Well, technically, it's final dress rehearsal, but in front of a live audience that consists of real people, not just caffeine-infused parents and show technical folks. Tonight is the "outreach" performance where people from the community and various organizations have been invited to come enjoy the show at no charge. There's little children who are probably more used to the movie theatre than the high-rent theatre seats they occupy tonight, crying babies, and a group from a neighborhood senior center.
But up on stage, with about 85 other cast members, my daughter is part of the children's chorus for the Washington Revels' production of "Andalusian Treasures". For the past few months, she has been learning folk songs in Spanish, Arabic, and Hebrew, practicing dances, and lighting a menorah (yes, this all makes for a very interesting Christmas season play, but it is really beautiful). She's been fit for a costumre, color matched for make-up, and deliberated on the best look for her hair (I think she's finally embracing her curls). Practices have ranged from 1 1/2 hours after school to 8 hours on Saturdays to finally 5-hour dress rehearsals everyday this past week. And now they're ready for their show - 9 performances.
When I watched rehearsal the other night, I had to tell myself not to cry. There's a moment of pride when you watch your child find herself in something she really enjoys and does well. I've been impressed by my daughter because this is something that I have never done, nor have the talent or desire to do. She hasn't complained about the long hours, she's enjoying her new friends. She has, and is developing, a wonderful sense of confidence and independence. She's beautiful on stage.
I'm wishing her well, break a leg and all that. And at that final curtain call, I'll be the one cheering the loudest for my little curly-haired, red gowned, Jewish village girl daughter.