Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sunset by the Mississippi

Sunset by the Mississippi

Sunset by the Mississippi has come and gone for this year and we are very sad to see it go.  It is an old fashioned variety show that is performed on an outdoor stage near the Visitor's Center.  It is presented by the Young Performing Missionaries and the Senior Missionaries.  It is a fun show but also difficult because of the heat and humidity.  You have to prepare ahead of time - everyone brings a little wicker basket with necessities.  Water, fans, wet washcloth to wipe the sweat, and DINNER.  Doesn't that look yummy?   (There's no time to cook as you rush from site to show)

Oh, and don't forget your cool wraps.  (Thanks Mom, for introducing these to me - they really help out here).  You soak them in water and then tie them around your neck.

But most important of all - these nifty cold seats.  They are two ice packs wrapped in a towel and then slipped into a little case.  You can sit on them or take your shoes off and put your feet on them (between numbers, of course).
Now we're ready for the show.  The band plays while people are coming and the kids can decorate hats to wear in the children's parade.

Sometimes people come up and dance.  This is our mission president and his wife.

Then, let the parade begin.  The band and the Young Performing Missionaries lead all the children on a parade around and through the audience and back up onto the stage.

The main show consists of a variety of singing, dancing, acting, an old time melodrama, a tribute to the military, etc.  It's hard to get pictures when you're in the show, but here are few to give you an idea.
A barbershop quartet singing about mosquitos.  They're wearing sunglasses with mosquito noses.

Some Senior Missionaries & YPM's doing the Polka.

The Young Performing Missionaries do several numbers and they are AWESOME!  Running & Kicking and Dancing and Singing nonstop.
A Place in the Choir


Nauvoo Excercise

Frog Kissin'

Golden Dream (A tribute to America)

The YPM's do several different versions of The Audition.  The scouts do it too so it wasn't new to us but these kids are soooo hilarious.  It doesn't matter how many times we see it - it's always funny and something we look forward to.

I can't believe I didn't get pictures of two of my favorite parts of the show.  One is the melodrama.  I did get a picture of one of the characters - she was making faces at us while her back was turned to the audience.

The other one is a song about the Women's Temperance Movement and all of us old ladies come out with our mean, frowning faces, and our skirts hiked up to show our pantaloons, and sing "Away, Away, With Rum, By Gum".  It's really fun to do but you should see us huffing and puffing afterwards.
I left out a bunch but you get the idea.
Then we wave and sing "So long everybody - we hope that you enjoyed our show"  etc. etc. etc. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Nauvoo Pageant

Nauvoo Pageant

The pageant cast has come and gone for another year.  They were wonderful - they brought with them energy and excitement and a spiritual feast, but they also brought heat, humidity and thousands of people, including protesters.

Just a quick note about the protesters.  We have never experienced much of this and I really can't understand it.  We, as missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, testify of the Savior in everything we do and say.  These people, who claim to be "Christians" and wrongfully think that we are not, spend their time walking our streets with signs, shouting obscenities, and making fun of sacred things.  I thought a "Christian" was a follower of Christ.  I can't imagine HIM acting that way.  We are cautioned to ignore them and not to confront them in any way, so we smile and turn our backs, and pretty soon they get tired and move on.  Pretty sad if you ask me - (which you didn't.)

Back to the Pageant.  They come with a core cast of main characters who are professional actors and they stay the entire time.  Then each week, a bunch of families who have auditioned to be in the supporting cast come and stay for two weeks each.  They practice the first week and perform the next, while a new set of families practice and then perform and so on, until it's all over.  They perform for 4 weeks with 4 different family casts.  Families come and do this for their family vacations, and they are all ages, from little bitty kids to old people. 

Pageant begins at 8:30 p.m. because it needs to be dark for part of it, but they begin with a country fair at 7:00.  This includes all kinds of pioneer type activities and games for the kids and the adults.

The bagpipe band plays at the fair and also around town during the day.

We have several productions here that tell the story of Nauvoo, and the pageant does also, but in a more professional and serious way.  The pageant stage is really interesting.  It is huge and slanted up towards the back.  It has trap doors that open up to make holes, and places that rise up to form platforms, and buildings etc.  During the performance, they actually build the city of Nauvoo and the Temple.  It's AWESOME!  I tried to get pictures that would do it justice but I couldn't - you really need to be here and see it in person.

When I set my camera on a night setting, the action on the stage made the pictures blurry, and when I set the camera for the action, the pictures were too dark.  I finally got frustrated and quit trying.  Elder Knudsen was able to get some though.




At the end, the temple they built on the stage falls down and you can see the real temple illuminated up on the hill.  Breathtaking!