Mother-daughter teams take the stage


August 30, 1999|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

HOW MANY TIMES have you watched a dance lesson, or soccer match, or piano recital, or art workshop and thought about how nice it would be to participate in some of your children's activities, perhaps for old time's sake?

You know the fantasy -- you're nimble enough to dance on your toes again, fast enough to score the winning goal, or brave enough to play a character far racier than your role as a responsible spouse or parent.

On such a whim, Laurie Borkowicz of Westminster snatched her daughter Ali's sheet music and auditioned for a part in September Song's production of "Bye Bye, Birdie."

Unlike some of the other mothers in this year's production, Borkowicz had never performed in a play. But when she was supposed to be encouraging her daughter during her audition, Borkowicz found herself surveying the competition for adult parts and playing out the "what if's."

In early July, she and Ali, 9, had their first bonding moment as actresses as they screamed and hugged while a message on their answering machine told them they had each earned a part in the adult and youth choruses.

They will join more than 60 other actors and actresses -- among them other mother-daughter teams -- in the "Grease"-like musical that drops cool character Conrad Birdie into Sweet Apple, Ohio.

"I had the worst migraine after the audition, because of all the tension," said Borkowicz. "I really hadn't planned on trying out. I knew I couldn't sing that well, so I put my all into the dance routine."

Like many of the girls who have mothers in the production, Ali, a fourth-grader at Friendship Valley Elementary School, said that it is comforting to have your best critic and supporter in the same production.

"I like her to have fun, too," Ali said. "We both like the dances."

"Bye Bye, Birdie" will also feature Westminster's Erin Howe, who plays the lead role of 15-year-old Kim MacAfee, and her mother, Cindy Howe, who plays the mayor's wife.

Erin Howe, a 21-year-old senior at Goucher College, enjoys playing someone much younger, because she has "been through everything the character goes through," she said.

The production also is special to her because of the time she gets to spend with her mother.

"I like having my mom to talk to during rehearsals, and she'll let me know how well I'm doing, or not," said Erin Howe.

"She lights up the stage," her mother said.

"I'm going to miss her when this production is over, because we have had so much time together. She graduates in December, gets married in April. I'm going to miss her," Howe added.

Carroll County resident Joyce Anderson and her daughter, Jocelyn Anderson, and Karen Loosararian of Westminster, and daughters Alena, 14, and Elyse, 12, are also performing in the show. They are in the choruses.

Jocelyn, 16, also landed the part of Deborah Sue, a giggling friend of Kim McAfee's who swoons over Conrad Birdie.

"I'm a ham, and I enjoy being on stage," said Anderson. "I enjoy being around all my daughters and watching them perform."

In addition to the camaraderie they share, these mothers and daughters acknowledge that working together for charity also makes the September Song production fulfilling.

"We are public-service oriented, and helping out worthy charities motivates us," said Cindy Howe.

Proceeds from "Bye Bye, Birdie" will go to Change Inc. and the Therapeutic Recreation Council. Both are nonprofit organizations that offer services and support for people with developmental disabilities.

"Bye Bye, Birdie," which is directed by Mo Dutterer, a drama instructor at Centennial High School in Howard County, will be presented at 8 p.m. Sept. 18, 24 and 25 and 2: 30 p.m. Sept. 19 and 25 at Westminster High School.

Tickets are $10. Group rates are available for matinee performances. Information: 410-848-7272.

Basket and Beanie bingo

The Children's Chorus of Carroll County is holding a Longaberger Basket/Beanie Baby Bingo Sept. 18 at West Middle School in Westminster.

Tickes are $10 in advance and are available at Stu's Music Shop on Route 140 and the Carroll County Arts Council on Main Street in Westminster. Tickets at the door cost $12. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the games begin at 7 p.m.

Filled baskets, new and retired Beanie Babies, combinations, special games, raffles and a door prize are on the program.

Information: 410-239-3045 or 410-374-9390.

Lisa Breslin's Central neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 8/30/99

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