Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spirit Week: Colour Wars

Truth be told, I always get vestigial tremors of Miklowitz's "The War Between the Classes" when Colour Wars is declared for Spirit Week. No ranking involved here - each grade gets a colour assigned and on Colour Wars day, you wear the colour of your grade to see which grade has the most spirit. Teachers usually get neutral territory like black, white, or school colours (black & gold). We were given the option of black or white today. I went dark. And sparkly.

My Dreamgirls shirt should be a collectors' item, meaning that I should probably wear it less and with more care than I do. When the Jennifer Hudson movie opened in 2006, the studios promoted it by running it on a super limited "roadshow" release in three select cities - New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Being in Vancouver, I sent a proxy - my brother, who was whiling away his time as a paralegal in SF at the time. I bought the ticket, he attended and picked up the included souvenir lithograph and program that I coveted. Generous soul that he is, he bought me a t-shirt too. The lithograph is framed and hung in my upstairs hallway. The program is filed away safely with my Broadway and West End collection. And this t-shirt gets worn at least once a month.

Which brings me to the difficulty with dressing in all black. Like green, which the human eye can supposedly distinguish the most shades of any colour, black is hard to match and, counter-intuitively, easily clashes with itself. My well-worn black tee is tinged more grey than my cardigan which is tinged more "brown" than my slacks which are pinstriped black on black. Don't even get me started on my socks and boots. It's a good thing students barely register teachers as people, forget fashion plates.

To end on a Big Thought: this trivial clothing experiment supports a generalizable adage. Variety is good. Contrast is great. The more diversity we embrace, the stronger (and more interesting) we become. So maybe the fact that Vancouver's largest theatre company is currently staging Dreamgirls with a slightly un-Motown-looking ensemble should probably direct audiences to look for red-hot innovation rather than stone-cold imitation in this production.