An amateur community theater summer music provides the vehicle that brings three teens closer to being adults and forces their parents to reveal and own up to their darkest secrets.
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Debbie has a problem. She hates the modifications the director has made to the script of the musical she is performing in at the local art center's summer program. She enlists her parents, both entertainment industry professionals, her brother and her sister to help straighten the director out. The rest of the family pledges their support, but not in the way she expects. The last summer they spend together as a family before the brother goes off to college provides enough surprises for all and changes the lives not only of the family, but of many people around them.
The story shows good-hearted people rising to challenges and resolving them with grace and sensitivity.
THADDEUS RUBINSTEIN GLANCED up at his daughter from the print-out covering his old-school style drafting table and looked back down. He was revising the computer generated lighting plot and floor plan for the July Fourth Weekend Christian Music Festival. He keyed a number into a spreadsheet on the computer next to the drafting table, clicked "Save" and looked up.
Debbie stood patiently waiting for her father to finish. She knew that his job as a lighting designer for conventions and festivals often took him away for weeks at a time so she cherished when he was home working in his tiny office. Among her earliest memories were the times she had spent in his lap while he explained what all those funny little lines and symbols meant. She also knew that interrupting his work was one of the fastest ways to make him angry and you did not want to make her father angry. You don't spit in the wind. You don't pull the cape of the old lone ranger and you don't piss off her dad.
"Hey, baby-doll, what's up?"
Even though she was sixteen, Debbie liked her dad still calling her "baby-doll" in private although they both knew better than to mention it in public. The protectiveness made her feel good.
"Dad, I need a favor."
Tad loved his daughter and would do anything for her, but he knew her body language well enough to know whatever this favor was, he was probably not going to like it. Tad met her eyes thankful that both of his girls looked like their mother. Their son, Mike, looked like a huge version of him, but the boy's lack of his mother's beauty did not seem to be a misfortune. Except for the last few months when Mike could not get a date to save his life. Of course, Mike hadn't exactly been aggressively out looking either.
"What kind of favor?"
Debbie took a deep breath. "A big one."
He could see his wife, Amelia, and younger daughter, Theresa, peeking around the door frame watching. He was getting a really bad feeling. "Amelia, are you in on this?"
"Teddy, this is important," Amelia answered, knowing his use of her proper name and not her pet name, "Ami", was a sign her husband was already beginning to resist. She knew he would pick up on her calling him "Teddy" and not "Tad" like everyone else did, which meant this was as important to her as it was to Debbie and if he resisted, he would have a fight on his hands.
Tad looked at the three most important women in his life and sighed. He had already lost whatever battle this was and resigned himself to dealing with the consequences. "Theresa, please get a pitcher of iced tea. We'll sit at the dining room table and discuss this like reasonable people."
Theresa took off. "He's gonna do it," Theresa whispered to Mike as she detoured through the living room.
"No way," Mike said. He knew what the project was and had heard his father turn down similar plans in the past.
"Way. Dining room table. Family chat," Theresa said.
"Does he know what Debbie wants?" Mike asked his fleeing sister.
"Not yet," she said as she skidded around the corner.
Mike put away his e-reader and way too casually wandered into the dining room.