And She Lived…

{October 12, 2008}   Parade

Last weekend Shy’s school had their big musical. They do a few shows throughout the year but only do one really big musical production. The reason for this is that they have to pay a fee (an incredibly large fee) for the rights to do whichever show they choose. This year I feel their money was wasted.

It’s not that the kids did a bad job. Most of them were pretty good and a couple of them were really, really good. Of course it is a high school production so you also had a couple kids that were less than wonderful. They’re kids… it’s to be expected. The overall performance was really pretty good.

It was the musical itself that I have trouble with. The thought process behind doing this particular production was to promote conversation and to get people thinking. While it was certainly a story that holds great potential for those ideas, it lacks in entertainment. I realize they weren’t exactly going for entertainment value, but honestly… they should.

This is a high school production. These are parents and brothers and sisters in the crowd. There were even a few students in the crowd who had come just to watch and support their friends. (more on them later) This isn’t the type of crowd who came to watch thought provoking drama. We were there to see our children perform and to enjoy seeing them perform.

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t mind watching the kids perform something dramatic that promoted conversation if it also had entertainment value. However the musical they chose failed, at least in my opinion, to be entertaining. It was a very dark story about very serious matters. I am still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that anyone chose to take such events and turn them into a musical in the first place. Events that were taken from history. A true story of tragic events… turned into a musical.

I know I, and Bucky, were not the only ones who failed to find entertainment in this particular show. Remember those students I mentioned? The ones who came to see their friends in the school play? They left at intermission. At least the two boys in front of us did. The got up, walked out the doors and never came back. I was a bit envious of them for their ability to flee.

I was bored. The actual events that happened were interesting enough and had it been made into a movie I think it would have managed to be good. Maybe even as a play. Not as a musical. Plays can be serious and dark and dramatic. Musicals? Give me a nun spinning on a hilltop or a bunch of people in cat suits. Heck, I’ll even go for a guy with a disfigured face wearing a mask and terrorizing a theater. But drunks, murderers and worse yet… politician’s! That just doesn’t say musical to me. Especailly not for high school kids. And it certainly doesn’t make for an entertaining 3 hours.

Yes, that’s right. 3 hours! A high school production that lasted 3 hours. Too much.

I tried to consider the possibility that I might have liked it more had Shy been cast in an actual role rather than just being in the chorus. (yes, i know i shouldn’t say she was JUST in the chorus, and i’m working on that one) I really don’t think it would have mattered if she’d had the lead role. I just didn’t like musical. The performance was good. Like I said, the kids did a good job with what they had to work with.

I heard that last year they did Little Shop of Horrors. My high school did that one my junior year. That was entertaining. Thought provoking? No. A conversation starter? No. But entertaining and to me that is what a high school production should be.


okay readers, here is your homework comment assignment. Check out this description of the musical. Let me know in comments your thoughts on a high school doing this musical production.


Mama Zen says:

Are you kidding me? I read the description, and that seems a bit much for a high school production.

As far as I’m concerned, all musicals should be lighthearted. I just can’t get into musical / drama.

Wow, that’s a little heavy for a high school musical. The ones at my school were always fun and entertaining not throwing weighty issue like race and religion around. I bet that was hard to stomach 3 hours of.

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