I could wait until tomorrow to tell you about how wonderful the Pleasant High School presentation of The Wizard of Oz was. I could, but why wait? These kids from a county school in the little town of Marion, Ohio, are just oozing talent. Seriously. I am just a bit biased since Dorothy was played by my sweet cousin, Grace, who I think is the most talented red-headed senior in the state, if not the country. She’s not just talented but also generally awesome. She’s so awesome, we asked her to be Baby Bird’s Godmother when he was baptized three years ago and she was only 15 then.
So, I KNEW she would be great and she didn’t disappoint. And even better, I DIDN’T expect the other leads to be great. I mean, don’t misunderstand, I knew they wouldn’t suck. I knew there was tremendous talent in that school, but I never expected them to be able to get kids who could pull off The Cowardly Lion, The Tin Man, and The Scarecrow with as much finesse as Gracie played Judy Garland’s Dorothy. Yeah, it was a tribute to the movie, and that was a little jarring at first. Gracie was so perfect in her impression, that at first I wanted to jump up and yell, “NO! Do it your own way!” but I soon came to my senses. Everyone is going to compare it to the movie we’ve all seen dozens of times anyway. Might as well give them the Dorothy they expect. But if you’re going to do that, you better nail it.
And they did. All four of them. Mostly. I mean, I forgot I was watching high school kids. And I was impressed.
So, the show is over now, and all four of them are seniors, along with a bunch of other kids in the show. This was their last perfomance on that stage. They will all move on now. They’re doing all sorts of different things. Some of them will perform more, some of them may never be on a stag again. But I’m more than a little jealous of the experience they got to have in high school when so much unbelievable talent came together at one time. Grace, Malachi, Jay, and Cameron, I hope you hang on to that moment for your whole life. But go, go on and do the next chapter!