“Bebop with Aesop” a huge success

Published 4:01 pm Monday, August 8, 2011

Youngsters who sang and danced in “Bebop with Aesop.” From left, Micah Layton and Jaxon Butterworth. (Contributed)

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

The musical production “Bebop with Aesop” will long be remembered as providing an exciting and fun night for the Boys and Girls Club kids and their audience, who packed the Montevallo First United Methodist Church sanctuary on the night of July 28.

Parents and friends were highly entertained by more than 90 children of the B&G Club.

The sage advice found in many of Aesop’s fables was dramatized and set to the jazzy music the kids love. Their renditions of “Look Before You Leap,” “Don’t Count Your Chickens,” “Honesty’s the Best Policy” and others were all followed by rousing applause from the appreciative audience.

“I thought the kids did great,” said Freda Shivers, the club’s unit director. “My favorite part was seeing some of our shyest members standing front and center singing their hearts out in front of that large crowd, but the best part of all was having them check in Friday morning talking about their success and being proud of themselves.”

She explained that on the next morning at their regular club meeting, the little girls were taking turns singing parts of the songs performed in the show by a trio of the older girls.

When Shivers related to those older girls the extent of the impression they had made on their “fans,” they decided that they would teach the younger girls the routine. They named themselves the “Dream Girls” and signed autographs.

The program had culminated a summer of preparation and rehearsals led by Melissa Harbison Stano, who came up with the idea, selected the script, choreographed the dance, made costumes and props, taught the music and really directed the entire production. However, she gave much credit to Alyssa Drawhorn and Polly Holsomback for their art work; Jordan Smith for coordinating the dying of the tee shirts, building sets and helping with the props; Loren McAnally for audio-visual support and Amy Pintaro for photography.

Almost all of the children in the club were involved in the production: singing and dancing on stage, making costumes, helping build sets, or greeting guests and handing out programs on the night of the production.

The summer B&G Club program served 194 youngsters, ages 6 – 12. Space was provided at Montevallo High School, as well as that at the Holsomback Park and Recreation Building.

The fall afternoon program will begin on Aug. 11.

Younger children will be met and escorted from the elementary school to the park building, and the middle school students will be picked up by the van. For more information regarding the club and registration, call 665-4466.

Catherine Legg can be reached by email at clegg2@bellsouth.net.