Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Small House of Uncle Thomas

The theater where I work recently (like a week ago) staged the King and I. I think I saw the movie once when I was 17 and staying at someone's house to watch their cat while they were out of town. That was back when I was terribly industrious and used to get house sitting jobs to earn extra cash. At night I would sit around with the cat and watch my employer's video collection (remember when we all watched videos?) or read their books (Memoirs of a Geisha SUCKED, by the way) . Anyway. So, I saw it ages ago and aside from "Shall We Dance" (buh-dum-dum-dum) and the king dropping dead at the end the only part I really remembered was the ballet version of Uncle Tom's Cabin in the middle. Because it is SO freakin' weird, yo.
So. I went to see the dress rehearsal and found to my surprise that the crazy ballet is actually the best part of the entire show. Maybe I just have a greater appreciation for the dancers and details now, or maybe the antiquated /romanticized/borderline racisty stuff is just more glaring at 32 than it was at 17.
There is a bit when Eliza and the angel are walking across the frozen lake that involves all these little scootchy foot movements across the stage. As I watched all I could think was "I bet people think that is easy, but that shit looks HARDCORE to me". I totally had to try it when I got home. It TOTALLY IS hard! Dang!

This isn't us, but it's the best production I could find on Youtube. The scootchy feet are about halfway through.

PS: am I the only one who really only knows the story of Uncle Tom's Cabin through this movie? Sure, we talked about it in history classes when I was in school, but it's not like people actually READ the darn thing these days.


  1. That entire part, (the "dinner party"/theater/shall we dance) is my favorite part of the movie. I always loved the crazy minimalism that portrayed the entire story. I also love Anna's gold dress. I too only know the story from that movie.

    One of my favorite parts of the sound of music is the puppet show... It must be my thing the shows in the middle of the show...

    1. you know, I've never actually seen that movie. I've seen it on stage, but sadly there were no puppets!