Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I just finished watching "Glee." Yes, I admit it. I am a gray-haired, bottom heavy show-choir wannabe. It's all I can do (especially when "Mr. Shu" picks a song from a repertoire of hits from the 80's or--be still my heart--the 70's), to keep from knocking the cat from my lap and belting it out along with Rachel (so annoying) and Finn (almost equally annoying). 

The age group of the writers and producers seems pretty apparent from the song choices--and I thoroughly enjoy their picks. The show can influence what's on store shelves, too. After last year's finale, CDs of Journey's greatest hits appeared in towering piles at Costco and I had to elbow and bite my way through the horde of 50-somethings to procure my copy, tossing it into my cart along with the 75 pound bag of peanut M&Ms which I store in barrels in the M&M storage shed out back.

When I was in elementary school--P.S. 103 to be exact--I was a member of the "Choral Club." I clearly remember auditioning (Do-re- mi...) from the dark wooden seats in the front of the sunny auditorium and wanting to be part of it desperately enough to not let my nerves get the better of me (I wish I could remember how that's done). Several of my friends and I made the cut which was delicious enough in itself, but this included the cosmic thrill of getting to leave class for rehearsal. Leaving class for rehearsal--those words are still accompanied by an angel's choir when I say--or even think--them today.

We were handed poorly mimeographed (Hey--younger generation--what are mimeographs???  Hint--if you sniffed enough of them immediately after they came out of the machine when the ink was not quite dry, you started to forget your name and address) sheets with song lyrics and given a few minutes to look them over. Our director--the magnificent and inspiring Mrs. Sylvia Lazar--would sit down at the piano and off we'd go. Stoned from the mimeographs, freed from the classroom and math problems I could never solve and singing--not a bad way to spend an afternoon at school.

Someone once questioned whether we actually needed a director and Mrs. Lazar smiled, stepped aside and told us to sing. We fell apart in minutes without her brisk gestures and expressive eyes to keep us cohesive. She was a talented singer, as well and her enthusiasm and high spirits were contagious. The state of her abs will forever be a mystery although Mr. Shuster has flashed his several times over the course of two seasons.

We gave our concerts standing on stage, wearing white blouses, navy skirts for the girls and slacks for the boys with red neck-kerchiefs tucked under our collars. For the occasion, my mother allowed me to free my hair from the single braid I wore daily and it hung loose to my waist. 

We were much younger than the kids on Glee are supposed to be. No one was even thinking of sleeping with their fellow performers (I hope), no Slushies were flung and the Gagas and Keshas of the world only existed in nightmares. We just sang in little kid voices on a stage that was probably a lot smaller than I remember. But if you look up the word "fun" in my dictionary, next to it there simply must be a small photo of a group of kids singing together in a public school in Brooklyn. Bring me the dictionary, I'll prove it to you....

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