Once and Again
Tough Love

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Ragdoll: B- | 1 USERS: A+
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All's Well That Ends Well

After the performance, Katie pushes right past Rick to get backstage. He walks up to Karen, who is getting her coat from the check, and says, "Wow!" They talk about how great Jessie was, only their conversation seems more like one distant relatives might have if they hadn't seen each other in years -- not at all like two people who used to be married. Rick gets his coat. Karen compliments Grace. Rick asks if they were supposed to meet their daughter backstage. Karen doesn't know. They stand awkwardly for a minute. Karen: "I was hoping I might see Eli here tonight." Ah, apparently Lily called during intermission to tell Rick that he had a hard day. Karen: "What?" Blah, he was supposed to meet me here, blah. Karen thinks that's odd. "Why is that odd?" Rick asks. Well, because she stopped by the recording studio and BIW told her that Eli went home early. The two start bickering about the fact that Eli's probably lost his job. Rick wants to give his son the benefit of the doubt. Karen thinks he got fired. Before the two of them can start fighting too much about it, Jessie comes out to greet them. Blah, wonderful, blah. She complains about her costume woes. Rick hands her a gorgeous bunch of roses. He asks where Grace is, and Jessie explains that she's rehearsing with Tad. Rick: "And that's okay with you?" But before Jessie can answer her father, two little girls tap Jessie on the shoulder and say she was really good. Ah, thanks. Ah. So cute. Yawn.

Onstage. Grace is back in her Jackie O. costume rehearsing some scene with Tad, who looks like he'd just rather go home, grab a pop, and watch some television. He says his line. Grace doesn't like it, gives him some direction, and is then interrupted by Mr. Dimitri. Grace explains how she thought they should go over that particular part of the show. Then, under her breath, she says to her teacher, "The way he's doing the scene just wasn't working." Dimitri steps in, tells Tad to go change, and says, "I need to speak to Grace for a minute." Well, Grace just "had" to do "something." Blah, was he even watching tonight? blah. Mr. Dimitri: "I thought Tad did an excellent job." Grace: "How can you say that?" Because he was watching, he says. Grace: "Tad walks into the scenery. Tad enters scenes he's not even in and leaves scenes he is in. He barely knows his lines. So how can you say that?" Dimitri smiles. Ah, wise Buddha teacher, he knows all of this. Grace snits: "How can you say Tad is doing an excellent job and not say one word to me?" Dimitri snaps right back, "At least he's doing the best he can!" And she's not? Grace's face falls to her knees as Dimitri starts criticizing her performance: "You know all your lines, all your moves, you know exactly when to laugh and when to cry." He moves a lamp. I won't comment on the symbolism. Please don't make me. "You remain in complete and total control, and the audience is very impressed. But I don't believe one word you say." Grace is crushed, so she starts acting in self-defense along the lines of the stupid play makes no sense, blah. Shakespeare sucks, blah: "It's not believable." Why does Rosalind love Orlando? Dimitri explains that it's because he's got no friends, no future, and no hope, and he's on the verge of committing suicide. Apparently, this touches her heart. The teacher continues to berate his student: "But you know all of this. You're just pretending not to." Grace wants to know why she'd do that -- lay all of her emotions out on stage. Only she says it way more snottily than I can write it. Dimitri: "Because you're afraid. You're afraid you might feel something you haven't planned." Man, this is harsh. I remember being in my grade nine dance class, or maybe it was grade ten. I went to a school for the arts, and thought I was pretty cool, until my teacher told me I was too fat to ever be a dancer. And when I thought I might switch majors over to Drama because I thought I'd be happier there, the Drama teacher told me it wasn't the place for disheartened dancers. Talk about preparing you for a life of abject disappointment. Damn. I know how you feel, Grace. It's way too much criticism for your delicate teenage heart to take. Right, she's still talking: "If that's what you're waiting for -- for me to just come out onstage and bare my soul -- forget it, I'm not doing it." Dimitri sighs, and then switches his gum from one side of his mouth to the other. "I know you're not. But a real actress would." Okay, dude, she's in high school. Cut her some slack.

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Once and Again

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