Role Models for Girls: The Good, the Evil, and the Frozen

 

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Or, Why Do Little Girls have to Choose Between Being Good and Being Powerful?

I was never much for Disney princesses growing up. None of them ever spoke to me. I was more into characters like Simba from Lion King. I suppose, for whatever reason, I was more concerned with the personality and journey of the character than their gender. Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine, Ariel…none of them did anything for me. I don’t even remember thinking they were particularly pretty. I liked Megara from Hercules a little, but I was more about Pegasus, Hercules, and Hades in that movie. The complex characters with clear goals and inner journeys were always the ones who appealed to me. (And animals. Being an animal makes a big difference to me.)

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Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women (Denver) Review

 

“Warning: This show contains feminine subject matter including teenage diaries, breast feeding, tampons, shadow puppets, pantyhose, menstrual cycles, slumber parties, menopause and maxi pads.”

Yep, this show comes with a warning label. Metamaiden and I can’t seem to escape daring female theater this fall, though Girls Only is only edgy if you get squeamish during random conversations about the topics in the warning label. Since the lone guy in the audience, who was sitting next to Metamaiden, left during intermission, I guess the label is warranted. I saw the house manager whispering in his ear before he left, probably warning him about the ramped up female content in the second half.

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More on GYNX the Play

 

 

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A homeless teen lesbian, a prostituted girl, an underground
abortionist, and a child porn survivor are recruited into
a rapist castration plot by a mysterious woman named
Gynx. Men go into hiding, and their operation makes global
headlines. But when Gynx’s true motives are revealed,
the group is forced to question whether
they are truly on the side of justice.

We had notes that we didn’t have room for in our review of GYNX by Alicen Grey, so, in the spirit of an “outtakes” post, here are some more thoughts on the play:

In some ways, the play reminds me of Disgraced, the 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play by Ayad Akhtar about the dehumanization of Muslim men in America. Disgraced showed us that stereotyping and racism can lead to the exact dangers that the dominant culture is afraid of. Its characters were realistic people, but they were also stereotypes and symbols. GYNX uses the same method with its characters and story.

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GYNX the Play the Review

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Last week, Metamaiden and I traveled to Denver to see the new Disney musical adaptation of the animated movie Frozen. It was, shall we say, a less than completely positive experience. But, I’ve written thousands of words about that already. In my last post about it, I wrote that I was going to support a feminist off-Broadway play to offset my inadvertent support of what Disney had done to Frozen. GYNX is that play.

Alicen Grey, playwright and producer of GYNX, saw my post, and offered us a recording of their opening night performance. So, Metamaiden and I sat down in Albuquerque on the afternoon of Sunday, 8/27/17, and watched this radical feminist theatre revelation while the final performance of its current run was happening in NYC. It was playing at the Hudson Guild Theater as part of the 2017 NY Summerfest. GYNX is also a Semi-Finalist in the MultiStages 2017 New Works Contest, and it’s not hard to see why.

GYNX was everything I hoped it would be, and more. I felt like Alicen had lived my life, and was seeking my revenge. The play is powerful, haunting and cathartic all at once. It’s impossible to be unaffected by it. It ends with a question that you’ll think about for a long time, if you aren’t already thinking about it.

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Frozen the Musical vs Radical Feminist Theatre

I thought I was done writing about the Frozen live musical adaptation, but I guess I’m not. The thing is, both Metamaiden and I aren’t done thinking about it. The new song Monster, written by Oscar, h*ell, EGOT-winning songwriters, is stuck in our heads, telling us over and over that being a powerful woman is dangerous, that we should either leave and go live in solitude or, even better, kill ourselves, so that we don’t destroy our country and everything we hold dear.

And that’s only the beginning. I, personally, like most adult women, am a sexual assault survivor, which I have rarely, if ever, talked about. (Probably also like most women.) The scene where Kristoff rips Anna’s dress off and forcefully throws it off stage, while telling her how stupid she is, was very triggering for me, especially after seeing it twice.*

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Frozen the Musical in Denver 8/19/17: Analysis and Comparison to 8/17/17

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It was great to see Frozen a second time time on Saturday night, the production’s third performance. The show had already made changes since Thursday night. Most noticeably, the lighting has been upgraded, which makes everything look more polished, and helps the ice effects. I still feel like they come up short in several places, but the stronger lighting added depth and sparkle that wasn’t there on Thursday. The improved lighting makes the whole production feel much more like it’s ready for Broadway instead of  community theatre.

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Frozen the Musical in Denver: Full Review and Analysis of 8/17/17

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This review is based on the world premiere opening night performance, 8/17/17. There are MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. I go into detail about many aspects of the show. I also, as usual, share my opinions and theories. Also, as usual, I call it as I see it. If you can’t handle honest opinions, this isn’t the site for you.


There’s a lot to love about the live version of Frozen, most especially the cast. But my conclusion is that they needed Julie Taymor, the uber talented director who brought The Lion King to the stage, to midwife this show, as well. This show needed to be a spectacle show that focussed on the two sisters’ relationship and journeys to full adulthood, and on Elsa’s ice creations, much as The Lion King manages to both focus on Simba’s relationships and coming of age story, and the pageantry of the costumes and props, without the spectacle overwhelming the characters or story.

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Frozen the Musical in Denver: More Youtube Videos

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Here is the first look at the costumes for the four main characters in Frozen the Musical, reports about the show from the local Denver CBS news station, and the fourth video in DCPA’s video series, an interview with choreographer Rob Ashford.

We walked between Greg Moody, the Denver CBS TV critic, and the merch stand, as he was filming the report, when we left the theatre. We’re not in the video, though, the camera was pointed at Greg and the Frozen media backdrop. I’m surprised he didn’t show or mention the many, many adorable little girls who were dressed up, either in their Elsa dresses or their own best dresses. There were some great fashion statements going on.

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Frozen the Musical Denver Opening Night: First Impressions

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Waiting for the snow show to start.

This should be obvious, but just in case, there are spoilers for the Broadway-bound Frozen stage musical ahead.

Just a few quick thoughts tonight, and some photos. Not of the show itself, of course. Disney would take this site down faster than I can type this sentence. Same for audio, only they’d threaten me even more. There should be professional photos available now that the previews have started, so I’ll post those when I find them.

The show was, as advertised, longer than the movie, with new songs and more depth added to some of the characters. Things were changed from the movie, such as the order of some events and details of how some things happen, but the story is still largely the same. The changes had mixed success, in my opinion.

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