Friday, June 22, 2012

Oh, how I love a good queen

I took my daughter to a local dinner theater last night.  Every year the girls in her girl scout troop choose how they want to spend their proceeds from cookie sales.

The first year, we slept overnight at the zoo, which was a night worthy of writing about in and of itself.  Last year, the girls did an overnight at the aquarium, but we had to skip it because my little girl was nursing a broken foot.  At the time, she couldn't put any weight on it at all and was rolling around on a knee scooter...let's just say that child is a bit like a bull in a china shop on a good day.  Put her on wheels and you're just asking for trouble.

This year, the girls took a good long while deciding what to do, though I highly suspect that the moms' collective opposition to another overnight may have played a role too.  They eventually settled on the dinner theater.

We went to see the Rodgers and Hammerstein version of Cinderella.

I thought it would be like the books and the movies we already own, full of cheese and unrealistic expectations about love.  And it was.  It also taught a troop full of little girls a lesson that I'm not even sure they were learning.

The lead actress suffered a spinal cord injury as a baby, and was partially paralyzed from the waist down.  They clearly choreographed around her limitations, but she danced and sang and acted so well that eventually I didn't even notice her limp anymore.

I sat at a table with three of the girls last night, and not a single one of them mentioned Cinderella's differences.  They were more concerned about wanting to know why she was kissing a guy she hardly knew, and being grossed out about it.

Cinderella was just a girl who became a princess, regardless of her challenges.  She became an even more sympathetic character under the thumb of the evil stepmother.  You wanted to root for her even more.

Try as we may to teach our children that everyone is deserving of respect, that everyone has gifts and talents, that everyone has a story worth telling, that message is often diminished by the realities of the world we live in.  Cinderella showed those girls last night that anything is possible.  I hope that they all will carry that message away from the performance, even (and maybe especially) if they didn't realize they were learning it.

If I had to wager a guess as to what most of them are talking about this morning, though, it was the step sisters.  It would be hard not to be talking about the step sisters.

These characters have always been the comic relief in the story, but they were played completely over the top by two very tall, very fluffy, very loud men last night.  Hilarious.  They stole the show.

My daughter and the queen
There should be a rule about this.  Every stage production should include at least one drag queen.

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