When I was younger, at least once a year, my dad would pile us all into the station wagon and we would travel into Manhattan for “a show.”
Sometimes these shows were musicals.
Sometimes these shows were operas.
Sometimes these shows were plays.
But no matter the production, it was a special occasion. Any time where our parents asked us to get dressed up, drive into Manhattan where they both worked long hours and commuted to and for hours just to provide us and experience different from the norm.
I grew up in the burbs. “Going into the city,” meant one thing. It meant taking the drive 50 minutes southeast to the city that never sleeps.
What do I remember from these shows?
Sometimes, I remember my Nana falling asleep and being woken up by the sound of a clanging symbol during one particular song in South Pacific.
Other times, I remember wearing the same Sunday church dress as my younger sister, which was almost always, itchy, frilly, and uncomfortable.
Still other times, I remember singing along with the songs and the stage performers from The King and I where Yul Brenner and Constance Towers ruled the stage.
But more often than not, I remember going home happy, with a full belly because watching a show on Broadway (or even off Broadway) meant dinner afterwards in my dad’s favorite Chinese restaurant on Mott Street.
In fact, after asking my dad about the very first show that he took me to, I realized that I was just a little younger than Gellibean when I sat in those plush red chairs in the orchestra section of the very first stage production that I watched.
As Repertory Philippines marks the celebration of their upcoming 50th Anniversary, they close out the year with a musical that kids, both young and old, will enjoy with A LITTLE PRINCESS.
A Little Princess is based on the novel of the same name, written in the early 1900’s by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This musical adaptation was written by Brian Crawley and is set to music by Andrew Lippa.
Sara Crewe, is a young girl who grew up in West Africa with a great big imagination. Sara is sent to boarding school in London by her father, wealthy and renowned adventure Captain Crew.
As the story unfolds, we learn that Sara’s vivid imagination can transport her back to Africa and the home she grew up when the challenges of boarding school, getting along with the other girls, and a head mistress who seems to have her critical eye on Sara become too much.
The audience is just as delighted to hear of Sara’s stories which inspire her friends, bringing happiness and laughter to challenging circumstances. Even her affections for scullery maid, Becky, anger head misstress, Ms. Minchin, further aggravating their relationship. But just as Ms. Amelia enjoys her time with Sara Crewe, one cannot help but be enamored with Sara’s kindness and loving example she sets.
Despite the cruel treatment Sara suffers under Ms. Minchin’s hands, she still remains kind, loving, and hopeful. Sara Crewe, A Little Princess, lives to her title by walking in light and grace even through the most desperate times.
The cast and crew are filled with veteran Repertory actors commanding the Greenbelt stage with poise and presence.
My children and I were transported back to a time that has gone by with the set, the choreography, and the music which accompanied this poignant story.
As I was sitting in my seat waiting for the curtain to go up, I realized just how wonderful it is to be able to give my children the gift of theater without having to travel so far.
We have watched other REP productions, when they were much smaller.
I was reminded of what I had said to Nino the last time we were at the theater with the kids. “We need to do this more often.”
Now, we are all looking forward to the coming year of REP’s onstage productions. We will be sure to follow along on their social media for some of their upcoming shows.
Check them out for yourself!
For more information on A Little Princess, visit:
For inquiries you may
Call REP at 843-3570
Ticketworld at 891-9999
Peter A Ressa says
This post brings back so many Happy Memories! Thank you For Posting Michelle Ann our darling daughter!
Hermelina D. Ressa says
Just love all your stories! Beautiful memories!
Thanks Mom. The memories I have of my childhood are beautiful. Thanks to you and Dad.