In one of my earlier posts I told the story about the time our middle son, Neal, was in first grade at St. Norbert and Sister Rose Mary came to me very worried because Neal had said he wanted to have a rum-bull on the school playground. The poor little Irish nun had never seen West Side Story, so she didn’t know what Neal was talking about. I assured her that everything would be okay and I would make sure Neal did not start a gang fight with the other first graders. This is what happens when your kids see too many of the shows that you are producing.
Around that same time we were walking through Nordstrom with Neal and in the distance we heard to store piano player. Neal froze and said “they’re playing Shapoopi!” And they really were! Why, I don’t know but also why our five year old knew the music to the big dance number from The Music Man is a whole other story. So of course we had to find the piano player and Neal asked him to play it again.
By then the piano player had moved on to another song and he didn’t want to dig out his sheet music for Shapoopi, so he asked Neal if there was another song he wanted him to play. Maybe something from Sesame Street?
Neal thought for a minute then said “yeah, do you know anything from Gypsy?”
We literally fell over laughing. For those who are not familiar with the show, Gypsy is the ultimate show biz musical about the loud stage mother pushing her daughter to eventually become Gypsy Rose Lee. Leave it to our five year old Neal to come back with that line.
And no, Neal did not go into show business, thank goodness. But to this day we will catch him singing a little bit of a show tune or knowing all the Broadway musical answers on Jeopardy.