Backstage. Grace waits in the wings. She's wearing a '60s-style wool suit and pearls. And she's holding a handbag, like the kind your grandmother would always give you to use during dress-up. Grace smiles from ear to ear as she steps out on stage. Rosalind and Celia. Blah, Shakespeare lines, blah.
Backstage. Jessie struggles with her costume. Sarah pulls it down and fastens it behind her. Jessie: "How am I supposed to walk in this?" Sarah: "You just walk." Ragdoll: "Did they have a dress rehearsal that should have dealt with all costume issues?" Come on, there's no way anyone in the cast would have gotten to opening night without a dress rehearsal in costume.
Onstage. Grace reads a line, blah man's apparel, blah. Then she rushes off stage, looks at herself in a mirror, moves behind the curtain, sees Tad looking at her, and pulls the curtain tightly across the rod so he can't watch her change.
Back onstage, Jessie comes in for her first cue. Her gigantic poodle skirt gets caught on the scenery. She walks, and it moves. She walks again, it moves again. Oh, that's horrible. I'm blushing for her. Kudos to Jessie; she just carries on with her lines as someone comes and unhooks her skirt. The audience laughs. Zoe asks if that was supposed to happen. Fade to a moonlit stage. More kids pontificate over Shakespeare. As You Like It is condensed like Tom Stoppard's Fifteen-Minute Hamlet, only not half as witty. Blah, the end of the play, blah. Grace curtsies, and then she bids farewell. She bends and the audience claps. The stage lights fade. Karen looks delighted. Jake gives them a standing ovation. Everyone gives them a standing ovation. Ah, it was a roaring success.
Backstage. Dimitri is giving his cast their notes. He asks Orlando (Tad) only to come onstage for the scenes he's actually in. Celia was excellent. "Let's see...who else?" Grace stands expectantly. Dimitri looks right past her. "Phoebe! Where's Phoebe?" Jessie comes out from behind the dressing curtain, saying, "Right here!" He asks what happened with her dragging the set around behind her. Jessie: "Well, my costume is a little big." Sarah doesn't think Jessie should blame the costume. Then, Dimitri asks Sarah to do something to Jessie's skirt, and she whines about having to both do costumes and play Audrey. Oh, and then she throws in something about having a "medically diagnosed ulcer." Dimitri demands that the costume be fixed, and then compliments Jessie, telling her that her work was "really very good." Katie, Sarah's friend, comes rushing toward Jessie, gushing that she was just amazing. Except she was talking to Sarah, so Jessie does a kind of uncomfortable smile, pulls her arms tight around her, and looks at the two girls. Katie turns around, sees Jessie, and tells her she was also amazing. Mr. Dimitri tells everyone that they'll need to be back the next night half an hour before curtain. The kids rush out to meet their adoring public. Tad gets a compliment because, apparently, his work has really grown. Still, Grace stands like a two-year-old awaiting the mall Santa. She approaches Dimitri, who says, "Mm hmm," and asks if he wanted to say anything to her about the performance. Blank look. "Like what?" She doesn't know. He doesn't have anything to say, so Grace keeps on talking. "Oh, God! When she dragged that tree?" I think I could spend hours psychoanalyzing Grace's treatment of Jessie. Okay, so she dragged a tree, big deal, it's a high-school drama production. But you don't blather on to your teacher about it -- especially if it's your stepsister who was the one dragging the damn tree. Grace needs to find some class. And then she needs to stop talking to the teacher like they are bosom buddies. Before Dimitri has a chance to continue the conversation, Zoe comes bounding backstage as only Zoe can bound. Blah, you were great, blah. Lily follows Zoe and then hands Grace a bouquet of really beautiful roses. I always loved that custom. It was my favourite part of performing. Any. Way. Blah, honey you were great, blah. Grace thanks her mother and then asks, "Where's Eli?" Not "Where's my dad?" but "Where's my sullen, surly, attitudinally challenged stepbrother?" Now it's Freud's turn to psychoanalyze. I'm steering clear of this one.