Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Don't worry, I'm not about to write about swine flu. Just had to clear the air on that, what with the pig reference in the title. No, instead I'm going to regale you with far more compelling subject matter: wee wee. Well, not exactly. I've been thinking about wee-wee a bit lately, but really I'm not going to talk about it. At least not in it's truest form.
You see my daughter is in an upcoming musical at her high school. She loves to sing and do all of those theatrical things and my husband and I have enjoyed watching her grow as a performer and we were duly thrilled that she was going to try out for the musical this year. I pictured her belting out songs about the corn being knee-high by the Fourth of July, or being Hopelessly Devoted to whomever was the closest thing to John Travolta that the school could scratch up, or maybe even getting a bit edgier and joining the ensemble cast in a rousing rendition of Seasons of Love from Rent.
But instead, she and her peers will be singing about pee. Yeah, I know, that sounds so terrifically disgusting. But really, it's nothing but funny. They had a new drama teacher this year who wanted to undertake something a little bit different than the usual high school musical productions, to give everyone something to talk about, and she decided that this year they would put on Urinetown. Yep, that's the title. Urinetown.
And then I got asked to help to publicize the play and I have a background in public relations so I was more than happy to do so, but then the reality kicked in once I actually started talking it up. Every time I've mentioned this play to anyone, I'm met with this: "Urinetown? As in urine town? Oh." And then their eyes glaze over. And I can't say that I blame them because, I mean, the title is a little off-putting.
I even thought about pitching it as You're In Town, figuring nobody would know the difference. I came up with the line I'd use for reporters:
"I wanted to let you know that the high school will be putting on a play, and it's been fabulously well-received on Broadway. Tony Award-winning, in fact. Yeah, uh-huh. Uh-huh. It's called You're In Town."
I figured they'd just sort of in their minds mix it with Our Town, an old chestnut that gets dragged out by all kinds of high school drama departments during play season.
Admittedly I'm not quite "in the know" in the world of drama, despite a potentially lurid addiction to People magazine. But that's more to do with pop culture than actual theatrics.
The extent of my acting prowess consisted of a quasi-starring role as Aunt Sally in Mr. Popsack's sixth grade production of Huck Finn. I made quite the memorable entrance when I tripped over a tree stump prop in a night scene during the first few minutes of the play, flipping heels over head and landing on my back. Despite my abject humiliation from that gaff, I received rave reviews, and Charlotte Tragard, the actress in our modest little high school, pulled me aside and told me I had a future in the arts.
Little did I know that future would be in trying to convince people that a play about pee is a must-see production.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Urinetown, don't let the title scare you. It's good, clean fun for the whole family. And perfectly relevant for the times in which we live, complete with corrupt politicians, corporate greed, and ecological devastation thrown in for good measure. What's not to love?
Yes, sometimes I feel as if I'm flacking the live action version of the children's book series, Captain Underpants. More like Captain Dirty Diapers. But I take heart in knowing that it's a fabulous play and has lots of terrific singing and you know, in some ways it brings me back to the day when changing diapers with my own babies and I probably sang about wee-wee, just to keep the kids entertained. So it all comes around.
Plus, my friend had a good point the other day.
"Hey," she said. "At least it's only pee! You could have been asked to publicize a production of The Vagina Monologues."