Let's do a show!

I was a child in the 1950’s and lived in a small neighborhood. My school was only four blocks away, my church only three doors down, my best friend lived across the street, and the rest of my friends lived within a block of my house. While my world was small in many ways my imagination was not. My mother introduced me to musicals at an early age and I particularly liked the idea of “shows”. I remember Judy Garland (think Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz”) and her friend Mickey Rooney were always wanting to put on a show. Bing Crosby, Danny Kay, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera Ellen put on an unforgettable show in “White Christmas” and you might know about “The Little Rascals”. Spanky, Alfalfa, and that cute little dancing Darla were forever putting on a neighborhood show. My friends and I watched these classics and often put on our own neighborhood shows complete with curtains hanging from trees as scenery. Our backyards and porches were stages and I for one was on every stage and in every show. Imagine that! There was always something to do in my little corner of the world.

Fast forward to just a few years ago. I suggested to my grandchildren that we put on a show in my garage and call it “The Garage Show”. I was inspired by the fact I could electronically control the garage door. It looked just like a curtain going up and down. The kids were all in! Their parents would be the audience and sit in the driveway in lawn chairs. We invited neighbors the following year. The first show was a “Hippy 60’s Show” and the second was a patriotic show, called “I Love America”. Our backdrop was two 6 feet tall standing partitions. The kids strung Christmas lights for special effects and shared responsibilities for making posters and the programs. The show consisted of songs, stories, poems, the Pledge of Allegiance (the youngest held the flag) and of course, dancing. Costumes were repurposed recital costumes and homemade outfits. Played CD’s on a boom box. All acts related to the overall theme. The “curtain man” raised and lowered the garage door after each presentation. The show was about twenty minutes long and we had refreshments afterwards. The imperfections of the garage gave the show that overall industrial look! Pretty current and cool don’t you think? Everyone had a blast!

Now, why do I share this? Because I believe we have some budding theatrical directors and young choreographers in The Dancer’s School. I know we have performers. I also know that on any given weekend young folks may be looking for something creative to do. Why not consider your own garage show, or show on the porch, or show in the backyard? September and October are great months for an outdoor show. Perhaps your circle of friends, like my little neighborhood friends, would be interested in doing something creative. I know you have heard of garage bands. Now, you have heard of garage shows. Bet your imagination is already at work with some fun ideas. If (with your parent’s permission) you do plan a “show” please let me know. I would love to attend and I know your parents and neighbors would be interested as well. Best wishes for a fabulous production! Have fun!


Jimmi Lou

P.S. Our cast was never larger than five people. Our audience was never larger than seven people.

No problem with social distancing! LOL

The Garage Show 1960's costumes.

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