Which was an hour and a half long. Not that I would ever complain about that. Nope, not me.
Let me say up front that I was not part of the standing ovation after the final curtain, but that my reluctance had nothing to do with the play's running time. I just feel that fourth graders should not get standing ovations, no matter how charming and wonderful they are, and these particular fourth graders are filled with charm and wonder, and their performances were quite delightful (though sixty minutes of delight would have done it for me).
The problem with standing ovations for fourth graders is how do you follow that up? What do you do after the fifth grade play? Throw money?
I've been proposing a moratorium on standing o's for years now. When every performance you go to receives a standing ovation from its audience, what can a standing ovation be worth? It's lost its currency. There should be no standing ovations for five years for anyone. I don't care of Sir Laurence Olivier comes back from the grave to perform Hamlet. If he does it between May 2009 and May 2014, he's out of luck. Then after May 2014, only performances that change every single audience member's life (there can be a quick vote right after the final curtain) should get them. That's it. No more standing ovations for the community theater's production of "Mousetrap." Enough!
And, call me a grinch, but fourth graders should never, ever get a standing ovation. It's not good for their characters.
Am I the only adult who attends these things and spends the whole time wondering which of the girls are mean to the other girls and which of the boys are bullies? Am I the only one who wants to hug the chubby girls and whisper to them that one day they'll be much more interesting than the little skinny princesses dancing around them--in fact, they probably already are?
I was a chubby little girl. I ached in sympathy for the chubby little girls up on stage tonight. I know what's it like not to be able to do a cartwheel. I know what it's like to want so badly to be like those girls who are still tiny, or the ones who are getting tall and stretching out thin. I used to put runs in my shirts by pulling them away from my belly and down toward my knees so that my stomach wouldn't show.
I need to write a book about that.
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