This could possibly be the gayest column I’ve ever written. There is Judy Garland, rainbows, children dancing and singing, gay marriage and the struggle and eventual triumph over evil. Sounds like a musical? You bet. Imitates life? You can count your tapping red shoes boys.
Last night was the boys final night of the school expedited version of Wizard of Oz. Green face paints, a stuffed Toto stuck to a basket and a revolving door of Dorothy’s, four in fact, to sing Somewhere over the Rainbow four times. Yep, you heard me, four times.
Beau was complaining that his Tin Man outfit consisted of the foil container that his pasta comes in at school, stuck to his head. Meanwhile Chicky sported a Mardi Gras inspired flower wreath around his head and a pom pom of grey and white streamers to create the tornado that kills the wicked witch of the west. A whole grade of Year 1 kids acting as a rainbow coloured tornado was a delightful sight, perhaps we should send them into parliament. Seriously, this was the campest production of Wizard, I think Judy would have fainted at the sight of so much glitter and colour.
Writers, lyricists, actors and a whole host of creative types for centuries have always used their medium to tell stories of hope, love and acceptance. Metaphorically, in fables, in lyrics, in abstract and directly. The Tin Man even says that if he had a heart, he would be sentimental regarding love and art. Maybe the Tin Man is that of our obstinate and unaccepting peers who can’t get past their own insecurities and ideals for the good of others.
By the fourth rendition of Rainbow, I sat mesmerised, the soft tones of the little Dorothy in front of me. I welled up in the last lines of the song. What truly magical lyrics, so hopeful. If we think the dismissing stance of parliament in the last few days is a blow to us (again) then surely with these magical children growing up with us, in a world of more tolerance and acceptance than in the past, then perhaps our ‘somewhere’ is not too far away and where the clouds are far behind us.