Saturday, November 21, 2015

Natalie's play

My mom and I went to see Natalie appear in a play at the high school last night.  It was called DNA. I forget who wrote it. That kind of thing seemed significant at one point in time, now I don't really care. We had planned for Graham to go see it, but Mary had seen it the night before, so Graham stayed home with my mom's husband David and watched Sponge Bob, which I think was more to both of their tastes.

DNA is a "serious" drama about pack behavior amongst teens, who in the course of typical teenage hijinks while drinking and partying torture and then "accidentally" kill one of their weakest, and then concoct a plot to cover it up, which in turn puts somebody else on the line to do life in prison or worse. The teenagers are led by a strong silent type, who spends much of the play pensively eating junk food (it looked awesome), saying nothing, while his girlfriend prattles on existentially about chimps, bonobos, and god knows what else.

I found myself wondering, "why couldn't they do a happy musical?"  Which is so not like me, because this is 100% what I would have wanted when I was their age, or particularly when I was in college. High seriousness in art. Tackling big problems thoughtfully. It is good to encourage young people to think and push boundaries and take themselves seriously. And Natalie did well, even if she was effectively part of the Greek chorus, in a sense one of the consciences of the group. Largely her character kept repeating the phrase "We're screwed!" in a tone of great anxiety, thereby conveying a consciousness of the practical ramifications of what they had done, much more so than the ethical ones. Indeed, when you get right down to it, most of the members of the chorus were like that. Focused less on the ethical issues of what they had done than the practical ones: it was going to be hard to get into good colleges if it was discovered that they had killed someone.

Which was, hopefully, not lost on them. I should discuss that point with Natalie and the other girls.

In principal, I am still for this kind of thing. It was just less enjoyable than watching Parks and Rec with Natalie. Which we did later.

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