I decided to begin the year and the return to the blog with a bang. I doubt anyone will watch the entire production that I'm posting here, but I want to make it available to the few devoted family fans (grandparents, devoted aunts, etc) who enjoy watching the productions of their loved ones but live too far away to make it to these events. Others may click on the video out of curiosity and enjoy a few minutes of it.
So, what is it? The RHS/NCSS Drama production of Pirates of Penzance. Bryce had one of the lead roles and played an innocent, duty-bound young man named Frederic who was mistakenly apprenticed to a band of unconventional pirates. I had heard of this Gilbert and Sullivan musical before but hadn't seen it. I ended up watching the entire production 5 or 6 times and it took 4 for me to fully understand the story and nuances of the characters. Most of that is owed to it being written and produced in England almost 140 years ago.
Bryce was interviewed on a local radio station the week that it played and when asked why he hadn't been in the drama program before this, his junior, year he replied, "Because my mom never made me try out before." He went on to explain that I didn't actually "make him" try out, but I did give him a big dose of encouragement. He loved every minute of it. It's the first time I've seen Bryce not only enjoy what he was doing, but enjoy the practicing of it as well! I don't think we realize how important that is in understanding our children's interests. They may enjoy playing on a baseball team or playing a game, but we know they love the game for the sake of the game when they create their own imaginary teams and series and play the whole thing out by them selves with a ball and a concrete wall. Bryce enjoyed the singing and the drama from beginning to end and I'm looking forward to seeing what he does with the villian "James" in their upcoming Sherlock Holmes play.
As to the videos: Just a warning, the first few minutes are a bit slow, and Bryce's favorite scenes come in the first 10 minutes of Part 2.
Final note: If you really have an interest in setting aside an hour and so and watching the entire production it helps to have a bit of knowledge of the story. Frederic (Bryce) was mistakenly apprenticed to the Pirates of Penzance when his nursery-maid, Ruth, misunderstood her employers instructions to indenture him to a ship's "Pilot". The Pirates of Penzance, however, are not typical pirates (as noted in the opening song, "Raise the Pirate Sherry"--sherry was a wealthy man's drink, informing the audience that these were gentlemen and not the rum-drinking sort). They prove to be failures as pirates for, although they have a frustration with 'civil life', they can not completely abandon civility.