Old Musicals / Time Warps are Fun

Drove out to Thousands Oaks today to see Once Upon a Mattress performed at the Civic Arts Center, presented by Cabrillo Music Theatre.

I find the farther north I go on the 101 between LA and Ventura, the more bizarre people become.  Thousands Oaks is a half-oasis.  The P.F. Chang’s looks like a fortress, a mini Caesar’s Palace.  The Civic Arts center? Impressive.  Another concrete fortress.  Look at all the philanthropists’ money at work!  There was even a reflecting pool with automated fountain jets.  We arrived to an opening act in the plaza in front of the theater.  The Children’s troupe was performing selections from the 2012-2013 season, including 1776, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, and Grease, belting their little hearts out in the heat.

The theater seats 1,800, and on a Saturday matinee of Once Upon a Mattress, was chiefly populated by young girls dressed in a whole range of princess outfits & tiaras, and the 60+ white-haired subscribers.

Can't sleep? Sing about it.

I pretty much loathe musicals.  There’s something about dancing around speaking your thoughts and speaking exposition that is inexplicably, utterly ridiculous. But, my junior year of high school I played Winnifred in the musical, and I found that the scenes and songs are still burned in my memory.  It’s the story of the Princess and the Pea, with a little sex and jazz mixed in.  I modeled my vocal inflections and character quirks after Carol Burnett in the original Broadway production in 1959.  Cabrillo’s production seemed to be meatier, a couple longer dance numbers, new verses in songs, and some scenes I didn’t recognize. Perhaps from the Sarah Jessica Parker revival from  1996. Beautiful costumes. So this is what a budget looks like, huh?

Then I realized it had been 10 years since I sang these songs, standing in a cerulean blue satin dress, with bleach blonde hair in pigtail braids. High school theater flashbacks.  Hunched shoulders. People wearing black capes for fun.  I definitely did not get all of the sex jokes way back when.  Live and learn.

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