Friday, December 25, 2009

Upcoming: Schoolhouse Rock Live! by KidsActing at various locations, January 9 - 18

Found on-line:

KidsActing classes present

School House Rock Live!

A One Act Pop/Rock Musical Revue Rated G

A pop culture phenomenon comes to the musical stage! The Emmy Award-winning 1970s Saturday morning cartoon series that taught history, grammar, math, science and politics through clever, tuneful songs is not only making a small-screen comeback, instructing a whole new generation to “Unpack Your Adjectives” and “Do The Circulations,” it’s lighting up stages everywhere, from school multi-purpose rooms to university and regional theatres all around the country.

Tom, a nerve-wracked school teacher nervous about his first day of teaching, tries to relax by watching TV when various characters representing facets of his personality emerge from the set and show him how to win his students over with imagination and music, through such beloved Schoolhouse Rock songs as “Just A Bill,” “Lolly, Lolly, Lolly” and “Conjunction Junction.”

KidsActing classes present two performances at each location: January 9 & 10 in Lakeway at St. Luke's On The Lake, January 10 and 16 in Westlake at the Children's Center of Austin, January 12 and 16 at the Oake Hill United Methodist Church, January 14 and 17 at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, January 15 and 17 at GoDance Northcross, and January 17 and 18 in Cedar Park at the First United Methodist Church.

Information and tickets here.

More about School House Rock Live:


In the dark we hear the sound of an alarm clock ringing and we are introduced to Tom, a young teacher preparing for his first day of school, standing in his bathrobe. As he rehearses what he will say, he hears the school bell and the sound of the children settling into their desks. One at a time we see Tom's "other sides", as they enter speaking his thoughts. We are introduced to George, the romantic side; Dori, the goofy side; Schulie, the sweet side; Joe, the cool side; and Dina, the mature side. They tell us his thoughts that range from "I love children" to "these monsters are going to eat me alive". Tom decides to try and watch some television while he settles down and collects his thoughts. When he turns on the TV we hear the theme to Schoolhouse Rock. The characters begin to sing one of the familiar songs that Tom instantly recognizes (Verb: That's What's Happening). As the song goes on, Tom as swept up in the excitement and begins to sing and dance with the others. As it ends, he is startled to find himself standing with a group of strange people that he does not recognize. They explain to him that they represent all of the thoughts in his head. They represent everywhere he has been, everyone he has known, and every person that he has ever met (A Noun Is A Person, Place Or Thing). They explain that they are there to help Tom remember that teaching is as easy as 1,2,3 (Three Is A Magic Number).

Still thinking that all of this is a hallucination, he continues to try and get rid of the others. They explain to him that he needs them; and "necessity is the mother of invention" (Mother Necessity). Tom is asked to remember why he wanted to be a teacher in the first place. He remembers that his grandmother and her mother before that were teachers. Teaching was one of the few opportunities for women to work at that time (Sufferin' Till Suffrage). He also remembers working at his grandfather's hardware store as a child and sneaking away on Saturday mornings to watch Schoolhouse Rock (Lolly, Lolly, Lolly). After Schulie and company sing "Unpack Your Adjectives", Tom reminds them that he not only has to teach grammar, but math, science, and social studies as well (Just A Bill / The Preamble). Caught up in the moment, Tom remembers one very important thing; that learning should be fun (Ready Or Not, Here I Come).

When the gang becomes exhausted from all of the excitement, Tom encourages them to stay active and to keep their blood moving (Do The Circulation). Joe then tells the group that he is ready to sing a song and will need the help of you, me, him, them, and her (Rufus Xavier Sarsaparilla). Dori enters with Tom's guitar and hands it to Schulie who says about her playing, "Oh ... on a scale from one to ten, I'd give myself about an eight (Figure Eight). Schulie reminds Tom that "Figure Eight" was the way she had learned her eight multiplication tables. Joe and Shulie enter in their leather jacket and poodle skirt and dance to George's rock and roll physics lesson (A Victim Of Gravity). George and Schulie then join together to sing "Zero, My Hero" while the rest of the gang acts out their duet.

Tom goes over all of the parts of speech that they have covered (adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, nouns, and verbs) and wonders what they have left out. Conjunctions! - and where do they come together - at the junction! (Conjunction Junction). Joe reminds Tom that English will not be the first language of many of his students. School will be a very important transition to America for many of his students, just as America went through an important transition as it struggled to expand and continues to expand (Great American Melting Pot / Elbow Room / Interplanet Janet). Hey! Wow! The thought of going to the moon has the whole group energized, and what kind of word bets expresses that energy - "Interjections". Tom then thanks them all for helping him remember that learning can be fun. He asks them to stay around and listen to him do a song (The Tale Of Mr. Morton). As the song ends, all of the characters are gathered around Tom as if he were teaching. "Any questions, kids?", he asks - and on the final beat we see Schulie's hand go in the air.

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