The Goddess Speaks
Gracefully easing on down the road
If 40 is the new 29, then I'm ... 31. The media tells me that it's all good, with second-chance reality shows like "She's Got the Look," "The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom" and "The Big 4-0."
Not that I need to be affirmed by cable television. I've been managing pretty well in the getting-older department. It only bothered me briefly when I realized that no cashier will ever ask for my ID again.
I've been managing pretty well in the getting-older department. It only bothered me briefly when I realized that no cashier will ever ask for my ID again.
At my last eye appointment, the doctor dropped the b-word ("bifocals"), but one sideways stink-eye later he was singing the praises of progressive lenses, which I can live with.
I even breezed through the past couple of months, during which my oldest daughter turned into a teenager, already an inch taller and a shoe size bigger than I am, and my son celebrated his first double-digit birthday.
So it was somewhat distressing when the "Who Do You Think You Are, Doing That at Your Age?" bully cast its shadow on one of my favorite playgrounds: onstage in musical theater.
God bless director Rob Duval for casting me -- at my age -- in the ensemble of "The Wizard of Oz" this summer. As you might expect in this show, everywhere you turn a small child is tra-la-la-ing down a yellow brick road. There are 20 Munchkins in the cast and one of them is my youngest daughter, which is a good thing.
As it turns out, I'm also old enough to have given birth to most in the "adult" ensemble as well. While not exactly a bad thing, it's still an unnerving thought to have when you're rehearsing to be a sequined snowflake in a very short skirt.
Musical theater, however, is a magical place. If musical director Peter Rucci can envision me as a manicurist to a singing lion, I'm happy to oblige.
If choreographer John Rampage has faith that I can jitterbug my way through 122 measures of music, followed by more dancing while punching out the vocals in tight harmonies -- by God, that's what I'll do, five shows a week, four weekends in a row.
Besides, it's just plain fun, especially in this show, where part of the magic is brought to life by a group of teenagers who are singing and dancing sensations with thousand-watt smiles. The best part is that these kids are hard-working, fun-loving and kind to each other. Luckily, their kindness extends to me.
One night during a lull in rehearsal, one of the boys in the ensemble asked conversationally, "You have a husband?"
"Yes, and three kids," I answer.
"You're cool," he says.
And I smile because that's nice to hear. At any age.
Camille Domaloan Michel is the communications coordinator at her alma mater, Maryknoll School. See her in several small roles in "The Wizard of Oz," through Aug. 3 at Diamond Head Theatre. Call 733-0274.
The Goddess Speaks is a feature column by and about women. If you have something to say, write "The Goddess Speaks," 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210,
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