Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What Happened to Oklahoma?

Okay, so it's springtime - which means every high school in the country is producing their Spring Musical. Now in my day (yes, I am old - but not THAT old) I remember participating in every spring musical during my 3 year stint and good old Dulaney Sr. High. NOTE: Back in the ancient days high school was 10 - 12 grade. Somewhere along the way 9th grade got absorbed by the high school set. Anyway,the three blockbuster musicals we performed: Once Upon a Mattress, Oklahoma and West Side Story. Ah, the toe-tapping tunes. The romance. The laughs. The drama. A pleasant time was had by all.

Last weekend I attended the show produced by my niece Jessica's High School in Orange Co. Ca. Was it Annie? I think not. Sound of Music? Not even close. Urinetown. Yep, that 's the title. Urinetown. I spent two hours watching a musical about people who live in a town experiencing a 20 year drought so severe that there are no longer private bathrooms. In order to, ahem, ah, pee people must pay to use public amenities controlled by a private company.

Oh sure there is plenty of political satire. Suprisingly, some language. And yes, even some catchy musical numbers. I must applaud the cast and even more the stage band which was comprised completely of high school students. They did a fabulous job and the show was entertaining. But really, Urinetown?

I've been through this before. I remember how I felt when Disney decided to produce an animated, musical version of Hunchback of Notre Dame. I still can not convince myself to watch it. My ever-lovin' and I joked at the time, "What's next - War and Peace: The Musical?" Now, I shudder - it just may happen!

Alas, maybe I am an old fogey. But I will always support the kids. And so I bravely prepare myself for next weekend. That's when I will attend the premiere production at Carlsbad High School of their Spring Musical.....Sweeney Todd: The High School Edition! Now who wouldn't grab their young ones and run right down to watch high schoolers perform a musical about a murderous barber and his girlfriend who makes meatpies out of his clients. Good times. Good times. I am a huge Sondheim fan. I know how hard the kids have worked on this. I know they'll be great. But don't be suprised if you see me quietly humming to myself, "The sun will come out, tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar they'll be sun." as the fake theatre blood flows across the stage.