Sunday, October 7, 2007

Palla Eius (Her Mantle) - An Assumption Grotto Musical Stage Play

This is a story of love, of faith, and of a miracle. It is an original story thought up by Sr. Maria Paschalis, written into a script by a talented 17-year old Parishioner by the name of Renee Kray, and set in the form of a musical stage play directed by Joe Maher. The music is composed by our own pastor, Fr. Eduard Perrone who will direct and conduct the orchestra.

Fr. Perrone wrote recently about Palla Eius in the Lourde's Legacy:

It will be a full production with sets, acting, singing and musical accompaniment. The work is entitled Palla Eius (Her Mantle), a reference to the spiritual protection that Holy Mary has extended to Her devotees here......It promises to involve many parishioners in a united effort to pay homage to the Queen of Heaven in an unusual and pleasant way.

Folks, I was pulled into this a few weeks ago when Joe asked if I could make a practice video for him and Father to view. I was thinking of a simple stage play and walked into a major production (the choir knows all too well that when Father wants to see or hear something, he's aiming to make last minute changes!!!).

Grotto has a way of coming together for something - like Assumption Day or Easter week which requires much work on the part of many. Just when I thought there was nothing new left for me to see at my parish, I walk into one of the most complex, concentrated efforts I have seen, involving so much time on the part of so many people.

I know people who work around Grotto unnoticed - giving countless hours every week out of the goodness of their hearts. I have seen one parishioner quietly watering all of the grass in the cemetary nearly daily in the hot, dry weeks leading up to Assumption Day. Another parishioner tends to the many potted plants in the church and planted around the church. I see others spending hours to make it possible to have a weekly social, or getting rooms ready for the many functions we have, or filing music, performing administrative work, doing fundraisers, working in the giftshop, contributing artwork, and so on. These are the unsung heroes who do their work not for recognition, but for Our Lord.

Something is different about this play and the volunteer work. It's like the boats hitting the beaches on D-Day, with the level of effort and support taking place on the stage, behind it, and out on the floor, and even in people's homes. The actors are mostly kids and they are spending somewhere around 12 hours weekly at Assumption Grotto with practices, and this says nothing of the time spent at home memorizing and practicing even more. They have been working for months and it has been intensifying.

The kids are learning dance moves and artistic expressions and choreography from a professional. They are being coached in their singing by Fr. Perrone who is a master. They are learning the finer points of acting from several with prior theatre experience, including Joe Maher, Sonja Krolik, Sr. Maria Paschalis, and of course, Fr. Perrone. Several men and boys in the parish have been hard at work with carpentry - making wonderful props and even the platforms on which stage beam-light is to be run, where audio boards will be run, and it says nothing of what has gone into costumes and other things.

This single effort, is all for three performances as follows below. I hope you will take time out of your day to come and enjoy what these people want to share. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised. I've seen these actors grow from timid and shy, to commanding their parts with confidence.

I pray that all parishioners and other Grotto-goers will reward all of these people by coming to one or more of the scheduled performances of Palla Eius. This based on the story of our parish in her early days in the 1800's when Fr. Van - our first pastor - initiated the beautiful outdoor grotto we have yet today.

youth and adult talent and Orchestral Musicians

Piano Performance Saturday, October 13th 7:00 pm
(Note: the final Fatima Devotion follows the 4:00 pm Mass with Rosary Procession, Fatima skit, all ahead of Palla Eius from what I can tell)
Orchestral Performance Friday, October 19th 7:00 pm
Orchestral Performance Sunday, October 21st 3:00 pm

Ticket Sales through the Grotto Shrine Gift Shop, phone to purchase 313 332-4432
Adult $5.00/ C-13 $3.00/ Family (inc children –18) $20.00
+Assumption Grotto Celebration Event – 175 years + AG Stage + 13770 Gratiot Avenue+

I leave you with a few clips, but not enough to give away the many props and costumes. Many thanks to Mike Powell for submitting these.

See the detailed flyer on the web - click here. (Note the flyer has an error citing Sunday, October 14 which has been changed to Saturday October 13th, 7:00pm)

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