Beauty and the Beast

Jen’s show isn’t quite like the Disney Broadway version. It’s funnier and more self-aware …

If  anyone has  wondered what’s happened to Jen over the last  couple of  months, she’s been working 80 hours a week (or more)  on her school’s production of Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

It’s been a major ordeal, because she ended up fulfilling most of the production roles not just director, even though she opposed choosing this vacuous piece of theatrical crap for the school’s two-yearly extravaganza  in the first place [actually, I’ve just come back from filming the matinee, and it’s not crap at all.   Jen is her own harshest critic.   It’s a kid’s show certainly, but it had me shedding a few tears.   But then I’m a sucker for a musical with a happy ending].

  Nevertheless, she threw herself into the task with an extraordinary discipline and commitment I didn’t know she possessed, and she’s created a production that by all accounts is a triumph.   I’m going to see it tonight at Darwin Entertainment Centre. Jen was interviewed for a story  about the show in yesterday’s NT News:

“You’re never more accountable as when you’re on stage and you’re working with profesionals who aren’t teachers,” [McCulloch] said.    
“The students get to use their imagination and they are also required to step up and work as a team.”    
But a moral in the story?    
“There’s no lessons in this story; it’s a fairytale,” McCulloch said. “There’s a vague lesson that things are not as they seem but … it’s in the realm of fantasy, the realm of colour and movement.”

There was a bit of colour and movement too  in my own modest involvement in Beauty and the Beast.  

    Earlier this week Jen needed some pairs of red stockings to construct a symbolic rose whose petals progressively get removed through the show.   The only place that stocked them was a local sex shop, so I bravely offered to help  her out and go and get them. I’d never been to one before (honestly) so I was curious.

Turns out it was just an open, brightly lit supermarket-like place, with a couple of seedy-looking customers of Mediterranean appearance lurking by the massive porno video section.   I was too disconcerted to browse.   I just marched up to the girl at the counter.   A chubby young thing, wearing a tee-shirt with an “Adult Shop – Hi, I’m Kylie” logo emblazoned on her left breast and the motto  “Buy Me Toys” across her ample belly.

“Do you have red stockings?” I asked casually.   She just looked at me curiously and led me over to the stockings section.   “It’s for my partner’s school production of Beauty and the Beast“, I explained.   She gave me a “yeah right, mate, I hear that every day” look and kept searching for red ones.   I paid and left,  abashed and  mildly uncomfortable.  

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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david tiley
15 years ago

Actually Jen wanted to do Le Miz. I bet those kids will remember the production for the rest of their lives.

What does someone who goes to a sex shop want to do with red stockings? Tie people to the bedframe?

Given that there is always a big flat grey comedown moment after a production, maybe you should think about the possibilities of distraction.

You could post some pictures. Of the production, of course. The official production. Or at least give us a link.

Ron
Ron
15 years ago

Jen,

Just for interest’s sake, how much did you have to pay Disney for the license fee?

david tiley
15 years ago

Oh shit! Greedy greedy greedy! After all, you are sustaining the value of the brand for them.