February 18th was the first Tri-Talent Musical Theater class for ages 9-14. The instructor, Lindsay Gray, brought her younger daughter who participated with the older children, and the experiment went very well.
So well, in fact, that the theater classes will begin enrolling children ages 6-8, immediately. The next class will be held Tuesday, February 25th. Plans are to eventually grow and split the group into two classes.
Those children who have not registered, thus far, but who wish to begin to learn acting, movement, dance and choral singing, in a one-hour weekly class, REGISTER ONLINE NOW.
When you get to the website, click ministries and Tri-Talent Musical Theater Class will appear.
Now, how about a fun and informative look at the origin and develop of musical theater for children?
1903-1904 “The Wizard of Oz” on Broadway ran for 293 shows. It disproved the notion that children could not sit through a feature length play. They discovered children would drag their parents back to see it again and again. 1904-1905 “Babes in Toyland” Broadway Show, a deal with Victor Herbert had this, a true musical for children, waiting on its heels when The Wizard of Oz closed down. After only ten days to tear down the old set and build the new in Majestic Theatre, Babes in Toyland enjoyed a run of 192 shows. It ranks as # 2 on Amazon’s Top Twenty-five children’s musical of all-time list. In 1905 “Peter and Wendy” arrived on Broadway from London, starring Maude Adams and had several long runs over a period of eight years. Several of the top twenty-five children’s musicals of all time come from four years in the 1930’s when a charismatic “triple threat star, Shirley Temple, was the top box office draw. She will be sorely missed. The 1954 Broadway production starring Mary Martin as Peter and Cyril Ritchard as Captain Hook earned Tony Awards for both stars and was followed by NBC telecasts. It was a true musical, building on the innovations of the 1943 box-office smash Oklahoma which ran for an unprecedented 2,212 performances. It introduced the concept of songs advancing the plot and took choreography and dance to a new level.
Disneys’s newest and latest anticipated block buster, Aladdin, will premiere on March 26 in the newly renovated New Amsterdam Theatre. Meanwhile Lion King is the fourth longest running Broadway production and the highest grossing Broadway show ever. Mary Poppins closed last March as it was approaching the $300,000,000 mark. Disney, off of the flop 1992 film, “Newsies”, has also stumbled onto another cash cow, racking up $8,000,000 in just three weeks as the show continues to perform before a mostly full theater as it marches toward the two year mark. So the demand for musicals continues to set records on Broadway and to be popular in local productions as well.
Why is there not a single Christian children’s musical listed in Amazon’s top 25 children’s musical of all time? Because Christian music company’s regulations would not allow them to consider any musical that was longer than 30-40 minutes, they were never able to produce a feature length film.
I was told that Kids’ Venture, the musical of which I wrote the play and co-wrote the music was ten years ahead of our time. Apparently, we were twenty. Because finally is the church and Christian film companies realizing what was apparent in the early twentieth century, that children will sit through a feature length film on the edge of their seats if it has an interesting plot and characters children can relate to. A 30-40 minute film has no time to develop either.
The time for Kids’ Venture I & II has arrived at long last. We were in the early 1990’s told by the top producers of Christian musicals and music that ours was as good as anything which they could have produced, and that our children were as talented as any they could find for narration and singing.
Two producers are interested in looking at our “Kids’ Venture” and sequels after I finish converting them from play to screenplay. Songs from these musicals, which contain traditional elements of Broadway’s best, will be used as resources in the classes. In other words, a board is filming with the goal that Kids’ Venture become the first Christian children’s musical to crack the Amazon list of top twenty-five musicals ever.
The children who participate in the classes may have the opportunity to make demo’s and stage premieres on the local stage of songs and plays which are anticipated to make it on the national stage.
We have auditions for my original Easter musical drama, “The Tunnel” approaching quickly on Saturday, March 1st. All new students will have an immediate opportunity to put to good use what they learn.