Yes, I should be working on my Impossible Task for This Week. Instead, I find myself moved to chronicle yet more of the Parade of Lunkheads that seek to intrude into my life on an ongoing basis.
Here is the latest episode: as you know, I recently directed a musical version version of Judy Blume’s Superfudge. You know because I kvetched about the concern over the word “stupid” earlier. Well, another “problem” with the source material is the fact that it addresses the existance of Santa Claus – it is, after all, aimed at an older demographic than the Dr. Seuss canon. But. Begged to find a solution that did not include scissoring out the middle of the show (and my favorite musical number), here is what I came up with:
Earlier (during that number), the sixth grader Peter, in retaliation for being made to write letters to Santa for all family members (in order to appease his younger brother Fudge), has asked Santa for an iPod. Soon after this number, Peter, in Greek Chorus mode, tells the audience that everybody got what they wanted, except for the iPod. Fudge enters and they talk about their presents (Fudge rather sweetly saying he would have gotten the iPod, but he doesn’t have that much money)(who does?)… and Fudge admits he hasn’t believed in Santa in quite some time. He just goes through the motions for his parents.
My subversive solution for this: While Peter and Fudge have their conversation in one corner of the stage, behind them, in the opposite corner, Santa enters the family living room and places an iPod box with an enormous bow on the table… then, hearing that the kids don’t believe in him, he snatches the box back up and leaves in a huff.
For the most part, the audiences have loved it. But… and you could have predicted it… there have, thus far, been two mothers in the lobby after the show, screaming at the staff that the theater has irreparably damaged their children for life. One even returned later for a second bout of screaming, and had to be told to leave or be removed from the premises.
It’s like working retail, except for the outside chance at work benefits.
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