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Monday, October 18, 2010

Samu And The Rude Frog

Leave it to a kid's birthday bash at an interactive theater to teach me something new about social conditioning. At the end of the day, the party had me wondering all sorts of things from Black Cinderellas, the complexity of girls to my boys living up to their name. And the most important lesson of all, that birthday cakes from bakeries taste so much better than one from BJ's.

We all enjoyed a fantastic birthday party for Isabel and Aedan on Sunday. It took place at the Galli Theater in Midtown Manhattan. The theater company performed the Frog Prince, which most children know now as "The Princess and the Frog" thanks to Disney. Now, here is where Black Cinderella comes in.

I used to wonder if Disney World ever hired an African American woman to be Cinderella at Cinderella's Castle? I mean the Rockettes had to get with the program, why can't Disney? So, although I think it's about time Disney incorporated an African American Princess Tiana in their Princess Brigade, I'm also annoyed that she has to be a frog throughout half the movie.

I hope she shows up at Cinderella's Palace saying, "Hi, I'm the token Black Princess!" And I won't even get into cross-dressing Asian Princesses who stereotypically know Kung Fu. Can you tell I'm a little cynical when it comes to Disney?

Fortunately, the play was not Disney's version. In the play, our Princess drops her precious golden ball in a well and strikes a bargain with the Frog who lives in it. Should he retrieve the ball for her, she will grant his fee of having a drink from her Royal Cup, dinner from her Royal Plate and one night in her Royal Bed (ho, ho, ho!).

Our heroine had no intention of keeping her word. And here is where I discovered that Black Widows start off as eight-year old girls. When the Princess consulted with the audience whether she should keep her promise, the little ladies of the audience were overly emphatic coaxing the Princess to renege on her part of the deal. Meanwhile, Zuki flashed me a worried look.

"You can't break a promise, right Mommy?" He asked.

I nodded my head and saw that most of the other boys were quiet. They knew better than to argue with a woman when she had her mind set on getting something. It didn't matter because the Frog was just as determined to collect his fee. He interrupted the King and the Princess during dinner.

Now, throughout the play, Samu was stuck on Daddy's lap. He had not warmed up to the interaction between the audience and the actors until the Frog displayed his awfully rude behavior at the dinner table. Slowly, Samu slipped off Daddy's lap and made his way to the aisle. Then he crawled under a chair until he was in the front row.

Then zoom-zip. He ran onto the stage and chased the Frog around the table.

"I'm gonna kill you!" Samu stated striking his most fantastic Power Rangers pose.

The Frog, in good jest, allowed himself to be pursued and I was laughing so hard, I forgot how to work my camera. But I managed to get the last nine seconds of it.

Following the show, the performers mingled with the kids and when the Princess greeted Samu she said, "So, you're my brave little Frog Killer."

Brave, I laughed to myself. His name is Isamu and it means "Courageous." Guess I should have picked something that meant "money-making-mogul-who-takes-care-of-his-mama's retirement."

Anyway, he was a bit enamored by the beautiful Princess' remark. "Yes," he replied. "Can I have some pizza?"

Samu meets the actor who played the Frog and has no idea it's him.

The Birthday Boy at the head of the boys table.

The Birthday Girl gives the orders.

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