Monday, May 18, 2009

You Don't Know What You Missed.

DramaQueen’s spring recital is finally over, and I am so damned happy about it. It was the longest recital in world history, and possibly the history of the galaxy.

The school put a lot of effort into the program, and they have the best of intentions and I’m sure their choices are heartfelt. But. There’s always a “but” for me, born of my natural cynicism and aversion to most contemporary expressions of Christian culture. I have this snotty opinion that however fair the intention, bad art is just bad, and we aren’t doing Christianity any favors by training children to deliver pabulum to the masses.

First, the story was as pious and moralistic as something from an old McGuffey Reader: Girl wants doll in the woodcarver’s shop. Girl’s mother lets her earn the money through extra chores. Girl is very diligent, not neglecting her work for pay. Girl saves money and buys doll. But, lo, she spies a poor beggar woman, and returns the doll so that she can give the money to the beggar. Meanwhile, the one griping, mean-spirited person in the story learns an Important Lesson and vows to change her ways. A group of angels watch and rejoice. Meanwhile the beggar uses the money to score some heroin and shoots up. Well, no, but that probably would have improved the story.

Now, imagine that dragged out over three hours, with dance numbers folded into every possible plot crevice.

Keep in mind that this story was set in a sort of fairy-tale ye olde Alpine village. Now, imagine them folding in a hip-hop number as well as jazz.

And then imagine them all done to contemporary Christian music.

Afterwards, Dear Husband said that we are not sending her to another faith-based arts school - something I never expected to hear from him. He does surprise me sometimes. Recently when we were pondering him homeschooling DramaQueen, he said that he refused to use a religious curriculum. That’s the sort of pronouncement I would happily make, but I’m half heretic and he’s straight-line orthodox. Well, close, anyway. At least compared to me.

DramaQueen will be pleased. She told me that she was very tired of doing plays about God. Bless her.

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