Monday, May 22, 2006

Micronesian Preview of "Welcome to Micronesia!"

Last Thursday was the Micronesian preview of the brand new musical Welcome to Micronesia! After a month of rehearsing in the music classroom and the MITC meeting rooms, we performed it at 6:30 in the evening for a crowd of about 100.

Last September and October we did performances of the songs. Since that time Jonathan has written a script to interconnect the songs. Jonathan, Rohaizad, Janhabi and I met monthly and then weekly to go through the script. Several songs were cut out and two new songs were put into this version of Welcome to Micronesia!

We had some scary moments. Tuesday before the performance the National Police showed up to take Janhabi away. She's the Assistant Attorney General and was needed at a hearing. Then, on the day of the performance

The audience seemed to love it. During the opening scenes and songs, I looked out to see a mass of grins and laughter in the audience. Some people who had been involved with the original reading last year were singing along.

A middle-aged American woman came up to me after the show to say how much the song "Maslow's Salad" meant to her. "Thirty-seven years ago when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer here," she said, "I had to choose between having fresh tomatoes and marrying my husband." It's funny, I wrote that song totally tongue-in-cheek, but it actually moved her.

Also in the audience was the legendary Father Hezel, a Jesuit priest who has been in Micronesia since the 1960's. He wrote the history books The First Taint of Civilization and Strangers in Their Own Land as well as several other books and many, many articles. He also runs the Micronesian Seminar. He loved the show and intends to come see it again in Baltimore. Wow!

After the performance Janhabi and I decended into days of illness. Rohaizad left on Saturday for Singapore - he'll be coming to Baltimore later, but is only allowed to spend 30 days in the United States. It was good to have the positive feed-back to the performance to carry us through the next month before we all meet again in Baltimore to rehearse for the full production.


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