A few days ago, I saw the revival of “42nd Street” on the West End. P.S., I still don’t know if it’s ‘on’ the West End or ‘in’ the West End, and this is an example of the type of thing I was distractedly thinking about during this positively ludicrous musical. At several moments during the show, I was struck by the thought that Jane the Virgin’s season 2 feminist killjoy of a thesis advisor would have stopped the show and JUMPED onto the stage to stop the atrocities of sexism from continuing. Every few minutes I could see Professor Donaldson shaking her head, then dropping her jaw, and then refusing to be a party to it any longer and marching onstage to shout “NO NO NO!!” And sure I have an overactive confrontation-imagination but I was as livid as the professor was. Enraged by both the rampant sexism in the show and the fellow audience members on their phones, confused by the lack of plot and the fellow audience members who wouldn’t stop talking, I tried to calm myself down by thinking over and over “this show is from almost 100 years ago, it’s okay, it was a product of its time, everyone knows that this sexist crap wouldn’t fly today, at least the dancing is great.” But it didn’t work because I think the majority of people (helloooo Trump voters) don’t actually know that misogyny belongs in the bygone era, and what was being presented onstage was very problematic to be tapping our feet along to.
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