April 16, 2015

Pelham Childrens Theater | Mulan Jr.

You know the story, right?

It’s like this. Mulan, the young daughter of a respected Chinese family, has reached the age at which she must go before the village matchmaker in the hopes of finding a husband. It’s the only way for a girl to honor her family, you know. Mulan, though, isn’t feeling it. She’s one of those late bloomers — a tomboy who feels out of place in ribbons and fancy clothes. The meeting’s a disaster, which leads Mulan to wonder “When will my reflection show who I am inside?” And that VOICE. Soooo lovely! Behind the camera tonight at the dress rehearsal, it wasn’t the first time my viewfinder got a little fogged up from the emotion on stage. To clinch it (the fogging of the viewfinder, that is) her father joins her on stage at the end of the show and compares her to a flower, that though late to bloom “is sure to be the most beautiful blossom of all.”

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Suddenly, word arrives that the Huns have invaded, and the father of each family must report to fight to defend China. Mulan’s sweet dad, who’s already fought for China before, is called again. Mulan, who thinks this is unfair and is determined to prove that there’s more to her than the matchmaker’s conclusion, disguises herself as a boy and sneaks off to join the army in her father’s place.

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Mulan is not alone in her crazy adventure, of course. She’s backed by the counsel of her ancestors, and a friendly guardian named Mushu — a little dragon who has fallen from grace in the eyes of the ancestors but has the unique ability to accompany her on earth. Mushu is the first of the show’s many doses of comic relief. And holy MOLY — this kid can sing and dance. (Wait ’til you SEE!)

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I don’t want to give TOO much away, but let’s just say that Mulan meets lots of funny and handsome soldiers in her journey, and that she manages to make us ladies proud by proving that there’s more to winning wars than brawn and testosterone. And that not only does she save China from the Huns, she makes a whole lot of people start to understand the meaning of girl power and making your own way.

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That’s it! That’s all I’m saying! You’re gonna have to come see the show to find out the rest.

I’ll just say one more thing — this is one of Disney’s best, and the way it comes together in the hands of these talented Pelham fifth and sixth graders is enough to fog up anyone’s viewfinder (so to speak). You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll lean over and make sure the little people next to you understand this beautiful message.

PCT has done it again, folks. It’ll be FIFTY years next year that this little community theater — run by parent volunteers and talented directors and fueled by generations of Pelham pre-teen talent, has made magic.

And here’s the thing.  If my (six years of) experience as photographer for PCT doesn’t fail me, the show goes from zero to sixty between dress rehearsal and opening night.  So what I’m saying is, if you’re impressed by what you see in these pictures, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

As of this posting, there are still tickets available to all three shows.  Online ticket sales end at MIDNIGHT TONIGHT, though, and that’ll be your last chance to be SURE you’ll get seats.  So, what are you waiting for????

[Edited:  Opening night was a sold out, HUGE success.  There are still tickets available for today’s and tomorrow’s show!]

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Thanks for looking!

~Jaye

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