Wednesday, January 11, 2012

my heart belongs to sodapop

This might be the only old-time photo that my cousin Maria and my childhood friend Bonnie have not put on Facebook, because neither of them had the privilege of starring in the Mira Costa High School production of The Outsiders in 1991. Neither did I—star, that is. I was an extra. I spent hours at rehearsals every week only to do things like walk across the stage pushing a stretcher during the hospital scene. Ah, the endless abundance of time that is youth.

When I found this photo at my dad’s house (actual size: 11” x 13”), I said to my dad and sister, “How much do you want to bet I wrote something like ‘I heart Denito “Sodapop” Kelly’ on the back?”

I flipped it over. I’d been stealthier than that: I’d labeled everyone and who each person played, but I’d written the “O” in Denito as a heart. Sexy.

Denito is the one cuddling up to the girl that’s not me in the second to last row. He’s wearing a lot of blush in this picture. My sister pointed out that this may have been part of the attraction for me. AK pointed out that, despite our attempts at period costume, we all look pretty ‘90s (see: my hair and slouch socks). However, my dress was as authentic as they come: I found it in the green room of our high school theater, which had not been cleaned out since the 1960s. There were probably all kinds of things there that could get big bucks on eBay now.

The little guy in the black shirt is Danny Strong, who played Ponyboy and actually went on to become a real actor. He was a regular on Buffy for a while. The bigger guy next to him, also in black, played Dallas. “He’s the cutest, in my opinion,” AK said.

“It might be because he’s like thirty,” I said. “He could be on Glee.”

I vaguely remembered Mrs. Verhoef (with the bow on her head and the glare on her face) calling in a ringer—some actor friend of hers—for the part.

Wendy Molyneux (far left) went on to semi-fame as a TV writer and author of Everything is Wrong With You: The Modern Woman’s Guide to Finding Self-Confidence Through Self-Loathing, which is as brilliant as it sounds. Her Facebook posts are always really funny.

I’m not sure where the cherub with the trumpet is these days, but my guess is the Mira Costa High School green room. Maybe I left a scrunchy there too, and it will be discovered by some kids performing a period piece about the ‘90s.


Sincerely, Jenni said...

I'm actually jealous that you guys got to do "The Outsiders" at your high school. Our high school never did anything that COOL. lol

Cheryl said...

We also had a proud tradition of doing semi-risque musicals that required censorship: changing the anti-semetic slurs in Cabaret, and making the strippers wear flesh-colored bodysuits in Gypsy.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Cheryl! Once again, you've managed to write everything lovable about something awkward in such a crisp and warm fashion. I love your writing!

Sizzle said...

Man, I loved that movie The Outsiders (I have the book too). STAY GOLD, PONYBOY.

I was in plays in high school but they weren't as cool as this. We're talking Pride & Prejudice and Little Women. What? It was an all girls private high school.

Cheryl said...

BB: Thanks! The humiliation of high school is great fodder.

S: Probably where I should have gone--then at least I could have played a dude instead of an extra.

Claire said...

How great to have a proper cast photo! If I have any they'd be snaps my dad took at best. My HS mostly did Shakespeare with an adaptation of Dylan Thomas and some Noel Coward thrown in.

Though my school was public and co-ed, it was tiny and not many boys tried out, so I often played male characters. Horatio's probably my favorite role. Totally had a crush on Hamlet though ironically did not appreciate the implication that Horatio might be gay at the time.

Here I'm playing the king of France while my friend Samantha took the title role of King John (worst Shakespeare play ever!). There were boys in the cast but we had more... presence. Sword fighting FTW!