Monday, November 27, 2017

The King and I-Performed by Duchesne High School

The drama department of Duchesne High School, led by Mrs. Merrillee McKee performed a lovely play, The King and I on November 16, 17, 20, and 21. I saw the play the first two days. The story about Anna Leonowens and her experiences in the household of the King of Siam as she taught his many children is a very entertaining and moving story. There are sad parts and funny parts, and everything was performed exceptionally well. I thought the story of Tuptim and Lun Tha was very sweet and sad, and the ending also was sad, but also hopeful when Prince Chulalongkorn talked about his plans for the future of his country

The story was based partly on the true story of Anna Leonowens who was in fact the governess for the royal children. King Mongkut was the king of Siam, and his oldest son Chulalongkorn was his heir. To read more about the fictional story, and the non-fictional story, click HERE.

The play was performed very well, and I enjoyed it both nights. The cast and crew of The King and I should be proud of themselves!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Fiddler on the Roof- Performed by Altamont High School

I had a great opportunity recently to watch the fall play for Altamont High School as they performed one of my favorite musicals, Fiddler on the Roof. 
The main character is Tevye, a poor man who supports his family of seven (he has five daughters) as a dairy man. He lives in the village of Anatevka in 1905, populated with mostly Jewish people, held together by their strong traditions. Tevye loves his family, but faces many troubles as his three oldest daughters insist on marrying for love, the choice of each daughter moving further away from Tevye's long held and cherished traditions. 
Zeitel, Tevye's oldest daughter is lined up to marry Lazar Wolf, a man older than her own father, but she wants to marry Motel, her childhood sweetheart. She is allowed to marry Motel when her father claims to have had a dream about Lazar's dead wife coming back to give them trouble. Hodel, Tevye's second daughter, falls in love with Perchik who has radical ideas, and asks Hodel to dance with him at the wedding of Zeitel and Motel. Chava, Tevye's third daughter loves books, and falls in love with Fyedka, a gentile, which is something Tevye cannot take.
I really like Fiddler on the Roof, the story and the message of it. Tevye goes through a lot as he deals with the choices of his daughters, and grows wiser as he does.  The cast and crew did a really good job, and I could tell they had worked hard on putting it together. I am glad that Altamont performed this play, and I am glad I went to it.

Zombie Prom- Performed by Stansbury High School

Zombie Prom (c) 2017
The drama department at Stansbury High School recently performed an exceptionally well done play entitled Zombie Prom. The cast, backstage crew, techs, and everyone involved in the play did a fantastic job. It ran from November 3rd to the 14th. I went on opening night, November 3rd, and really enjoyed it.

Zombie Prom is a play that doesn't expect its audience to take it seriously. It's campy and silly, on purpose, and as a result, is a hilarious and brilliant mix of teenage angst and radioactive romance.

The plot basically, is this: Boy meets girl. Girl's parents disapprove of boy. Boy loses girl. Boy turns into... a zombie! And the fun is just beginning at that part! Throw in an overly strict principal, a reporter interested in championing "Zombie Rights", and you've got a wonderfully funny story that entertains its audience clear through to the somewhat predictable, but satisfying ending all the same.

The drama department at Stansbury High School should be very proud of themselves! And Stansbury High's Drama isn't done yet this year! They'll be doing Elf Jr. The Musical in December, Peter and the Starcatcher in February, and The Sound of Music in May! Click HERE for more information about these upcoming plays!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

History of Halloween

Halloween is a fun holiday for many people, especially little kids who like to go trick-or-treating (or trunk-or-treating as many people are doing nowadays) and getting candy, dressing up, and basically having a fun time. But not many people know much about the history of Halloween.

Anciently, in Ireland, the Celts celebrated a holiday called Samhain (pronounced Saw-wein) that was the end of their harvest time, and the beginning of winter, the dark time of the year. They had bonfires to celebrate the time, and they had the belief that at Samhain, the veil between the living and the dead grew thin, that the spirits of the departed could come back and walk among the living.

When the Romans invaded Britain, their holidays (Pomona and Lemuria) merged with Samhain, and then when Christianity came to Europe and Britain, Samhain evolved into All Hallow's Day, the day before All Hallow's Day becoming All Hallow's Evening, or All Hallow's Eve, which eventually evolved into Hallowe'en, or just Halloween.

Many traditions evolved, but still kept some form of what they were originally. Bobbing for apples, for example, came from the Roman festival of Pomona, which celebrated the goddess of fruits. Trick-or-treating, despite the saying being less than 80 years old, came from "souling" for "soul cakes" back in the middle ages when young people would go a-souling, begging for soul-cakes, and then praying for the departed relatives of the people who gave them soul cakes, so that they could be rescued from purgatory.

It's interesting to learn where our traditions come from, and what old festivals evolved to make them what they are today. Learn more HERE.