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This is art, you blockhead!

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Kentucky Classic Theatre continues to bring the arts to Marion County

I walked into a sixth grade classroom last week and I counted at least four students who I had recently watched perform on stage at Angelic Hall.
“Isn’t that something,” I thought. These children are starring in musicals and plays in their hometown. How cool is that?
I’ll answer that question for you - it’s very cool.
Kentucky Classic Theatre, specifically Robin Humphress and G.B. Dixon, have helped make these opportunities more readily available for local children during the past two years. And, it’s not just the kids who are getting to have all the fun. Adults have been in on the act, too. (Pun, intended.) I was lucky enough to be asked to perform in Kentucky Classic Theatre’s production of the melodrama “Lovely in Danger” two years ago. It was so much fun, but a lot of work. At the time, I vowed to myself I would never do it again. Once was enough.
Famous last words, right?
Right.
By the time you read this, I will have performed as Lucy in “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” over the weekend at Angelic Hall in Lebanon. If you didn’t get a chance to see it in Lebanon, have no fear. Additional performances will be held at 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 3, and Saturday, Jan 4 at Angelic Hall in Lebanon. If you purchased tickets and were not able to use them this past weekend you will be able to trade them for new tickets for additional performances. Advance tickets are available for $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under at the Marion County Heritage Center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday or 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. At the door, tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for children.
Before we went on stage Friday evening, I was worried we weren’t ready. I was worried that it might be a total disaster. But, it wasn’t. A few minor hiccups here and there, but all in all it was a great performance.
For those of you who have never seen it, it’s a really sweet show. Kids love it. Saturday evening there were approximately 78 kids there, along with many adults. I couldn’t help but smile backstage as I listened to the children’s laughter. Hearing the giggles while I was on and off stage made the countless hours of rehearsals worth it.
So far, the reviews of the show have been very positive. After our performance on Friday and Saturday nights, I asked several of the kids (and their parents) what parts they liked the best. Several little girls told me they liked it when Lucy (me) sang “crazy.” I took that as a compliment. I’ll be the first to admit, Lucy isn’t the best singer. She’s not supposed to be. Her main objective isn’t to sing beautifully, it’s to be heard. Some people (myself included) might even say she screeches instead of sings. But, she screeches with confidence (and crabbiness). And the kids dig it.
Another comment I heard from several children and their parents is that they wanted to see more of Woodstock, who is played by my seven-year-old son, Owen. While he doesn’t have any lines, he’s definitely a crowd favorite during the limited time he’s on stage. I’ve relayed the comments about Woodstock to our director, G.B. Dixon (who plays the part of Snoopy). Maybe he’ll find some additional stage time for Woodstock in January shows.
I look forward to performing “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” again, and I encourage you to come see it if you haven’t already. The entire cast helps bring these loveable characters to life. While our singing and dancing isn’t necessarily Broadway worthy, it’s cute nonetheless. And the show is a perfect one for the family to enjoy together. It has humor for every age level. I had to laugh Saturday evening during one of the scenes when Sally was on stage. She’s talking to Schroeder and she’s mad. She’s mad at the whole world. And one of her lines includes the word “stupid.” After hearing that, a sweet little girl in the audience loudly exclaimed, “She said a bad word!” It was priceless.
Being a part of this show has reminded me how much fun it is to be a kid again. Since, late October, I’ve been rehearsing to play a part of a five-year-old little girl. I’ve been encouraged to be silly and playful and, oh yes, crabby. And it’s been fun. (And a lot of work!)
I hope the community continues to support Kentucky Classic Theatre’s efforts to keep the arts alive in Marion County. From my vantage point, the community, especially our children, have embraced the opportunities that have been provided, thus far. In my eyes, it’s adding to the quality of life in our community, and I, for one, hope it continues to get bigger and better. After all, as Charles M. Schulz, a cartoonist best known for the comic strip Peanuts once wrote, “What's the good of living if you don't try a few things?”