The morning of our performance weekend at the Hollywood Bowl in July, we had a “brunch” final dress rehearsal at 10 am (in blazing sunlight). Our babysitters brought Ellison and Colton. I was able to see them in the audience, which thrilled me.
I could see Ellison was transfixed by the show, his glasses glued to the stage. Colton? Not so much. That kid has no interest in live theatre. (Or screen time, for that matter. Ellison could watch the “Yule Log”. Colton couldn’t care less; which is really inconvenient when you just want HIM TO PLAY ON THE IPAD FOR 20 MINUTES SO I CAN COOK DINNER.)
The show really stuck with Ellison. He told me, “My favorite part was when you were the daddy of the dirty guys.”
After a few questions, I discerned that he mistook me for one of the principals during a song featuring half-dead plague victims dressed in muddy rags.
I’m happy he assumed I was front and center.
His other favorite part was “the Princess and her mermaids.”
Let me explain: Spamalot is the musicalized stage version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. There’s a character known as the “Lady of the Lake”, a diva popping in and out of the scene to sing huge songs throughout the show and ends up (spoiler alert) being Gwinevere at the end.
Because the Lady of the Lake’s first entrance is from a swamp (alongside her “laker girls” covered in seaweed-like fabric), I thought Ellison showed great perspicacity calling her the “princess with her mermaids.”
Six weeks later, Ellison’s obsessed with the music from the show: both the “dirty guy” song, but mostly the the Lady of the Lake’s big numbers.
And how does he request these songs?
“Daddy? I want to hear the blue dress song.”
“Daddy? I want to hear the green dress song.”
“Daddy? Now can I listen to the red dress song?”
He saw the show once (with the sun glaring in his face). Gwinevere’s gowns made quite the impression.
This kid knows how to appreciate a diva.
I adore this stage of life where his world is the world…asking friends, “Do you like the ‘dirty guy’ song?” “Do you like the ‘red dress’ song?”
His friends stare blankly.
When we play the Spamalot soundtrack (something I never expected to do. Ever.), he interprets with aplomb. He knows how to “drop dead” on the right beat in the dirty guy song and he floats his arms ethereally during the “red dress song.”
It’s astounding (and wonderful) to watch.
And it provides respite from incessant Disney songs leaking from his subconscious.
But even with Disney, it’s glorious to watch how music courses through his veins. When listening to new songs, his eyes glaze over; he goes there. How soul-fulfilling to be so passionate about an art form.
Not to mention his expanding appreciation for 11-o’clock diva anthems? I can indulge this, for sure.
Just don’t be an actor, son!
Let’s go for hedge-fund-musical-management, OK? Or perhaps website digital musical composition? Or just listen to lots of music as you study for the bar exam?
I don’t want to worry about you becoming a stay-at-home-actor/parent with a blog.
* There was one more “favorite moment” Ellison had from Spamalot. It’s so offensive I will never, ever write it down. You’ll have to ask me in person. It’s that good.
Ah, the unfiltered honest observations of toddlers.