This week coming up is gonna be a biggie for me. Lenora's play is going up on Thursday. I'm leaving for Boston Friday afternoon. Ragtime is opening on Sunday. Isn't it all so perfectly marvelous?
Lenora's playing Lady Larken in Once Upon a Mattress. Until this morning, I really wasn't that familiar with that one. I think by now I can call myself a fan of musical drama, and saying I don't like comedy all that much would be a fair assumption. I'm not gonna dress this up pretty. After watching the 2005 movie version on Youtube, I have no especially high opinion of the show. In all honesty, this is what I think - it's trite, empty, and foolish with a score that nobody will remember as a lost gem of the theatre. But is it really what I think that matters? After all, that's no reflection on Lenora, she didn't write the show. But it does seem to me that it's going to take an awful lot of effort on the part of 25 lowly highschoolers to make this thing work. The book is exceptionally weak and brimming with pratfalls. Anyone not willing to make a fool of themselves need not apply.
BUT. I did like Lady Larken quite a bit. True, she's a bit one dimensional, but this is Once Upon a Mattress. If I wanted fully developed characters I'd look to something by Williams or Ibsen. Of course, she's a stock character, the token "cute friend." Between you and me, that's always been my favorite archetype. Think about it. Some of the world's greatest characters have been sidekicks- Melanie Wilkes, Beth March, Stella Kowalski, etc. etc. etc. And anyway, everyone in this show is based upon some kind of archetype, right down to the evil queen and the dumbass, weak-willed prince.
I just wish the damn school could put on a play that's vaguely substantial next year.