Monday, July 23, 2007

Polly Love

I love "Polly: A One Woman Musical." It is a delightful musical based on the life of Polly Matilda Merrill Colton, an ancestor of Stephen Kapp Perry who wrote the play and whose wife Johanne is the one-woman star of the show.

The show takes the form of a reminiscence of an old woman. She thinks back on her girlhood days, including milking the family cow and schoolgirl crushes and follows her through romance, childbearing, motherhood, and old age.

The musical is full of catchy tunes that I find myself singing around the house. Keryn has her own favorites, including songs that talk about the quirks of frontier Salt Lake City, longing for loved-ones lost, and the role of women in history.

I think the most powerful themes in the play are issues of Polly coming to grips with her role in the world. She want to "be one of the movers and shakers" and "history makers." She laments that women's work--food preparation and cleaning--is never done, but always used up immediately. She is portrayed as a bit of a frontier feminist who comes to peace with her role as daughter, wife, mother, and woman.

It is a perfect mix of fun, serious, and sentimental.

If you'd like the chance to watch the fabulous show, your two best bets are to purchase the DVD (which is an excellent recording of a live performance) or to catch it on BYU TV. For the next two weeks or so, you can watch it streaming from the BYU TV archives. They take the shows down after that, but it regularly replays, so you might be able to find it there if you don't read this post within the two-week window.

If you need the voice of another witness, here is a review from Eric Snider.


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