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Center Stage: Chapter 43

Gila Arnold

“That’s it for tonight. I want you to go home now and sing the song over and over until you drive your family nuts. Got it?”

Wednesday, January 30, 2019



kay, girls, listen up! We’re about to learn the grand finale theme song!”

Rina played a few bars on her keyboard as the cast gathered around. She wasn’t much of a piano player, but she knew enough to compose her own songs — and just enough to impress non-players.

Once the girls had quieted down, she began to sing the chorus. “Together we can dreeeam! Together we can soooar! Together we can build something greater than befooore!”

It was a catchy tune, and Rina felt the girls’ enthusiasm as they began humming along. They’d all spent the past few months working hard, and the Bulgarian scenes — the final scenes to be shot — were at the almost-perfect point, even for Rina’s perfectionist standards. She couldn’t help but grin as she continued on to the verses of her song.

The rousing notes exactly captured the sense of exhilaration that capped off every good show. And this film — this baby she’d been devoting heart and soul to for the past half a year — was, she could proudly admit, a really good show.

As she flashed her grin around the room, she caught Gabriella’s eye. She too, had a small smile on her lips, though — as always — Rina couldn’t tell if she was enjoying with the group, or smirking at some private amusement. Rina’s fingers stumbled over several keys before she regained her bearings. Why couldn’t Gabriella ever drop the superiority act?

After an hour of practice, Rina felt that the cast had a solid grasp of the song. “Good job, everyone! That’s it for tonight. I want you to go home now and sing the song over and over until you drive your family nuts. Got it?”

They laughed.

Gabriella cleared her throat. “Before you leave, a couple of announcements. Our trip’s in exactly a month, guys! First, I hope you’ve all made sure by now that you have current passports and that you’ve sent us a copy of the passport. Also, anyone who hasn’t brought in their signed permission form and waiver, please make sure to do it ASAP. We can’t make travel arrangements for you without the form.

“Over the next week, we’ll be sending you a packing list. It’s your responsibility to make sure you’ve got everything on the list. And that your suitcase is not overweight,” she added with a lift of an eyebrow.

“Don’t forget to leave extra space for your costumes!” Rina added. “We’re expecting each of you to transport your own.”

“Whaat?” exclaimed Dini. “That will give us, like, zero room for anything else!”

“It will give you just enough room for the items on your packing list,” Gabriella said drily. “Sorry to disappoint, but there’s no need to bring your entire shoe collection, impressive though I’m sure it is.”

Malka snorted, and Dini glared at her.

After all the girls had left, Gabriella straightened up the furniture that had been cast around during practice. “Nice song,” she said.

Rina brightened. “Thanks. I can already picture them singing it as they skip around the mountains of Bulgaria. It’ll be gorgeous!”

“And cold. Remember, it’s winter time. The mountains will probably be filled with snow. I don’t know how much skipping around they’ll be able to do.”

Rina hated when Gabriella was such a downer. “All the better,” she said. “You can’t get much more gorgeous than snowcapped mountains. Imagine hundreds of girls singing against such a backdrop!”

(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 628)


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