As most parents do, we’ve always tried to be very supportive of our three children, and all their activities. When they were little, that meant attending practices and games as they played sports through the Mineola Athletic Association. T-Ball, Soccer, Little League, and for one freezing season, roller hockey with oldest son Billy! All three of them were involved with the Mineola High School Marching Band (Billy played the Quad Drums, Krissi the Mellowphone, and Kenny was a Drum Major), so our job was to make sure they got to practices and to travel to weekly Marching Band Competitions all over Long Island, and New York State to support the band. Hey, it’s what we think parents should do!
As they got into High School, Krissi and Kenny started to get involved in the drama program…Krissi behind the scenes and Kenny performing. Again, we made sure they had a way to and from rehearsals, and attended all of the performances. Then Kenny started to get involved in outside productions, and we made sure that we attended those too! In his last two years of high school, Kenny went half a day to the Nassau County High School of Performing Arts. Now there were shows at Mineola High School and several other venues around Long Island, and again we went to support our kid.
When the 3 of them went off to college, our participation wasn’t as called for. Don’t think Bill would have really liked us sitting in on one of his Journalism Classes at the Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, nor would have Krissi enjoyed us tagging along to a Women’s Study class at Clark University, but then there was Kenny, majoring in Musical Theater at Pace University, across from City Hall in Manhattan!
Yes, there were many productions during his time at Pace that we attended. If our kid was going to try a business as public as this, we felt we had a responsibility to continue the support we’d practiced all their lives! One summer he got a part in a small Off Off Broadway show, that ran for just a couple of performances in Manhattan, and of course the whole family showed up to support him in that! It was July, we had to drive back from vacation to attend, it was about 105 degrees in the city, the subways were on strike, but Mom and Dad and brother and sister were there! Hey, it’s what we The D’Elias do!
Then he got a part in his first National Tour, for the show The Great American Trailer Park, The Musical. Well, of course we went off again, driving to Connecticut, upstate New York, and every other place the tour stopped that was within driving distance! Next he spent close to 2 years in the National Tour of the Broadway musical Annie! Yes, the sun did come up tomorrow, and Mom and Dad, brother and sister, and even Grandmas journeyed across the Northeast to see the show!!
Over the years we’ve traveled by car, plane, and even boat to see him perform! We traveled to Janesville, Wisconsin twice in 3 months…once with the whole family to see him as Sammy in the Wedding Singer and a couple of months later, in a blizzard to see him as Mr. Shellhammer in Miracle on 34th Street. We flew to Chicago and drove to Warsaw, Indiana the week after Thanksgiving to see him star as Jean Shepard in A Christmas Story, the Musical at the Wagon Wheel Theater. Then, when he got the part of Amos Hart in the musical Chicago, aboard the world’s largest cruise ship (at the time), Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, we just had to sail to support him! In fact, while he was on that contract, we sailed twice! Once just Mom and Dad, but the second time sister and brother and fiancé came along too! We D’Elias do believe in being supportive!
So, this is all just a preamble to give you some background as to why, Susie and I are again traveling to support our kids! This time its Kenny and his husband Chris, and unlike traveling to the cold midwest in the middle of December, we will be heading to sunny Texas and another Royal Caribbean ship! Kenny is one of the lead singers and Chris is one of the lead dancers on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas sailing out of Galveston, to the Western Caribbean! We’ll be spending two weeks on the ship (I mean, we’re very supportive) with Our Boys, and my cousins Jeanne and Walt will be joining us for week one!
We’ll see both Kenny and Chris in Saturday Night Fever, where Kenny is featured as Father Frank Junior. Chris is normally one of the featured dancers, but due to a cast member illness, we expect him to be playing Double J during our cruises! We are looking forward to seeing him step up to the plate, and hit a homer as Double J!! Then it will be time for the Cyrc type show, In The Air, where Kenny is one of the stars of the show and Chris a featured dancer and aerialist. Rounding out the performances are two offerings just featuring one of the boys. During the 70’s Street Party on the Royal Promenade, Kenny performs with one of the female singers in the 70’s Set! Then, during a new parade that we haven’t seen before, Chris is the Admiral of the Fleet and runs the whole thing! So looking forward to that as it’s brand new, and something we’ve never seen before!
The boys are in the last month or so of a contract with Royal that has lasted for close to a year, and we are so looking forward to spending time with them, and watching them as they perform. This is truly something that both Kenny and Chris love, and when you sit in the audience and watch those two on stage, that love comes across! Can’t guarantee that we’ll be watching too many others on the stage, but know that we will be watching our sons with laser accuracy, because as it’s always been, there is nothing better than being there to support our kids, in whatever they do! Hell, if Bill or Krissi want to do a Take Your Parents to Work day, we’re there for it, but I doubt if they would! We’ve journeyed to North Carolina to watch our Granddaughter Layla’s dance recital and to Maryland to watch Mike’s niece Maddy dance, and we will continue to support all the performers in our family in whatever they do! There is nothing better!!
Our Next Two Weeks will include….