"Dreamgirls' provides evidence that 'I can do that'
During intermission, despite the heat, a little black boy who looked about 5 years old was entertaining himself by walking up and down the aisle (bless his mother for humoring his adventure). Not that little black children don't ever go to the Muny, but they don't always see a significant number of people who look like them on stage. Or in the audience, for that matter.
It is something most of us take for granted - the reinforcement or assumption of possibility that comes from seeing people who look like us in various roles. Whether it's race, sex, age, socioeconomic level, there is an encouragement, a comfort that comes in seeing ourselves reflected in our goals and dreams. And on some level, seeing that reflection regularly enough is the difference between something being "Of course I can do that" versus "Oh, I could never do that."
On Saturday, students from the McCluer High School production of “Dreamgirls” (see their story in our previous article) will attend the Muny performance of the show. And before they take their seats, they will have a meet and greet opportunity with the cast. I was sitting with Muny Marketing Director Laura Peters before the show Wednesday night as the actors signed in and she invited them to the event on Saturday, telling them the McCluer kids' story.
It's hot. The show is demanding. But in response to hearing how much it would mean for the kids to have just a few moments with the actors, most said they remember being that age and how much something like that would have meant to them. They'll be there for the next generation.