August 05, 2006

Cutest protest ever

Up until about six months ago, I had never heard of the American Girl dolls. When I tell people this, they're usually slightly shocked at first, and then they remember that I am a boy. But since meeting Lorinne, who performs in both the shows currently running at the American Girl Place theatre (Bitty Bear's Matinee and The American Girls Revue), I have become fully aware of the cultural juggernaut that is American Girl, previously lurking in my I-am-not-a-prepubescent-girl-nor-do-I-have-occasion-to-spend-any-time-with-one blind spot. Had I still had any doubts about American Girl's ubiquity, they would have been dashed this Easter when Lorinne performed Bitty Bear's Matinee at the frickin' White House. (The show was, however, edited for length and to remove all the pointed political commentary.)

So anyway, it's been interesting to see the media's coverage of the actor's strike at American Girl Place. Even the snarky media is covering it. (Gawker, predictably, comes down firmly on the side, the right to crack wise? I can never remember if they have a moral center or not.)

One goal of the strike was to avoid being too aggressive, because the actors wanted the girls going into the store to be on their side. This led to the creation of signs that drew connections between the actors' desire to unionize and the can-do spirit of the American Girl characters:


...and the liberal use of animal ears (and puppy-dog eyes):


People who attended The American Girls Revue during the strike were treated to a piecemeal version of the show, with two store employees (who have performed as emergency fill-in performers in the past) covering the adult acting duties, when the show calls for four actors. (Bitty Bear's Matinee was simply cancelled.) One scene in the revue that had to be cut was the one in which one of the American Girls decries unfair labor practices. Too bad they couldn't have had the child actress who plays that part read her speech out on the picket line.

Posted by Francis at 05:47 PM

True, the anti-Bush rousing number at the beginning was cut for the White House, but Bitty Bear's Matinee kept in the provocative quail-hunting disaster sequence about 30 minutes in, with Bitty Kitty's haunting death scene, "A Little Fall of Rain". Wait, which show am I doing?

Posted by: Lorinne at August 7, 2006 10:43 PM
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