Thursday, June 14, 2007

Anything Goes?

John Logenbaugh, in the Seattle Weekly talks about how the high school musical is reaching a new level of proficiency around the country. This paragraph from the article shows how hard serious arts education will become in the near future:

This popularity hasn't come without controversy. Some schools feel that they don't have the support of their school boards and parents to properly fund such elaborate shows. And even at Roosevelt (which has produced a steady stream of musical-theater alumni), the acclaimed drama department head, Ruben Van Kampen, says there's closer scrutiny of material than there was when he began teaching in the '70s. "I got a call not too long ago from a school, and the teacher asked how we got Anything Goes past our school board. 'You mean Cole Porter's Anything Goes?' I asked? 'The one from 1934?'" (Apparently Reno Sweeney, the show's evangelist-turned-nightclub singer, raised concerns.) Van Kampen received complaints from audience members about an unlit cigarette, fake firearms, and a comical drunk in Guys and Dolls, which suggests that anything resembling real life on a theatrical stage is an affront to someone or other.

When Guys and Dolls and Anything Goes are controversial will Cabaret stand a chance?

And though the following story out of Kentucky may point to what some parents are worried about, I really don't think Cole Porter's proverbial stockings will always lead to this type of behaviour:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A high school teacher has resigned during the middle of an investigation in which he allegedly used his teeth to remove the garter of a student during the prom.

"Plymouth Rock would land on them!"


Novel said...

When I was in high school deep in the mid-west we had to remove all "profanity" (I think a grand total of two damn's and a hell) from "All My Sons." We would go to Muncie (theater camp) and see all of these schools doing shows like "Sweet Charity" and wonder how they dared.

Art said...

Somebody e-mailed me and told me that many high schools doing Anything goes have to remove the "cocaine" verse from "I Get a Kick Out of You."