April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Duck Ponderings: A star is born in Law's new play

I was looking for something different to do last weekend and did not have to go too far. In the little town of Hope, we had another special from the Actors' Studio featuring our own Pete Law in his original play, "The Laws Of Jackson Street," at the perfect venue, WILLow LeaVes.

Pete and I got to know one another years ago in the intermediate wing of the old Hope Elementary, now the parking lot of the Community Center. I was one of his teachers. He was reserved and an excellent student. I suspect he remembers more than I do about being in fifth grade because he obviously recalls a lot when watching him perform on stage while reliving some of his childhood experiences. We read several trade books during the year. I can't recall exactly what I asked students to do other than I believe they had multiple options from a list to share what they had gained. If acting out a character was not on the list, then I must apologize. Pete has turned out to be quite the actor!

Later, he was one of my colleagues. I even had the pleasure to be one of his partners in teaching fifth graders for several years with Dianne Flack, Debbie McIntyre, and Beth Newman. Pete brought his youthfulness to our team and added much to what we considered to be a great team. His creativity was wonderful while getting the entire school involved in a form of the show "Survivor." I never won, and I suspect Pete always made sure of it! The "Academy Awards" was an important show to Pete, and he would have an Oscar event in his classroom. Students could be whoever they wished to be after their Red Carpet arrival. Then, each would make their acceptance speech while holding their Oscar. Undoubtedly, all of his former students would recall this quality experience fondly as well as many more in his classroom where Pete helped each feel like a star.

Well, Pete will receive many Oscars for his performance in "The Laws of Jackson Street" because he is the only actor. And, he actually deserves each one! He is absolutely incredible on stage helping the audience to laugh throughout while calling on his multiple experiences in directing and portraying many characters in plays and by incorporating techniques gained in attending acting classes in Chicago at Second City. Pete has always been intrigued by movies which certainly is evident too.

Toward the end, I found myself even crying, thinking about my family ties while watching one picture after another of his family. I could not help but to think of how fortunate I am that my parents did not die like Pete's when he was in his twenties. At the end, Pete even sings a very appropriate and moving song, "I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together."

Pete's sister, Amy, was also in my fifth grade class, several years before Pete. I remember her much the same way as Pete, quite capable and reserved. Evidently, she was not as reserved at home as she is often mentioned in scenes. Amy was there and even introduced Pete without any antics. It was her first time for seeing the play, and I suspect the introduction of Pete will be a little different this weekend. Pete, I would be just a little concerned! Your sister may even end up writing her own play!

Pete's sound and light guy is his nephew and another former student of mine, Collin Banks. There are many sound effects that must come in at the right moment, and Collin is masterful at making sure they happen, some which will only add to your laughter.

If you are looking for a nice event to attend this weekend, then I would encourage you to head to WILLow LeaVes. And, you will be watching someone who hopefully some day will have an opportunity to go to Hollywood. No matter what Pete, you will always be one of my stars![[In-content Ad]]