the stage.. you must have a lowlight lens in order to get those photos...
Anonymous said…
Brava, Blackbird niece-ling!
Caterina said…
Oh wow, this was beautiful! As an aunt myself, I totally loved this post. Your thoughts on her and growing up. Just lovely.
Don't you love kids that have a passion for experiences like that?
She was stunning in that yellow gown!
Anonymous said…
Yay for devoted aunts! I am the proud Aunt Jenny to 11 nieces and six(soon to be eight!) nephews.

While I know that my love for them is not the same as the love that one has for their own child, when I look upon them shining and in their element, I puff like a peacock.

And slowly I'm learning to value their perspective of our relationship, as I recall the beautiful, supportive, wonderful aunts I had as a child.

(also, yay for kids in live theatre!!)
Karla May said…
As a former theatre nerd of the highest degree, my heart aches at this post. I hope that she can either pursue this wonderful gift or use it in some other area of her life. Either way, the experience is invaluable.

What a lovely young lady. What a sweet aunt.
Anonymous said…
oh man, i started crying just reading this! you've got me thinking about my littlest sister--she just (yesterday) turned 15, and she's just won the role of FREAKING ANNIE in her high school's production.
i'm so proud of her...and i can really feel how amazing it was for you to see your niece.

here's to hoping i can keep my crying to a minimum at my sister's performance. i'd like to be able to see at least a bit of it.

wow, it looks like they went all out on this say your niece is 13: is this high school or middle school? i am WAY impressed.
alice c said…
Nothing is better than discovering talent in a child and then helping them to develop that talent. It is when you start to see them as a person in their own right and the adult that they will become.
Stomper Girl said…
That sounds amazing. I love school musicals. Even when they're bad. Sometimes, especially when they're bad.

Your niece has such beautiful poise.

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