FRIENDS! AMUR-CANS! COUNTRYMEN! LEND ME YOUR EARS!
Broadway at Baker is fast approaching…and week one is The Hot Mikado. For those of you who think I’m speaking a foreign language right now, Broadway at Baker is a Musical Theatre overnight camp for 13-18 year olds in Baldwin City, Kansas, conducted each year by Music Theatre for Young People. (For a demonstration of the fierceness that now seems to be running inbred and unchecked in these kids…see this or this—at 2:08, then tell me you didn’t rewind that optional high note/jazzy riff combo at 2:15-2:22 once or twice!) It is such a special month for me. Working with these kiddos makes me about as happy as a lark…and they daily blow me away with their hunger, professionalism, talent, and ability to put on a damn fine show in one week. YES. That’s right. A full broadway musical. In one. WEEK.
They arrive on campus on Sunday afternoon, move-in, and then it’s trial by fire. They are put through a rigorous dance audition, they cold read from the script, get a breather for dinner…then it’s off to vocals, callbacks, and by midnight the casting process is complete. They then have just a few very long days to put the show on it’s feet, learn their lines, choreo, music—everything…but sure enough, by Sunday afternoon, they’ve accomplished the incredible. It never ceases to amaze me!
Okay. So the first show of the Baker season is The Hot Mikado, a sensible 1940’s adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic operetta, The Mikado. Oh, yes! How adorable. Anyway, we’re peppering the week’s activities with 1940’s goodness, and we came up with the idea of giving the dance a USO Canteen Party theme. So I need cute ideas. Put your thinking caps on…and give me some budget friendly ideas for throwing a great party. Got any great 40’s dance tunes? Send them my way. Hit me with your best shot. What’s your big idea?