If you have never attended an elementary school talent show, I highly, highly recommend that you do so at the earliest possible opportunity. Not only it is just completely and unbelievably adorable, it’s also the most amazingly hilarious entertainment you can imagine! You would be hard pressed to find better comedy.
My son came home from kindergarten a few weeks ago with a flyer for the school’s annual talent show. No audition required. Performers just had to attend a rehearsal to satisfactorily convince the teachers that their display would cause neither scandal nor embarrassment to the school and they were in! My son was determined to preform. As a life-long introvert who would probably still be on anti-anxiety medication had I been required to perform in a talent show at age 6, I was thrilled that he was excited about a public performance. He decided he would showcase his hula hoop skills. (It’s for boys too!!!)
He practiced for weeks and was looking forward to the show. To be honest, I thought he was likely to either lose interest or lose his resolve to perform (like the time he won a student-of-the-month award and got so nervous up on stage that he refused to smile for any of the pictures). He impressed me with his determination.
The day of the talent show arrived and while I was super excited to watch my baby perform and was ready to cheer as loud as possible for him like the crazy-proud mom I am, I was also slightly dreading having to be stuck in the audience with his new baby sister, sitting through who knows how many off-key renditions of Let it Snow (spoiler alert: only one!). The program listed all of the usual piano performances, duets, magic tricks, but what unfolded on the stage was absolutely amazing!
The piano performances:
There’s really not much to say here. A lot of the kids take piano lessons in the chapel after school. I think they all performed. The best thing I can say about the piano performances is that they were brief. I’m sorry, piano student parents. I never played the piano. My mom signed me up for violin lessons as a child, and promptly had me quit when the screeching sound of my amateur practicing around the house became too excruciating to bear. I still long to play the violin. The piano was never my bag. (Feel free to retort with, “Well, at least my kid can sit still long enough to play a 30 second piano solo.” Touché!)
The Magic Show:
This was one of my favorites! The cute little performer (one of my son’s kindergarten friends) would yell out things like, “Everyone turn around and look at the back of the room….” then he’d get his trick set up and announce, “Okay, you can turn back around now! Guess what color I have! It’s red!” (applause) At one point he put some balls into a box, telling us they’d magically disappear, but they actually fell all the way through the trap door and landed on the floor. It was the most adorable thing I couldn’t stop laughing at ever!
The kid who danced with his mom:
Now, when I read the program, I saw the names and assumed they were siblings since a number of sibling groups were pairing up for the show. Nope – mother and son. And the performance was clearly 100% the mother’s idea. No third grader is ever going to say, “Hey, Mom. Let’s do a Sweatin’ to the Oldies routine to the tune of ‘Everything is Awesome’ in front of all my friends.” The music selection didn’t lie. It was awesome. It was painfully awesome. Don’t get me wrong, I am an embarrassing mom. But I usually keep my maximum embarrassment level set to things in the range of yelling, “Be who you are today, Mommy loves you!” across the playground when I drop my son off at school. I would never force him to dance on stage with me to a routine I choreographed for us while he begged for the building to collapse on our heads to end his humiliation. And if I ever lost sense of my faculties and attempted to do so, my son has other people in his life who love him and who would intervene in his best interests. But good on that boy for getting up there, doing that dance (albeit with an obvious lack of enthusiasm) and loving his mama so much!
The comedy routine:
These kids were so cute. They preformed the cheesiest jokes with complete deadpan delivery while their peers completely cracked up.
Kid 1: Do you know who I am?
Kid 2: Of course, we’re in the same class.
Kid 1: Knock, knock.
Kid 2: Who’s there?
Kid 1: Hey, I thought you knew me!
* ba dum bum*
The stepping routine:
Gotta hand it to these girls – they were awesome. They were only in second or third grade and were amazing. They even had a chant/rap/song they had written about the school with positive moral values and healthy self-esteem messages worked throughout. I think all other parents immediately felt like their kids were underachievers in comparison. Obvious focus and discipline! I’m sure they’re straight A students. I’m willing to adopt them.
The Little Mermaid Solo:
Yaaaaaaaaaaas!!!! Is the Little Mermaid still a thing? It was the first movie my family ever owned on VHS when I was growing up. My sister had seen it somewhere before I had and I used to make her tell me the story over and over again, describing the movie and the songs to me. I used to sing “Part of Your World” in the bath every night. (True confession: sometimes I still sing it in the shower!) I looked down at my 7 week old daughter and thought “We are SO watching the Little Mermaid 10,000 times together” while I tried to resist the urge to sing along.
The token musical theater kid:
This kid has had the lead role in every show I’ve attended at this school. He leads weekly singing in chapel with the music teacher. He’s featured in newsletters and announcements that are sent home. He’s their golden boy. And deservedly so, he could be on Broadway. He’s set to move on to middle school next year and the concerts are going to be absolute rubbish without him (sorry – everyone knows it). He obviously spends 95% of his non-school awake time practicing his performances. I’m not sure what his home life is like – if this is all his idea or if he has Toddlers and Tiaras-style parents, but he definitely has some serious talent and his little sister is in on the action too. He had chosen to perform Defying Gravity from Wicked (Yes!!! The perfect show-off song. I knew it would be epic!) with his little sister performing with him. He was even in costume. (This performance was all-in!!! My 3 year old even announced: HE KINDA LOOKS LIKE A WITCH. Witches are forbidden in our house because I’m not a fan of dark magic.) This was the grand finale and I was so excited. It was so perfect. He would sing his heart out and his sister would run up to her mic for her lines here and there and then she’d run back behind him and dance and flutter around in her ballerina shoes and pink tutu. The ONLY time he made the slightest mistake and momentarily broke character was when he was trying to wave his little sister back to the mic for her next line. The line? “You’re having delusions of grandeur.” Oh, bliss! This made my week! The humor was too perfect. I loved every moment. STANDING OVATION! And, of course, I’ve been singing songs from Wicked all night!
The show was amazing. The kids were great. The humor was awesome. My guy did his hula hooping. He dropped if a few times and didn’t manage to pull of his best trick – but seeing how proud he was of himself while the crowd was cheering him on had tears welling up in my eyes and me laughing crazy like a fool with joy! The students cheered each other on so amazingly well. There was so much love and support and celebration in that room! It was beautiful!
So if you ever have the chance to attend an elementary school talent show, go! I have half a mind to start calling up the other local schools to see if we can attend theirs. And I’m seriously thinking of suggesting that we all stop selling our relatives bread as our fundraisers and just start charging admission to the talent shows instead. I would pay huge amounts of money to sit though that again!