A Christmas pageant star is born

I miss the Grand Junction theater scene. The fact I actually enjoyed local plays was sort of surprising at first. For most guys, going to the theater is one of those things in life that you know you’re going to hate — until you actually experience it. Then you realize it’s not quite as bad as you thought it’d be. In that way it’s a lot like getting a physical or running a 5K. Or marriage.

My first trip to the theater occurred when the company my wife worked for bought us all dinner-theater packages to the Cabaret. I had to go because we had just started dating, meaning I was still in that “I’ll do anything to try to impress you” stage of courtship that we all go through and which usually ends approximately 17 minutes after you get home from your honeymoon.

Anyway, the plays were actually enjoyable. The acting, storylines and music I found to be very entertaining. Then again, we did have an open bar.

“Guys and Dolls” was my favorite. Smooth gangsters decked out in pinstripe suits, chasing dames, sipping gin and shooting craps to Sinatra tunes. How cool is that? The fact the play was written by a Colorado newspaperman was just gravy.

Marie’s favorite was “The Sound of Music,” but it kind of bothered me. Especially the song, “My Favorite Things.” If “whiskers on kittens” is one of your favorite things, then you obviously have never seen a Sharper Image catalog or an episode of “Baywatch.” Plus all those too-cutesy, well-behaved, snot-nosed little kids singing in perfect harmony were annoying. You know it’s bad when you start to root for the Nazis.

So not all plays are interesting. Marie once tried dragging us to see “Cats” in Denver, but I was able to wiggle out of it. I know it’s one of the most successful Broadway musicals ever, but I’m just not into cats. Or singing cats. I’m really not into dudes dressing up as singing cats.

For the most part though, plays and musicals are fun, which is why Marie and I were thrilled at the opportunity to once again experience world-class theater on Main Street the other night when we joined a packed crowd at a closed Pilates studio at Sixth and Main to watch an exclusive performance of the “Stepping Stone Day Care’s Christmas Show. Starring Marilee Beauregard in her worldwide theatrical debut.”

Actually, the program didn’t mention that last part. That’s because there wasn’t a program. But it would have, because, frankly, my daughter stole the show. I realize I’m biased here, but I noticed several people seated around me who were watching her, obviously distracted by her enormous talent.

Or it could have been the fact she was crying for her mommy the whole time.

What is not in dispute is that Marilee is a multi-talented singer. Who else could sing “Away in a Manger” with one finger stuck deep inside her nostril? Have you ever seen Celine Dion try that? Didn’t think so.

Sure, to the unsophisticated, novice theater patron, it may have appeared she was picking her nose. However those skilled in the performing arts understand and appreciate that hers was an interpretive dance, in which her nose picking was meant to symbolize how Santa picks out Christmas gifts.

It’s just like the next song they sang, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” To the untrained observer, she may have appeared to have completely forgotten the words. Yet, most of us realize that was just her humble way of not hogging the spotlight and allowing her castmates to shine.

After this exceptional performance, Marilee gathered backstage with all her day-care friends, or as I call them, “talentless hacks,” for the after-party.

I know I’m sounding like a proud parent here, but I can’t help but think I’ve fathered America’s next great diva. Tell me this doesn’t sound like Britney Spears or Lady Gaga: Backstage, Marilee pigged out on junk food, whined, flirted with young males, then demanded a bottle. On the ride home, she passed out in the back seat.

Yep, a star is born.

E-mail Steve Beauregard at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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