I shouldn't be sad about the end. I should be thrilled that we got more high school theater time after Grace left. I never pictured Tucker throwing himself into theater productions.
He started off his sophomore year in the chorus of Oklahoma!
Combining theater with swim season is difficult.They practice three hours after school in the theater, then get to come home for about an hour before heading off to swim until 9.
But, Tucker's junior year, he accepted a role as the UPS guy in Legally Blonde. I thought that might give him the theater bug because he got so many accolades. He brought down the house every time he walked out in those UPS shorts and nodded toward the audience in his cool, nonchalant way. Of course, he also had to wear a blonde wig in that production since he was bald from swim season. They usually shave their heads at the end of the season.
They announced the musical this year as Kiss Me Kate. Tucker didn't really have much interest in that. He'd never heard of it. He had to drop his vocal group class because it conflicted with his AP Stats class, so he wasn't singing regularly.
When auditions came around, he didn't go.
That's when the choir director started to pester him about trying out.
Tucker has never sung solo songs. Too self conscious? Too unsure of his voice?
He didn't think he wanted a big acting or singing part.
On the day of callbacks, that's when they bring in the students for specific parts, Tucker agreed to audition.
He sang "Hallelujah" and I like to think of him sitting on a stool with his hands strumming the chords of his guitar as his soft baritone voice sang the words.
Two days later, he told me he had the male lead -- Fred Graham.
The story of Kiss Me Kate is set in the late 1940s. Fred and Lily, an actress, are divorced and acting in the Shakespeare play The Taming of the Shrew. So it's a play within a play.
Tucker made it to States in swimming this year so his rehearsal time became sporadic. He caught the flu and missed a week of rehearsals.
He claimed he'd never be able to memorize all the lines, especially the Shakespeare lines.
And then the show opened and he amazed us.
By last night, his voice cracked a couple of times, worn out by the fourth show, but he pulled off his role with aplomb.
At one point, one of the boys in the show told the woman in charge of wardrobe. "Tucker was really mad at me." She explained to him that Tucker was only acting because he was supposed to be mad in the scene.
Maybe he could pull it off.
Tucker wouldn't stand still for pictures, except this one of him and his swim friends.
I'm back at the high school today to strike the set and put away costumes. My last hurrah with the high school theater.