Invitation to The Easter Parade
Posted on: 1st April 2014 13:39:04




Welcome to the April 2014 Edition !


This month we open our invitation to communication, dance and romance to  find a ticket to Easter Parade!


Along the twists and turns of the parade route we find:


Fred Astaire, the epitome of the classy gentleman, (in a role originally written for Gene Kelly. Kelly having broken his ankle suggested Astaire for the role).


Ann Miller, the personification of a high maintenance beauty  (dressed to perfection from the hat to the gloves to the pets as accessories “for my new beige suit”).


Judy Garland, the simple farm girl from Michigan who captivates Astaire with nothing but her voice and simple grace. She aptly demonstrates when partnered with Astaire not all dances have to be waltzes to be graceful.


Peter Lawford, the perfect sidekick to Fred Astaire, the slightly out of reach love interest to Ann Miller and the  love sick beau to Judy Garland.


Characters/connections in place, we are now ready to answer this month's thought provoking question:


Why Easter Parade?



Firstly, it fits nicely into the overall holiday theme of the guidebook~ it is tailor made for the activity professional and allows for an additional way to celebrate the holiday.


Secondly, it is a great avenue to promote communication. As soon as the DVD goes in the player, there is an opportunity to communicate I particularly enjoy the sing-a-long aspect of this film.  Every time I jump to Scene Selection on the DVD (to move to the next scene), we have to stop and sing along with Judy!


Thirdly, it follows the Classic Movie Musical formula, and allows for healthy doses of reminiscence with the older generation including Grandma, and opens the door to discussions of relationships/friendships for students.


As a source of reminiscence, consider discussing:


The interaction of the characters ~ dating, flirting, dancing. What was it like for your clients/family members?  Who was the aggressor Grandpa  (as Lawford to Garland) or Grandma, (as Miller in her pursuit of Lawford)?   


Did you know people like Astaire and Lawford? Men who were “smooth operators”? Men who viewed women as names in a “little black book”, or as girls who could be romanced with little effort.   (“What color are my eyes?” You don’t know because you haven’t paid enough attention!” “He sends flowers because they are good for business”.  Answers to these questions could keep the conversation going all month!


When discussing relationships with students consider:


What motivates these characters to act as they do?


How are Astaire and Lawford changed by Garland’s attention?


What affect does Garland’s character have on Miller’s?


What kind of friend is Peter Lawford?   Is he the glue that keeps friendships together or the scissors that tears them  apart?


You, your residents, students and family members decide as you “walk up the avenue… in the Easter Parade”


Happy Easter!



See you in May as your invitation to spring takes you to Oklahoma!















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