Santa is teaching them to crochet, they play baby dolls between scenes and they've recently formed their own club called KKGL after their initials.|
This holiday season, the girls are hitting the stage atCirca '21 Dinner Playhouse for the musical, "Miracle on 34th Street."
Katie Casel, 11, of Davenport; Krianna Walljasper, 9, of Moline; Grace Moore, 8, of Coal Valley; and Laila Haley, 10, of Viola, are the young faces in the show this year who play a variety of roles on stage.
Katie covers Mary and is part of the ensemble;Krianna plays Harriet Finfer, Tammy Mara, and is part of the ensemble; Grace plays Hendrika and is part of the ensemble, and Laila plays Susan Walker.
Katie and Krianna have appeared in Circa productions before, and they all agree it is fun to meet new people.
"I like to be someone else," Laila said."I know what Laila's life is like every day. It's fun to go into complete character mode."
Laila said she likes the musical version of the show because of all of the songs. Grace said her favorite scene is when she gets to sit on Santa's lap.
The girls have been learning more than just lines, songs and dances throughout rehearsals.
Grace had to learn Dutch for her role.
Each of the girls also are learning a special trade from John Payonk, who plays Santa in the show -- he taught each of the girls to crochet. Between scenes, rehearsals and in the dressing room, they work on finishing their first crocheted scarves. Next they plan to make scarves for their baby dolls.
"We like to play baby dolls, cards, spoons and (have) finger puppet shows when we're not working," Katie said.
As for their club, the KKGL Club, they decided to start it because they've become really close friends.
With 40 shows, the girls will be seeing a lot of one another, making little time for much else.
"You basically have time to eat, sleep, go to the theater and do homework," Laila said.
While they don't have a lot of homework, they do get their work done during rehearsals.
Krianna said her teachers keep asking about the show and they plan to come see it soon.
As far as the "Miracle on 34th Street" itself, not all of the girls had seen the movie before the show.
"It tells a story of a girl and mom who don't believe in Santa," Grace said. "It teaches a lesson that Santa is real."
All of the girls agree the story has a great message and anyone can learn a lesson from it. And having a great group of people together to perform doesn't hurt, either.
"The show has a great cast," Krianna said. "The adults are really great."
Katie added "little girls make everything cuter."
The girls said the musical is a great family-friendly show to come see this winter.
"I wish I had a twin sister so that I could watch and see the show for myself," Laila said.
For showtimes and ticket information, visit www.circa21.com, or call (309) 786-7733.
Sara Clifton, of Coal Valley, attends St. Ambrose University in Davenport.
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