All seven members of the LaMothe Gee Family have been performing together since 2012, when Leif, our youngest, was three years old.
At first, our performances were of the variety style, including songs — sung in solos, duets, trios, and four-part harmonies, featuring an arrangement of show tunes, folk tunes, gospel songs, and ballads; instrumental pieces, featuring Geoff on piano, Jordan on saxophone, Jessica and Kyra on flute, and (later) Kai on drums; and undoubtedly a dance or two. I would write some kind of narrative that tied the pieces together. We performed at our beloved Fort Salem Theater, or in 2013, at the South Granville Congregational Church.
Then the narratives grew more coherent. By the time we performed Earth Bound in 2014, the show was a single story — about a family creating a show.
So too with Living the Dream in 2015, when we told one version of the story of our move to the farm. In some ways, Living the Dream was the test case for what would come two years later — though only three of the songs were ours.
With Ever Unfolding Present in 2016, we took a huge leap — creating an all original production with songs and poems and musical pieces inspired by my book Why We Dance — and performing at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester, VT. But the show was mostly Geoff and me. The kids did not have enough to do.
After Ever Unfolding Present, the kids wanted more, and I wanted to give it to them — their own musical. The idea for Happy If Happy When was born — a full length original musical, sharing a bit about what we have learned in our 12 years here about living on a farm, close to the earth — and one another.
Happy If Happy When is based on a true story — ours. And yet, in order to capture and communicate its truth, I have taken some liberties. I have changed names, altered ages, and condensed time. The kids play characters inspired by them, but different than they are. Together we tackle the challenges of moving together with wit and humor, conflict and sorrow, reconciliation and love… and more love.
We are a perfectly normal abnormal family, intent on learning to live an earth-friendly life.