The Loh Life

Beauty and the Beast, and a whole heck of a lot of twirling cutlery

You recall Tiger Mom Amy Chua, who wrote: "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior."  Writing about why her daughters were getting straight A's, playing Carnegie Hall, and going to Harvard, Chua said: "No Chinese kid would ever dare say to their mother, 'I got a part in the school play!  I'm Villager Number Six. I'll have to stay after school for rehearsal every day from 3:00 to 7:00, and I'll also need a ride on weekends.'"

Har de har har. My one-quarter-Chinese daughter Maddy is in theatre at Van Nuys High and we're all in.  She has been cast in every production thus far. In fall, in The Elephant Man?  She won the part of Mrs. Kendal, the female star of the play!  

This time, for "Beauty and the Beast?"

"LOL, Mom.  I got cast as 'Chorus Girl Number Five.'"

"Congratulations!" I exclaimed. "Five is the best one, honey! You wouldn't want to be Chorus Girl Number Two, or Four!"

Yes, it was endless rehearsals, for months. On the upside, this generous, democratic Performing Arts school really does put 30 kids on stage. And the result is some deftly choreographed Busby Berkeley stuff. Couple that with that darn Alan Mencken score--  Whose catchy tunes crawl inside your ears until you feel your teeth grinding--  It really does merit some Pfizer medication--

Then of course the whole cast had to go to the movie--  I had to drive--  But I wasn't allowed to be seen in my daughter's company--  So I had to sneak into the back of the theatre--

Bottom line, as if in a dream, I find myself going my third-and final!-time to the show, to capture the magic on my iPhone--  And just at the moment Chorus Girl Five gets to the front, my iPhone runs out of storage and stops filming!  Argh!

So now I have to go back for a fourth time! With my giant iPad that has a Terabyte of storage! And of course, like other crazed parents, I videotape with "the MaddyCam"  To wit: Amongst 30 kids running around, I always have my kid in the center of the shot.  During "Be Our Guest!" I would keep muttering, "Okay, Belle, enough singing, step aside!" Or, "Yes, teacup girl, we get it--you can jump up and do the splits!  But you're blocking my daughter!"

I may be the opposite of a Tiger Mom, but I got some great video.

As Angela Lansbury-or Emma Thompson-might sing:           

"Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, parents are like beasts!"


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