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It's What Moms Do

April 25, 2011 - Phyllis Sigal
Imagine, picking up, leaving your job and husband, and hitting the road for four months.

That's what Georgia Hagelstein did when her 10-year-old son Sebastian was cast as Winthrop in a national touring production of "The Music Man."

But that's just what moms do for their kids.

Georgia joined my husband Bruce and me for dinner Saturday night prior to the show at the Capitol. We had spoken on the phone when I interviewed Sebastian for a TGIF article last week.

Sounds like an exciting, great escape, right? Well there certainly are highlights. And low lights, as well, to a life on the road.

She and Sebastian left the warmth of their home in Tampa, Fla., the day after Christmas, for a cold, snowy New York City.

Snowy doesn't even come close to describing NYC in those few days after Christmas. I know, because I, too, ventured to the Big Apple that same week. Snow was piled higher than I've ever seen it; walking and driving were both difficult.

Their flight was rerouted to Detroit, and it took three days to get to the city because of all of the flight cancellations for a few days. They finally arrived, for two weeks of rehearsals.

But, on the plus side there ... Sebastian had never seen snow before, and he got to go ice skating at Rockefeller Center.

Just navigating the city was a challenge for the pair, Georgia said. She, like me, often depends on others (my husband or son, for example, when I negotiate the streets and subways of New York), so that was a whole new experience for her. And, an accomplishment!

The tour got under way in mid-January, and they will have been to 23 states and several areas in Canada when it winds up April 30.

I was curious about how you pack for such a trip — especially because they've been from warm Florida to frigid South Dakota. She said they each have a small suitcase that they take into the hotel, and a large one they keep on the bus. It's always a bit of a relief when they stay more than one night in a hotel.

And eating out for four months? A challenge ... certainly ... to the pocketbook and to the waistline!

There definitely have been lots of positives to this whole experience.

Sebastian would never have gotten to experience what he has just staying in Tampa, that's for sure. I mean 23 states and Canada!!! What a great learning experience for any 10-year-old, or someone of any age, for that matter.

They've made friends and close relationships along the way, too. Todd Tucker, from Mason, W.Va., just a bit south of Parksburg, has been Sebastian's tutor, as well as playing the role of Marcellus in the show. He and his student have become very close, Georgia noted. No doubt, Sebastian has learned a lot about performing, having to do several shows a week.

It's been great mom/son time, as well, spending all those months relying on each other. It's been great bonding time, she said.

And now, in just a few days, it's back home to Tampa for the two, back to real life and friends and their own beds for a while.

Break a leg Sebastian, on your next venture. And, Georgia? Time for you to relax and stay in one place for a while!

And, on a programming note: the 2011-12 Broadway at the Capitol season includes:

• "My Fair Lady," Oct. 24

• "Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles," Jan. 25

• "Spamalot," March 8

• "Lord of the Dance," April 3

• "Mamma Mia!," May 7


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Blog Photos

Georgia and Sebastian