Friday, June 6, 2008

Esperanza Rising

So last night, Jennifer and I were, um, “pleasured” to watch BYU’s production of “Esperanza Rising.” So you’ll never have to see it/read the book, here it is, Heatha-style:

Cue the curtain. We began, appropriately, with a maid trying to get Esperanza to rise, but she was just not feelin’ it. But it was her twelfth birthday, after all, so she grudgingly got out of bed, and whined about having to wear a white ribbon instead of a red one, and whined about how everyone always gives her fruit on her birthday, etc., etc., etc.

And then Miguel walked in – a boy around Esperanza’s age who works on the ranch. He is a better person than I am, because he tried to play around with her. Of course, that’s not kosher, because he was born on the other side of the tracks, ya know? But he is a good soul, so he gave her some mangos. And, let me tell you, she was not pleased. If I were him, I would have taken that mango and beaned her with it between the eyes. But once again, he is a better person than I.

The rest of the day went normally – more people gave her fruit, her evil overlord uncle and his henchman gave her a gourd, etc., etc., etc. – until her dad was killed by a bandit. And then, mid-gasp of horror, we thought – wait a second! We don’t care! Because that girl is working our nerves. And at least her dad has peace now. We don't.

So then the evil uncle overlord told Esperanza’s mom that she he wants to marry her. And she was like, “Back that truck up! I just buried the man two minutes ago, and you give me the jibblies! At least give me an hour!”

But an hour was too long, because Esperanza’s house mysteriously burned down. After all, we had to find some way to get this plot rolling! So her evil overlord uncle refused to take care of her family unless her mom agrees to get hitched. And, if she does, Esperanza will – oh, the horror! – be sent to boarding school, where she would be separated from her mom.

Now if I were her mom, I would have been seriously weighing the pros and the cons here – rich evil overlord or obnoxious-beyond-belief child? That’s a toss up. And the evil overlord uncle does wear a fabulous pinstripe suit.

But, her mom couldn’t stand that thought, of course. So she went into hiding and sent Esperanza off to America with Miguel and his mom, to chill with some field workers, so – oh, the horror! – she was separated from her mother anyway.

So then it was intermission. I started to pray that Miguel would hand me a mango, because (1) it smelled like Jamba Juice, and a mango was sounding scrumptious, and (2) I really would have liked to chuck something at that girl.

So they made it to California, with Esperanza (hereby known as The Whinerpants) complaining every step of the way. We all waited with bated breath for The Whinerpants to have a huge slice of humble pie. But, tragically, it never really came. It was more of a pie crumb, if you will.

She was too young to go working, so she sat at home and waited for the mailwoman to come by every day – but there was never anything for her. Day after day. Month after month. Sob.

So The Whinerpants decided to go to work to save money to bring her mom up to California, whether she likes it or not. And then we thought, “Girl, please! Settle yourself down! You don’t work!” But nevertheless, she took over the job of a lady who felt like stayin’ home with the baby, and saved her pennies. And after many moons, she almost had enough.

And then immigration showed up and did a sweep of the area. And we all peered over the rims of our spectacles and thought, “Hmm…that immigrations officer looks mysteriously like the mailwoman. Mail delivery doesn't pay too well these days, eh?”

And then all the migrant workers had a fiesta. And we were really forced to check our eyes, because lo and behold, the immigrations officer/mailwoman was there again, in the midst of the throng!

Back inside, because she was soooo not going dancing outside, Esperanza had a big fight with a Miguel, where she ever-so-characteristically called him a peasant. And she stormed out on him, even though he’s the one that should have popped her eyes out.

And then Miguel stole all of Esperanza’s money and disappeared. And we were all like, “Oh no you didn’t!” And then she was all like, “Oh yes he did!”

And so The Whinerpants had to start saving all over, and she was sooooo steamed at Miguel and the stinkin’ roses he hauled all the way from Mexico! But not really. But she was feeling a little lonely.

So she flung herself to the ground to hear the earth breathing. So I exhaled really loudly. She cried that she couldn’t hear anything. Harrumph. She clearly wasn’t listening hard enough.

But then there were some cheesy analogies, and I half expected some “Full House” music to play in the background. And then, surprise of surprises, Miguel came back…with her mom in tow! Gosh, he tricked us! He wasn’t full of teenage angst and rebellion after all. Although he isn’t a peasant, you hear?

And then the curtains drop. The end.


Jennifer said...

Oh man, this play would've been SO much better if they had actually used phrases like "Back that truck up!" and "Oh no you didn't!"

Remember that time that Esperanza kept flinging herself to the ground and it made me uncomfortable?

Moral of the story is: get really excited for the opera we're going to watch next week. Ho, ho! I can hardly wait!

Janssen said...

You've given me all the pleasures of mocking this movie and none of the horrors of sitting through it. Bless you.

And I read this book earlier this year and it sounds basically the same, except that the mailwoman and the immigration officer were not the same person. A same, really.

~Bekahjo said...

What the...????? I've never heard of this movie, but now I'm enthralled. Do you think you could make me a voice recording of this blog so that I can play it while watching the movie in fast forward?