PROMPT: A new Broadway musical is about your life. Come up with a title for it and write a mini review of it.
Title: Fate Frenetic: Boring
First of all, the title was so unusual I thought it was going to be some art exposition or a sad diatribe of some sort. “Fate Frenetic: Boring” inspires curiosity however and it’s a refreshing change from “The Life and Times of Insert Blank Here“.
The play is about a young woman who, straight out of high school, marries her high school sweet heart and she’s happily waltzed into a gilded cage. A literal human-sized cage, onstage. We see her inside, cooking, taking care of babies, being the good wife and smiling beatifically while outside the cage, her true emotions show. She’s the villain, screaming at her screaming children, raging at her oblivious, lazy husband and crying toward the heavens, asking why. A tumultuous and dark number.
She’s the sad woman, grocery shopping on government money, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul with strings attached to her limbs and doing an intricate dance that ties her up until even her mouth can’t move anymore. All the while the gilded cage woman is smiling and taking care of things as if nothing is wrong.
She’s the lively dancer at a club, charming young men with her red-lipped smile and letting herself go inside the music, shrugging off the bindings of married life for a while with alcohol and a good time.
She’s the patient customer waiting at the Food Stamps office for her number to be called, reading a book and enjoying the time to herself while the kids are away at home all the while trying not to let her shame show too obviously.
And this goes on for a time, vignettes of the life of a trapped woman until she can’t stand the cage anymore. We watch with bated breath as she that is inside the cage grows bigger and bigger until she cracks it open and she flows out in rainbow chaos a mixture of mother, wife, villain, saint and “Other”. And when she stands there, covered in all the colors of her past and present, she holds up a plain white sign with a question mark and starts to cry, her tears washing away the colors on her face.
“What next?” is the only thing she says before the lights go dark and we’re left to answer her question in our minds.
For any woman who married young and for the wrong reasons, this was a painful showcase of truth. I found myself nodding frequently and empathized with the emotion fraught on stage. I understood the inside struggle and the outside mask she put on to survive. The sacrifice and responsibility she chose, rather than abandoning her family. It’s the truest take on reality of young love and naiveté if there ever was one.
It was not an extraordinary play but it was a reminder that the choices we make define us, whether for good or otherwise. I think many will identify with this. It was emotional and enjoyable, colorful and truthful. I may watch it again before the finale just to remember what it like and to humble myself before my life.