Summers of Babs (Part 3)
Each summer at camp, there was a big musical production. Competition started early for the “lead” and it was indeed prestigious to be chosen! Auditions were held in front of the music teacher, lines were run and dance steps practiced. Those who, sadly, did not succeed in landing a part in the play (or didn’t want to), worked on scenery, a backbreaking but fun-filled and social activity where you painted backdrops of whatever scenes were called for. Picture Marjorie Morningstar, only with a younger group.
I was chosen to play “Sharon” in “Finian’s Rainbow.” It was a highlight of my summers at Camp and instantly elevated my status from mediocre, cute girl to someone more worthy of being envied. Coincidentally, the male lead had once been my boyfriend but we had broken up and each had gone on to other summer loves. That didn’t make the “kissing” scene easy, but we managed.
Rehearsals became the most important part of each day. Lines had to be memorized, songs practiced, stage directions followed. The music teacher, who also served as director and producer of this production, worked along with the dance instructor to polish the production so as to not embarrass themselves or the camp. For, on the night of the actual performance, parents were invited to come to camp to witness this outstanding accomplishment of their children. On the occasion of the opening night of “Finian’s Rainbow,” my parents actually brought up friends of theirs! So if I muffed a line or fell on my face, not only wouldn’t I be able to face my friends, but I would embarrass my parents, who held such high expectations for me, as well.
All went as planned, the show was a success, and I still remember all the words to “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?”