|Photo by Matthew Murphy|
Courtesy of Playbill
In the space of an hour and forty minutes (the amount of time the fairy godmother would allot), these fed-up ladies tackle such subjects as their figures (buxom on top and waistlines narrower than their necks), breaking the color barrier, changing the annals of history to make a heroine into a princess (Spoiler alert: the real Pocahontas was 12 when she met John Smith!), and being happy with yourself no matter how different you are. It's a fabulous, raucous show, and I highly recommend it (but you better go fast; it closes this coming weekend!)
When my husband learned we'd bought our tickets, he asked me, "What is the fascination between you girls and fairy tales?"
I understood his confusion. The week before, my daughter and I couldn't wait to see Into the Woods at the movies. We're rabid fans of Once Upon a Time on television, we saw the Maleficent movie opening night, and we're obsessed with Wicked on Broadway. And of course, let's face it. I'm a romance writer. I'm totally invested in the whole Happily Ever After scenario.
From the time we're little girls, most of us are fed these fairy tales where, if we're good enough, pure enough, thin enough, a handsome prince will come rescue us and we'll live the dream life. But in the last decade or so, writers have been turning these fairy tales around with wonderful results. Nowadays, we're seeing the heroine slay the dragon and rescue the prince; strong, smart, and capable females who don't need a man to complete them; and characters who aren't all good or all bad, but a little bit of both. You know. Real-life humans.
And just like for real-life humans, Happily Ever After comes with hard work, a few tears, sharing the good times and struggling through the bad times together. Today's princesses don't sit around singing with woodland creatures, while waiting for their prince to come for them. They go out and create their own happy endings. I wonder what stories will be told about these new princesses to future generations.