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First Performance

Parks & Rec 'Pocahontas' Play
Santa Rosa, Calif.
Nov. 21, 2002

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Watching "The King and I" tonight, with the girls. There's a love song, "We Kiss in the Shadows," sung by a young woman slave (Rita Moreno) who has been given to the king, and the servant who brought her from Burma to Bangkok. He has been sneaking into the palace grounds at night, but she tells him they can never be together. Watching this nonsense, Ellie finally says in exasperation, "I got an idea how you can be together: ask the guy who owns the palace if you can live there, because your wife is there!"

I wonder what kind of plays they will put on when Em & Ellie are in high school. Back in the 1970s, we used to put on these 1950s and 1960s musicals, like "King and I" or "Brigadoon," or "Music Man" or "Fiddler on the Roof." It was kind of a stretch even then, but at least they were shows that our parents were familiar with, and that we somehow felt we should know. But we're two or three generations off of Rogers and Hammerstein now. I suppose they could do "Hair" or "Les Miserables" or "Phantom of the Opera."

And then there's Disney, which provides us with fresh musicals every year or so. We jumped at the chance to enroll Em in the Parks and Rec's drama program this fall when we saw they were producing "Pocahontas", a movie she loves and whose songs she knows every word of. This production bore little resemblance to the Disney film, but borrowed "Colors of the Wind" in two places. Em was a little disappointed that she was only a maiden and not the title character, but I explained no one stars in their debut.