Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The king, and I, and the noisy people behind me

My daughter and I went to the spring musical at her middle school last night -- "The King and I," performed in a shortened version that left out some very familiar songs and added some really boring narration to cover up the plot gaps. But you gotta love little 11-, 12-, 13-year-old kids up there on stage belting out classic songs and pretending. The boy who played the king even shaved his head for the role. The girl who played Anna went to my daughter's elementary school and was in a writing enrichment class I taught there, so we were happy to cheer her on. The only really bad performance of the evening was given by the people sitting behind us, who just would not stop talking all through the performance. That was sad enough when it was a group of little gossiping girls who only broke from their whispered conversation to scream the names of actors when they'd successfully completed their numbers. But after a while a group of grown men sat in the row between us and the girls, and then they started talking, too. One of them was our district superintendent of schools (and the husband of one of my best library volunteers), so I could hardly give him the evil eye. But I thought about it, alright. Perhaps what we needed was for the King of Siam to stomp out into the audience with his bare feet and his bald head, clap his hands, and order, "Silence!" Hey, it worked for him onstage.

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