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Demian: C- | Grade It Now!
Tigers? At Night? With Voices Soft As Thunder?

Will finds Bryan Ryan cataloguing the supplies in the Home Economics classroom. "You see," Bryan Ryan needlessly explains, "our Home Ec. program teaches practical skills like food service preparation." "Can't feed a child sheet music, Will," Bryan Ryan tuts reprovingly. Then, after thinking that one over for a moment, he admits, "I suppose you could for a while, but they'd be dead in a month." Will finally cuts through all of the crap to ask Bryan Ryan out for a beer, so he might make use of alcohol's miraculous healing properties to convince Bryan Ryan of the error of his ways. Or something like that. Bryan Ryan balks, so Will appeals to his sense of nostalgia instead, and we head into the first commercial break wondering why in the hell no one's started singing yet. I WAS TOLD THERE WOULD BE SINGING.

"I've found her!" Rachel whispers excitedly into Jesse St. James's dangerously cute ear. "Your mother?" he gasps. "Where?" "In the library!" Rachel thrills. "I've been researching her all morning and, as I suspected, my intuition has been proven correct! My mother is Broadway legend Patti LuPone!"

Smear back to the relatively new library set, where we find Rachel stalking through the stacks as her voiceover narrates, "I've always had a deep connection to Miss LuPone and her choice of roles and songs. I decided to do a little math to see if her being my mother was even possible." By now, Rachel's reached the microfilm reader, and as she loads the machine with a relevant set of images, her voiceover continues, "I was born December 18, 1994. Nineteen ninety-four was a big year for Mother -- she was a sensation in Pal Joey." Here the microfilm's stopped on an article headlined "Patti LuPone Sparkles as Vera Simpson in Pal Joey." It includes a photograph of Miss LuPone looking appropriately regal. "But that was New York," Rachel's voiceover notes. "I was born in Ohio, you say? Well! Mother took many breaks from the show to tour with Mandy Patinkin." Here we've landed on another article entitled "Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin Perform Live at EJ Thomas Hall for a Standing Room Only Performance." Featured beneath this headline is Mandy Patinkin's standard head shot from the era, along with a still of Miss LuPone as Fantine, a detail which will become important later. In any event, Rachel's voiceover concludes by claiming Miss LuPone and Mandy Patinkin were performing that April in Akron, Ohio, and with that, we smear forward to...

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