Sunday, March 06, 2011

jeunes filles en fleur. theater notes.

K. invited me to her daughter's class production of High School Musical last night. Her daughter goes to a private school in my neighborhood, and this was the 7th and 8th grade stage production. Everyone takes part, regardless of talent or experience. I go because this is how the next generation of people who love theater, onstage or in the audience, this is how it begins. I sit with my friend's younger daughter, who's seen the musical twice already. It's a nice theater, with fixed stadium seating and a thrust stage with a simple but professional-looking set. We are reminded to turn off our cell phones - the frequency might interfere with the performer's wireless microphones. What? Wireless mikes? We definitely didn't have those when we were in middle school. How times have changed.

Things I forgot about middle school: in 7th and 8th grade, the boys still look like little boys, some short, some tall. One boy has a Bieber haircut and is so baby-faced as to make the real (and already near-fetal) Justin Bieber look like an octogenarian. The girls are almost young women. They are long-limbed and not quite graceful, but they are definitely jeunes filles en fleurs, young girls in flower. They are all beautiful. Were we all that beautiful, when we were young? Another four years and they will be even more beautiful, like the girls in a high school production of Noises Off we saw a few months back, who ran effortlessly up and down stairs clad in skimpy slips and dangerously high heels.

The singing is not all in tune. Sometimes the mikes fade in and out. But there is energy, poise, love, the kind that might mature into passion. They have pride. They've worked hard for this. They are having fun. And so are we.

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