Sunday, June 3, 2012

June 3 Photo: On My Plate


When I first saw the assignment “On Your Plate,” I thought about it quite literally. I imagined a photograph of either a beautiful gourmet meal waiting to be eaten, or possibly the remnants of a beautiful gourmet meal sadly waiting to be washed away. But as I thought about it a bit more, I was reminded of the many projects and tasks I currently have “on my plate.”

As most of us do, I have a mental list of things I would like to work on (or start, or finish) over the next few days, weeks, and months. Some of them are pretty major, like repainting the living room or building a three-season porch. Some of them are pretty minor, like putting my winter clothes in the attic or dropping off the kids’ outgrown clothes at Goodwill or cleaning out the toybox. Some of them are somewhere in the middle, like buying my daughter a dresser or putting away all the laundry in the laundry room or getting my car inspected. Some of them are interesting, some of them are exciting, and a lot of them are pretty mundane and boring. But one of the most interesting – and challenging – tasks currently on my plate is refurbishing the Wooden Soldier costumes.

Some of you who live near me may be familiar with the Reagle Music Theatre of Greater Boston. One of their most well-known productions is their annual Christmas show. And one of the most beloved numbers from the show is a recreation of the Radio City Rockettes’ famous March of the Wooden Soldiers from their Christmas Spectcular, a precision military march that ends with a line of Wooden Soldiers being “shot” with a cannon and falling slowly, like a line of dominos. It is my understanding that Reagle is the only performing group in the country other than the Rockettes themselves who have the legal rights to perform this original choreography, and even better than that, we own a set of the original Radio City Rockettes’ costumes. It is an amazing number, and one of my personal favorites of the entire Christmas production.

And I am honored to have been asked to help to refurbish those costumes. Over time, some of the bright colors have begun to fade. So the Reagle folks spent hours of time researching and finding suppliers for the original fabric and trim, or as close to it as possible. And I, along with several other seamstresses, was tasked with analyzing the existing costumes to faithfully recreate the pieces that needed replacing. I carefully created a pattern, put it together, compared it to the original, tweaked it a bit, compared it again, and kept adjusting until I was certain that my recreation was a perfect match to the spectacular (no pun intended) original. And now that I have made all the replacement pieces, I have a set of the costume jackets in my living room waiting to be brought to new life. It’s exciting, it’s intimidating, and it’s beautiful!


And that’s what’s on my plate.


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