Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Passing the Torch

New York City is my favorite city in the world,and our visit was much too short.Naturally we dropped in on the little blossoms Godfather,who just happens to be the temporary caretaker of a collection of Tony Awards that he is presently cataloging and photographing,and just so she could get used to the feel of these babys,Uncle Stephen shot my angel with the crooked halo holding one.Being surrounded by all these Tony Awards really put us in the mood for a Tony winning production.Luckily we were holding front row mezzanine tickets to the impossibly honest and raw Spring Awakening,with beautiful and arresting music by Duncan Shiek.
I have waxed poetic before about how the theatre is my church.Specifically it is my own personal creative conduit to my spirituality.You see,at its best, the theatre is our mirror. A fly on the wall to the ways of the world.Which makes this beautiful piece of theatre especially moving.The musical is based on a German play of the same name written in 1891.This play was banned for almost 100 years...and it is still volatile material. In a nutshell, it is about repressed adolescents feeling strange new feelings and seeking reasonable answers for those feelings from a disaproving parental atmosphere.This lack of communication between the parents and children lie at the heart of Frank Wedekinds play and will perhaps always have resonance.I have actually portrayed the doomed young heroine Wendla in Herr Wedekinds piece(he is also the author who penned the play that the Louise Brooks movie Pandoras Box is based on).....and I had my reservations about bringing my oldest daughter.
I remembered the graphic situations,I was ask to portray as my character sought to break free from the chains of innocence.I was a late bloomer myself and I understood my characters frustrations very well.
In the end I chose to follow my instincts and share this special show with my daughter.The graphic portrayal remained intact and with even a bit more detail than I had imagined.I believe I have "set the stage" to open up an honest dialogue and open atmosphere to answer ANY of her curious questions.What a refreshing piece of art to have sparked this dialogue.My child and I were both moved by these brilliant young actors. They shared their hearts with us ,the audience ,in a very intimate way.
Afterwards she was able to meet the actors themselves at the stage door. I was very touched by the kindness these actors showed their fans.Jonathan Groff,was especially sweet,not only autographing playbills,and posing for pics,but spending time with each guest , chatting with them and making them feel special themselves. I found EACH performance breathtaking in their own way,and yet,Mr Groffs portrayal of Melchior was my favorite.The relationships he created onstage were among some of the most honest moments I have ever seen onstage.
Yup, thats me as Wendla (still wearing Kowalski undershirts,even back then),I feel such affection for the open book that I was and I feel honored for my humble connection to this bittersweet story both as actor and audience member.

If you have time please watch this performance from the Tonys. I think you will see exactly what I mean,even the camera man coud not capture the passion on that stage.

Next up: The Salem Witch trials,some vintage fashion(natch),and some Rockin' Girl Bloggers(thanx Anastasia)!
Tommorrow afternoon I teach a drama workshop,so I will catch up with all of you tommorrow night!


mosaic queen said...

Welcome Back Miss Pagoda!!! What an Awesome experience for you and your daughter to share!!!!! She's definitely following in Mom's footsteps and I think that's a good thing!!!!!!!!!!!

Jennifer said...

Sounds like an incredible experience - Can't wait to hear more about your trip!

miss vintage love said...

I wanna be in your drama class!
Cute pics as always!

cruststation said...

Reading your entry, it's so apparent that your passion for theatre lies in every word. Beautiful shots of your daughter and the other actors -such a wonderful environment to grow up in.

stilettoheights said...

what a wonderful experience for her, and for is strange how some roles continue to affect our lives even years after we play them...for me it's Mayella in To Kill A Mockingbird...every once in a while she haunts me still.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy you got to experience all of this as a mother/daughter. Congrats on your exciting, fabby, trip and your future stah... I also want to take drama class with you.

stephanie said...

Very moving...wonderful post, thank you so much for sharing this bit of past and present!!

Angelina said...

I think the stage is a powerful place, it's been a long time since I've seen a play. Unfortunately, I don't think I could watch anything stark these days. Or musicals, I like the musicals of the thirties and forties but I really don't enjoy the modern ones.

I thought that was a great review though and a little part of me wished I could go see for myself.

amanda button said...

So glad you are back!!!

You did a good thing opening up the lines of communication with your girl...i think kids would be so much better off if more parents could do that. The play sounds utterly amazing! You are an awesome mama to have shared it! :)

alexgirl said...

That sounds like such a great trip. I love all the pics of your daughter. She looks like she is having the best time ever!
I've heard great things about Spring Awakenings. Now that I have your recommendation too, maybe I'll try to get tickets!!!
Thanks for commenting on my wedding pictures. You have great taste, so I'm glad you liked the dress!!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back girl!! Oooh, you had such a fabulous time it sounds like! Such an interesting world you "life" in!!!
Missed youuuuu

A Fanciful Twist said...

Gosh lady, you are and were so lovely!! No wonder your girls are dolls! Now, crooked Halo is really changing! She is looking so much more grown up in the face.. Her features, becoming less and less little girl like... She is a striking incredible beauty!! xxoxox

Peta said...

Your daughter looks so gorgeous and happy in all those photos. You look a lot like her in that photo of you with your mum.

AnastasiaC said...

Sounds like you both had a wonderful time...great pics! so nice of the actors to take time out to meet fans!
I love the feeling I have when going to the theatre...a total different experience!
how cool that she has such a creative parents and even a talented godfather!!

Jane said...

What a lucky girl that Crooked Halo is!

Rebecca said...

Oh my GOSH you were HERE! How could I have missed that? You'd think I would have felt a tremor in the streets on Manhattan when Ms. Jungle Dream was strolling down Broadway!

Seriously, I'm sorry I missed you! SOB



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