Last night was filled with fishnet stockings and pouty red lips – so no, not our usual Friday night.
We were at a private boarding school in our area, where over half of the student body is drawn from Cambodia, Turkey, China, and other eastern countries. This was our second play there, and again I was impressed by kids who not only set aside the usual crippling teen-age self-consciousness to perform, but many who did it in an unfamiliar language.
The school tries to choose plays with parts for the greatest number of students possible, and this was no exception, with 38 performers hoofing it across the stage. The kids were all great. If the girl playing Velma Kelly isn’t on Broadway before ten years have passed, I’ll eat my feather boa, and while Roxie Hart consistently sang off-key, she did it with non-stop enthusiasm.
What took a little getting used to was that this production stayed true to creators Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, with more hip-grinding than two seasons of Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. “Son of a bitch!” and “No good bastard!” flew back and forth across the stage, and sixteen year-olds sang about life in the fast lane and finding their men not ménage a trois, but quatre.
It made me wonder if this was what the parents had in mind when they sent their fresh-faced children off to America; last night these teens and one or two pre-teens were striking poses in heels, black spandex, and scarlet lips.
It also made me wonder what the previous tenants of the facility, the St. Hyacinth Seminary, would think of all this.