It was red and yellow and green and brown and something and violet and fawn and something and something and silver and something and orange and blue!
It's a good thing I'm not singing this song. I was trying to remember the lyrics to "Joseph's Coat" from the musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."
After doing what any self-respecting child of the Internet age would do, I Googled the lyrics and found out there are 29 colors mentioned in the song.
Looks like six Elm Grove elementary students have their work cut out for them this weekend.
Annie McDonough, 8; Nicholas McDonough, 11; Alexis Ormsby, 10; Catherine Raster, 11; Mary Margaret Raster, 8; and Isabel Puchner, 9, will be part of the cast in Marquette University High School's production of the musical this weekend.
"It's not like every day you get the chance to go and be in a big high school play," said Nicholas, whose older cousin is a student at Marquette and also in the show. "I thought it would be cool to do all that acting, so I tried it out and it's been really fun."
Casting call sent out
Director Susan Sajdak sent an e-mail out to the high school students asking if anyone had younger siblings in second to fifth grade would like to be a member of the children's choir in the show.
"This group is a real pleasure cause they're really good listeners," Sajdak said. "It's exciting to have them so excited about this."
Interestingly enough, none of the six Elm Grove kids' have siblings in the show.
"When I decided to do this show, there wasn't a doubt in mind that I was going to use little ones because they make the show," the director added. "I've seen it without little kids - not the same."
The big kids - aka the high schoolers - have been welcoming of their young castmates.
"The first night, we had buddies, which was kind of good because then we got to know the older kids," Annie said.
"It's like a role model for us in our acting career," added Catherine, who along with sister Mary Margaret would like to be an actor some day.
In fact, the kids confided to me that it's difficult to keep quiet backstage sometimes because of all the fun they are having with each other and the older actors.
A learning experience
Each young actor received a CD to help them memorize the words and then to practice the dance moves. Since they all live in Elm Grove, it's easy for carpooling and getting together to practice.
According to the Elm Grove thespians, the faster dance moves are tricky, but Sajdak broke down the moves while teaching them to make it easier to learn.
"Another fun part is when all the big kids do the harder stuff than we do," Alexis said. "It's kind of fun to watch what we can learn when just want to dance to regular music."
As for the list of colors, the consensus was it's hard to keep track of all of them.
"I thought it was 'poker' instead of 'ochre,' " Isabel said.
But Nicholas points out that it's easier to follow when you're singing it.
Kids enjoying themselves
When asked their favorite part of being in the show, the youngsters gave varied answers. Annie enjoys walking along the aisles and partying during "Go, Go Joe." Isabel likes seeing the behind the scenes, while Mary Margaret prefers the star dance during "Joseph's Dream."
"I like the feeling of actually getting to be on stage because I usually just watch the play, but now I actually get to be in it," Catherine said.
There are other benefits, too, Sajdak said, like learning to follow directions, building relationships with the older kids, and having a creative outlet.
"It makes them look forward and perhaps inspires them to continue to do musical as they grow so that they can do this up through high school," she said.
Plus, all the kids said they have made new friends.
"I wanted to be in the play to meet new friends that I could have fun with, not just the friends that I'm used to at school and stuff," Alexis said.
I asked if the young actors were nervous.
"I'm a little scared about how many people there are (in the audience)," Mary Margaret said, looking at the rows of seats in auditorium.
After watching the kids perform a number from the show, I have a feeling they'll be just fine on opening night.
Get in the Action
Six Elm Grove elementary school students are part of the cast of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at Marquette University High School, 3401 W. Wisconsin Ave. in Milwaukee. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $8 for rows A through T and $6 for rows U through EE. Tickets can be purchased by visiting hilltoppershop.com or calling (414) 933-7220.Julie Ann Marra is uncovering the heart of Elm Grove, its people and places. Call her at (262) 446-6634 or e-mail email@example.com.
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