Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thanks!

To reward two of our students who went above and beyond in their fundraising efforts for the Walk-a-Thon, Broadway.com donated gift certificates that can be redeemed for a pair of tickets to the Broadway show of each winner's choice. Both the student who raised the most money and the student who received the most individual donations were awarded with the certificates.

A huge thanks to Broadway.com for their support of Rosie's Broadway Kids and for the generous gift they gave to our deserving students!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

In less than 24 hours, our kids will be debut-ing their first book musical - the office and studios are buzzing with activity as we prepare for our audience tomorrow afternoon!

Thanks for the comments, all - we love to hear them - and check back soon to hear about how it went!!

Walk-a-Thon

a post from Lindsay
They did it! All 61 of our kids walked the 6.1 mile loop around Central Park last Tusday, with the help of eleven trusty chaperones (2 of us from the office, 6 interns, 2 parents, and 1 volunteer). Some people may shudder at the thought of being responsible for safely escorting a herd of abnormally energetic (though awfully sweet) kids 6.1 miles around a park – add to that the usual disgruntled New York City bikers, runners, walkers and occasional hot dog carts getting in your way (or maybe it’s us getting in their way – I suppose it’s a matter of perspective) and you’ve got a big job on your hands. But, in the end, it actually turns out to be a great experience for everyone – chaperones get to know each kid intimately as their personalities unfold through the stories they tell as they walk the loop, and kids feel a strong sense of accomplishment as they high five at the end of the trip. As an added bonus, we got a lot of free PR by traipsing around in our RBKids T-shirts, exploding with song and smiling faces. I hope some curious bystanders went home and Googled us!

Kicking off at about 9:30 in the morning, the walk was littered with snippets of enthusiastically sung songs (a passerby commissioned a song sung in unison by all of the kids at once, which prompted an improvised “This Joint Is Jumpin’” right about at the Onassis Reservoir), a lot of “Good morning sir! This is the Rosie’s Broadway Kids Walkathon!” and the occasional “How much longer???” Due to the promise of a Spirit Award, most kids were on their best behavior, encouraging positive thinking and keeping the pace. Lauren, one of the youngest in Team Bravo, coined our slogan for the walk, “Let’s DO this,” which was continually repeated throughout the 2 hours on the trail. Very motivational.

We made it through the “scattered showers” this morning with positive spirits, and ended the trip at around 12 noon with no injuries or lost children. Phew.

And here's some breaking news... the kids have turned in their sponsor forms and we have tallied the donations.... and they raised over $5500! What a huge accomplishment and great way for the kids to give back to this program they love.

Here are some pictures from the walk...



Thursday, July 24, 2008

Great Expectations

a post from Steven

I realized today that I've come to expect a lot from these kids. None of the musicians on staff really thought twice about throwing them arrangements as vocally dense as any Broadway score. We just knew they would make it happen.

And have they ever.

I picked my jaw up off the floor today as I listened to twenty kids -- all under the age of 16 -- belt out six and seven part harmony flawlessly.

Did I mention it's only been three weeks? It's not always so perfect or easy for them but today was truly magical.

Today, I saw twenty kids become a Broadway chorus.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Everybody's Free

movie captured by FlipVideo


Watch as Team Applause (RBKids 6th graders) rehearse for the final performance:

video

What a Circus!

movie captured by FlipVideo

Last Friday, company members of the new Broadway show "Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy" came to perform and teach the kids a few tricks...


video

Priceless

a post from Tina

  • Rushing through crowds of business people in Midtown trying to get to work each morning, Starbucks Coffee in tow...$4.75
  • Subway ride to Times Square in the warm summer air...$2.00
  • Smiling while walking up the steps to of the studio to meet the amazingly talented kids waiting to dance...Priceless

I cannot believe we're done with the third week already...
We got through our first non-stop run through of the show on Friday, it
took about an hour. There was nothing but proud and accomplished
feeling from the whole cast. Everyone cheered and exchanged high fives
and the final chord of "Sure Looks Good To Me." To be able to see the
work that they have put in, all come together on the stage was simply
moving.
The show is going to be fantastic and they deserve it!!
I would be able to take up this whole blog page with wonderful things
to say...so until next time.

Friday, July 18, 2008

City Center Tour

a post from Laura
The hard work continues for Team Bravo and Team Applause as week two begins to wind down. But amidst all the new dance combinations and voice parts, Team Bravo was able to take a field trip through the NYCityCenter Theater, currently home to the Encores! production of Damn Yankees! They walked in single file with their hands clasped in front of them, and experienced their first look out at an audience from a real professional stage. It was some of the few moments of silence we experienced this week, quickly burst by the raising of anxious hands with millions of questions!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Time to Explore


a post from Jeff
The show is completely staged.
Now the hard part begins.

We've got a map...
Now it's time to explore.
Make discoveries.
Make specific choices.
Fine tune.

Some of them are already making strong choices.
Rosie always talks about stepping up
As an understudy, and making the most of an opportunity
Well, Mary is doing just that.
Singing out, taking risks
Creating moments
Setting a good example for the other understudys.

Doug is working on his vocal clarity, and improving.
He discovered that if he relaxes on stage
His diction and speech follows suit.
2 days ago he said he didn't think he could learn a speech
2 days later he knows it!

Members if the Class (Ensemble) will be writing monologues.
Each of them has the chance to create a character
From scratch...
A difficult, but important task.

For some of them, it is their first ever book musical.

For all of them, it is a great opportunity to have an unforgettable summer!

Blog ya later...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

7 Days


a post from Thecla
Team Bravo now has 7 days under their belts
Ballet, tap, jazz, drama and voice
Each day they enter the studios and more of their personalities are revealed

One kid asks each day when he'll be meeting Rosie
Another wonders what time she'll get to eat her lunch
Still another asks if we'll get to rehearse "Birdhouse in Your Soul"
Yes, I respond
He does a victory dance

Juggling Harry came in to teach them to juggle, some managed to juggle 3 tennis balls in less than 45 minutes!
These kids are becoming performers and most don't even realize it
They just know that they're having fun

We are too.


Watch the kids as they learn their number for the final summer performance...

movie captured by FlipVideo




video

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Week One... and Halfway Done!


a post from Jeff
One week in our back pockets.
Two to go.
Kids screamed when I said "Ten Days 'till we're in the Duke on 42nd Street!"
Mark your calendars!

Feels like it's been a month with the kids.
In a good way.

They really are working under professional conditions
Original Script
Live accompanist
Original arrangements
Professional Choreography
5 minute breaks
And...oh yeah...professional, Air-Conditioned Studios!

We put the first 30 mins on it's feet today
Looking to make transitions smooth
While the kids begin to see their work pay off.
Characters are just starting to be discovered

Kayla is coming out of her shell,
Taking on the brief role of a NYC construction worker.

Tareake is slicing up his dream dance number,
As a hip-hop lovin' superstar.

All while Kirra is expressing her passion for acting,
As she sings Pink's "Don't Let Me Get Me"
(A Beautiful arrangement by Jonnah!)

Blog ya later... but first check out this FlipVideo of the kids rehearsing the opening number!


movie captured by FlipVideo


video

Monday, July 14, 2008

Proud of Them


a post from Lori
BLOG
Pronunciation:
\ˈblo'g, ˈbläg\
Etymology:
short for Weblog
: a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer; also : the contents of such a site

Well here I go, my very first blog entry ever, anywhere! So glad you are all here for the big occasion!

I spent the week going back and forth between our two locations. (Can’t wait for the building to open, where we can be under one roof.) Seeing our newest group of students, 35 strong, exhausted, exhilarated, striving, courageous, totally courageous. Pure flame this group, burning bright and strong. Beautiful Malik saying to me “I have never worked this hard, or been so tired, but I love it! I’m not giving up.”

Then head downtown to watch our oldest of students. I listen to the opening song of the musical that they will perform in three short weeks. I know each voice, each student, every story. I know them so well. And they know me well too. When they finish singing, they all look over, have they done it? Yes, I can’t contain them, the tears. They beam with pride; my beautiful, wonderful students know they have made me happy. Onward.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Qualities of a Leader

This week the youngest members of RBKids, Team Bravo, were asked what qualities they thought made a good leader... here's a bit of their insight.





Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hip-Hop


movie captured by FlipVideo
This summer, Teams Excel and Broadway (7-9th grades) will be putting on RBKid's first-ever full musical production of a new show inspired by the stories of our RBKids students. Reflecting the modern subject matter, the kids will be performing popular music and dances, reinvented for the stage by our RBKids staffers. Here's a video from the first week of rehearsals as the kids learn a high-energy hip-hop routine.

video

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Field Trip


a post from Lindsay
I’m usually the one in the office all day at RBKids – and I am thrilled when I have the opportunity to take a “field trip” to go and see the kids at rehearsal. (Side note – once we are in Maravel Arts Center, I will be able to simply take a trip up and down some stairs to see the kids - these days it’s a trip through Times Square and down the street to the rented studio space!)

So yesterday, I fought the Times Square tourist crowd and made it to the studios to talk to the kids about their upcoming Walkathon. It’s their chance to raise money to give back to Rosie’s Broadway Kids. They’ll be walking the 6 mile loop around Central Park this summer and are charged with the task of soliciting sponsors for their walk! Last year, they raised over $1700 at their walkathon – this year, we’re hoping to break $2000! I think they can do it.

Upon entering the 16th floor of the building where the studios are, I began hearing snippets of Broadway auditioners, stomping feet, “Do you have a headshot?” and “Next!” up and down the hallways. This space was full of theater professionals – in the 20+ studios, RBKids was just one group of many.

I walked into the studio to the sounds of our kids singing “Welcome to My Life” by the group Simple Plan. The kids - passionate, mature, talented – sang out as they rehearsed the staging to the number. Their show this year includes songs from the popular vocabulary – Alicia Keys, Simple Plan, Pink – that our staff musicians have artfully re-arranged to fit our kids and our show. This year, they’re singing what they know, about what they know. It’s moving, and it’s gonna be good.

Day Five


a post from Jeff
High above Eighth Ave.
Crammed into a studio on the 16th floor
Window washers outside
Must've heard our big, harmonious sound!

Kids are realizing how big this is going to be
This show is really about 'them'
Daniel said he felt 'goosebumps'
I think we all did.

Rhapsody and Dana are hip-hop idols
Kids eyes are wide-open
when they learn the steps.

A third of the show complete
Almost on schedule!

More to teach,
More to learn,
More to discover.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

End of Day Two

a post from Jeff
Energetic kids
Like sponges
So much to learn
New music,
four & five part harmonies
Lots of pencils
Lots of erasers
Lots of eagerness

Hope that it all sticks over 4th
So far, they are doing their work.

Next step, singing plus staging.

It's what they love to do.