19 03 2007

Tonight I went with Mandy and Marcelo to a theater to see a free performance of the musical Hairspray. What was interesting was the fact that it is a musical out of the US, but it was performed by Brazilians in English. A pretty amazing feat for all involved–for the actors speaking and singing in English, and for the audience (mostly Portuguese-speaking) to understand. I counted myself in this confused part of the audience because there were times that, because of the thick accent of the actors, I couldn’t understand what anyone was saying. The last time I’d seen Hairspray was on VHS in my living room in Vermont when I was in middle school. Ricki Lake had barely been discovered I think.
Those at the biggest disadvantage tonight were the Brazilians in the audience who were English language learners. Marcelo, who speaks English really well, said he couldn’t understand anything. And at times, I was right there with him.
It’s easier for me to understand Brazilians than it is to understand Americans speaking Portuguese because of the accent. So I imagine that for Marcelo it’s harder to understand Brazilians speaking English than it is for him to understand Americans.
Anyway, aside from all of the not-being-able-to-understand-anything business, it was a great performance. Really funny at times. Mandy and I guffawed out loud at some of the sexual double entendres that only fluent English speakers in the audience would have been able to pick-up.
But it’s time for bed.




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