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3.27 Day Eighteen: Lizzie

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Cinderella walked on stage wearing an obvious Halloween costume that must have been in a child's large because the hem didn't even breathe on Norah's ankles. She wore leggings underneath and a pair of Addis sneakers as Jordan hoisted her in the air, weaponizing her to knock the glasses right off Alex Patel's face.

Alex of course fumbled and walked into his dance partner Olivia's dress (a horrible Greek Goddess costume with more holes than a pasta strainer). She fell right over on her butt. This kind of thing stopped being shocking at this point.

Somewhere Parker shuddered.

"Isn't she supposed to be..." Andrea whispered as the actors practiced the dance routine. Mrs. Donnelly yelled the count as Mr. Burka played only the piano part. She told Alex and Olivia to walk it off and went right back into the count. Mr. Burka had fixed an awkward but encouraging smile as he watched everyone bump into each other, trip and miss their cues.

We had downgraded from a shit show to an actual safety hazard. Caution tape needed to be secured around the audiences' seats. Warning signs should be posted out in the atrium and by the snack counter that read "Enjoy Musical Theater at your own risk!"

Andrea asked, "Isn't Cinderella supposed to be awe-inspiring or something? I mean, enough to fall in love with her at first sight. She's more like..." Andrea shrugged. "Meh."

"Yeah, like she's hungover after Halloween."

"Chillin' at Walmart at 3 am."

"Just bad."

I tried texting Parker about it, but I hadn't gotten a reply from my last three texts, so I haven't bothered to try again. I tried to tell myself it was because she probably didn't want to hear about the production she was basically kicked out of participating in, but somewhere in my gut told me she had a bigger reason to ignore me.

I didn't like it.

"And scene!" Mrs. Donnelly announced. Everyone let their partner go. Norah nudged Jordan when he started looking at Mr. Burka as Mrs. Donnelly spoke, "It's... better. I'd like to run it from the top again, but maybe with some coffee."

"Mrs. Donnelly," Norah raised her hand, "are there any other dresses I can try on?" She grimaced and held onto her stomach. "This one... I can't really breathe in it." Jordan quickly unzipped Norah and she let out her stomach and a huge sigh of relief.

"I don't feel good either-" Olivia said, but was cut off.

"Or!" Camille piped up, raising her hands from the seats. Any cast that wasn't part of the current scene sat behind the orchestra; seeing them all wearing their second-rate costumes from so many different time periods really made this joke kind of sad. Camille suggested, "Maybe we tell Parker we DO want her costumes and she can come back. Consequences for her actions be damned!"

"Yeah," Ian agreed from the tech box, the little room above the audience. His voice poured from the speakers. We all looked around as he spoke from the ether. "Cause like. Even if everyone keeps fucking- I mean, messing up, at least they'll look good."

Mrs. Donnelly spoke to the sound booth in the back. "Parker can come back as soon as she talks to me. Personally."

Taylor Smith #3 huffed from the stage. She wore a knock-off princess costume that legally wasn't supposed to be Sleeping Beauty, but totally was. "I don't understand why everyone wants Parker back so badly. Ever since she joined drama, she's been like super rude and so annoying for no reason. It's like she doesn't even want to be here."

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