I cannot even begin to explain how hard this was. I shot 26 shows this year so that was over 90,000 images to go through! I have to say that without a full team of directors, lighting designers, costumers, hair and makeup pros, and talented kids, my images would look a lot different. So thank you to every single person involved in making my job of choosing my favorite moments so difficult! It really takes the quality of the shows to the next level.
P.S. This list just goes to show you…..even if you’re in the back, someone will see you:)
So here goes, my top 50:
50) The Music Man Jr.- Rockford- I just love this sweet and tender moment of wishing and hoping to be able to say goodnight to the person they love. Simple, yet so touching at the same time.
49) Narnia- Orland Park- I literally just want to cry. Miss Avery has to be the cutest Mrs. Beaver ever
48) Mulan Jr.- Orland Park- Such a well lit shot! You can see the disappointment that Fa Zuh has in Mulan. And yet the audience also see’s Mulan’s struggle with herself and who she is to become.
47)Hairspray- DuPage- The coolest kids ALWAYS rocked this scene! Led by Seaweed, Marcus Canada, they were always together and sharp.
46)Pocahontas- Rockford- I really enjoyed this scene every time I saw it. The dancers were spot on, and the trio of narrators was amazing! I loved the storytelling in the movement.
45)Shrek the Musical- Lake- No caption needed, just “Oh Keith….”
44) Hairspray- DuPage- Every single time I watched Caleb perform, he gave the show something new. His reactions were hilarious!
43) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer- NW Cook- Hey, let’s give the nicest kid in the world the villain role…..well done directing team! I saw a side of Tyler I didn’t know he had. So cool to see his growth in this role.
42) Mulan Jr.- Orland Park and Will County- These soldiers were so funny in this scene, pretending to act like maidens to get close to break into the palace!
41) Willy Wonka Jr.- Oak Park- Claire Connolly had THE biggest facial expressions this entire show. She lit up the stage.
40) The Music Man Jr.- Rockford- Every. Single. Time I hear the pick-a-little song, it sticks in my head for months. Even now, yep, I’m singing it. These girls were so fun to watch! They just fed off each other’s energy!
39) Oliver!- Oak Park- This gang, just LOOKS like they are about to be mischievous.
38) Narnia- Orland Park and Will County- Kennedy was great as the White Witch! She was in character the whole time and I never saw her break.
37) Annie Jr.- DuPage- Maryann was so into this scene, I’ve never seen her look so angry! And yet, I could tell she had a lot of fun being sassy.
36) You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown- Kane- The cutest part about this show,I think, was the little side moments with the Woodstocks during scene changes. Great way to use the cast to distract from other parts of the stage.
35) Seussical Jr.- DuPage- These girls were SO funny! Every time they were on stage, they had the biggest facials, and their harmonies….goosebumps!
34) Oklahoma!- Lake- Pointe….on stage….. :)
33) Beauty and the Beast Jr.- NW Cook- Classic. So elegant and loving.
32) Cinderella- Oak Park- I loved these two together! Patrick and Annie were so sweet.
31) Peter Pan- Aurora- Again…..no words.
30) Oliver!- Oak Park- Where is love is such a beautiful song. And the special part about this dance is that Kylea and Nathan are siblings. Brings a tear to my Mama heart.
29) Robin Hood the Musical- Lake- Such cool lighting!
28) You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown- Kane- Happiness is snow….lots and lots of snow (on stage that is).
27) Honk! Jr.- Aurora- Hannah was really sweet as Ida. I love the lighting here.
26) Seussical Jr.- DuPage- Mark’s face is priceless and Leanna was so sassy in the role of Mayzie!
25) A Little Princess- Kane- I loved this scene and the ballet that helped tell the story. It reminded me of my grandma who is always with me, especially when I dance. *tear*
24) The Sound of Music- NW Cook- This scene was really touching. It’s the moment when Captain Von Trapp remembers how music helps heal the heart and warm the soul.
23) Shrek the Musical- Lake- Kory rocked it as Farquaad! SO funny!
22) Bye Bye Birdie- McHenry- One of my favorite parts of this show was the kid ensemble! The nuggets were ALWAYS so energetic! Their facials were dramatic and drew my attention every time.
21) Oklahoma!- Lake- Trevor, Elizabeth and Isaac were definitely the comedic relief of the show. Their timing was perfect!
20) Grimm Fairytales- Kane- Wanna take a selfie?
19) Shrek the Musical- Rockford- I can’t get over the facials that Jordan made. She was a trip!
18) You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown- Kane- I appreciate a good kick line. These girls were right on in this shot!
17) Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat- McHenry- I’m a sucker for Close Every Door. Loved this moment. River really expressed more emotions than I can count.
16) Hairspray- DuPage- Alisha gave me chills every time she performed “I Know Where I’ve Been”. This moment was such an emotional anchor for the show.
15) Peter Pan- Aurora- Such a cool lighting effect! Well done team!
14) Honk! Jr.- Aurora- Ben WAS a cat….
13) Shrek the Musical- Rockford AND 12) Shrek the Musical- Lake- “Forever“ is one of my FAVORITE songs in the show. Takes a powerhouse vocalist to perform it and boy did Codie and Asia do just that! I couldn’t decide which moment I liked better so I had to use them both. I think the one thing that made Lake’s stand out, is the fact that Codie was belting that song AND operating a huge puppet.
11)Annie Jr.- DuPage- Get out of their way! These orphans are tough!
10) Pocahontas- Rockford- The facials on these Indians…..WOW!
9) Oklahoma!- Lake- Such a beautiful moment in Laurey’s dreams. I love the fact that the audience has the chance to SEE her dream unfold and not just hear her sing about it. Genius writing Rogers and Hammerstein…
8) Bye Bye Birdie- McHenry- Payten really broke out in this role. She acted from head to toe and it was really nice to see her have a moment in the spotlight.
7) A Little Princess- Kane- I love that starry backdrop. I love the use of fabric in this piece and even though the stage was HUGE and the set minimal, it was effective and a nice focal point.
6) Godspell- Aurora- How many times do you get to fight with your actual brother on stage?
5) Shrek the Musical- Lake- AHHHH! The lines! Great job, Miss Melanie!
4) Hairspray- DuPage- These nicest kids worked their rears off! So energetic EVERY time they were on stage!
3) Godspell- Aurora- Honestly, I can’t believe I caught this moment with the light. SO powerful. The entire audience was silent.
2) Grimm Fairytale- Kane- The lighting…..PERFECT!! Look how each face is illuminated! I call this “Morticia Addams lighting”.
1) Oklahoma!- Lake- This could actually be from ANY show, but what I love MOST about these kids, is they keep Christ at their center, and know that HE gave them the talent to shine for him. I love this moment and I make sure to get it for every single show.