Thursday, August 11, 2011

To hell with my handbag and back again

My youngest daughter has been heavily involved in a church production that is performing at the Conference Center Little Theater.  She is the ONLY reason I would go to something like that so I was compelled to buy a ticket.  There was a risk that those towering stone walls would collapse when I walked in the door but I guess I haven't done anything too horrible yet because the building is still standing.

I had a front row seat so close I could see up the (amateur) actors noses.  That was helpful because I was able to keep my mind occupied with noticing who'd had too much of a spray tan and those who didn't know how to properly apply stage makeup.

The curtain opened on the first scene.  The actors, in pioneer clothing, were laying on the stage floor covered with old quilts while fake snow and fog blew around.  I assume they were supposed to be shivering as with cold but the jerky movements looked more like the group was having a mass convulsive episode.  Dramatic music blared and there was much weeping and wailing.  Misery clearly abounded.  That was my first clue that this was a dramatic retelling of the infamous Martin and Willie handcart company debacle.  It was a retelling so sanitized that I could practically smell the chlorine wafting off the stage with the fake fog.  A couple of years ago I may have felt awe at the incredible strength of these people in the face of such intense suffering.  Now I just felt sorrow because their suffering was needless and completely avoidable on so many levels. 

My angel is waaaaaay better looking
 On the risers at the back of the stage stood an angel choir.  And there was my angel, dressed in my discarded white temple dress and slippers, hair in ringlets and back-lit till she literally glowed. I have gorgeous spawn, I have to admit.  For her I was going to ExMo hell for two hours.  But she's worth it.  And she made a damn fine angel. 

I could mock this production in so many ways.  It was an overly long, over-wrought, over-the-top dramatic version of the story complete with the requisite raising-from-the-dead and angels-pushing-handcarts.  It was written and performed as a faith promoting production by fervent people who utterly believe all of it.  Where once it might have affected me that way, now I just feel sad for them.  And, I admit, just a little bit superior for having seen through the facade. 


  1. It is sad for them. The only thing that makes me angry now is the fact that the organization continues to sanitize the truth of all true facts deemed "not very useful," which fact completely change the entire story.

    You are such a good mom, Zena!

  2. I admire you for being able to sit through it!

  3. What CD said -- you're a great mom!

  4. We all make sacrifices for our kids. Some just take more intestinal fortitude than others. Like vomit and church musicals.