There are a hundred different characters I could probably choose to write this second piece about, but instead of picking a classic, I've decided to go with a show that hasn't gone to Broadway, nor does it seem to have its eyes on it: Cruel Intentions.
If you're not familiar with the show, then yes, you read that right! They made a little one act jukebox adaptation of the film, Cruel Intentions. I'll be honest, I had never seen the movie and not really knowing any of the songs, my main interest in the show came from Lauren Zakrin's presence, and a friend who knew more than I did told me that there was a female/female kiss. So sign me up, I thought.
(As a side note, is this a good way to pick what shows to see? Perhaps not... especially if you're going with your mother, who is a very modest and conservative woman, and you have to ask her to explain some of the sexual innuedos.) (Love you, mom! Thanks for explaining the dick joke to me!)
I did enjoy the show! Lauren Zakrin was out, but her understudy was fantastic and I got the female/female kiss I was promised. (I also got a bare male butt that I wasn't aware was part of the deal.) However, the story behind the kiss is a little convoluted the more that I think about it, and the role that female sexuality plays in it is baffling, to say the least.
Kathryn was dumped and her ex-boyfriend is into Cecile, so she decides to go ahead and "ruin" her for him- by teaching her about sex, being her first kiss, and using her step-brother to deflower her. Then, for seemingly no reason, she decides to switch to pressing Cecile's mother's buttons instead, by encouraging a relationship between Cecile and the black Ronald, ensuring Cecile that she's her friend, then telling her racist mother about it, and then that subplot just kind of dies off without any real closure.
However, Cecile's role in the show is not over! Kathryn's stepbrother had kept a journal of all his sexual conquests, and after his death, one of the main characters makes copies, even though it reveals that she too was manipulated by him into bed, and Cecile (who is also in the journal) passes them out on the first day of school to take down Kathryn, who despite never actually having had sex with her stepbrother, is still prominently featured.
So what is the message here, when it comes down to female sexuality? Kathryn says early in the show that as a woman, God forbid she like sex. So that lays out that for the setting that it is socially unacceptable for girls to own their sexuality. However, when she's talking to Cecile about it, she tells her it's a secret society that everyone does, but no one talks about. Which would imply that getting Sebastian to deflower her is really for her own amusement and nothing else, since telling about Cecile would easily expose her own hand.
This also calls into question Annette's decision to make the journal public. That reveals all three of them's sexual conduct, and as both Annette and Cecile are both new at the school, that seems a bit like a suicide mission. Kathryn goes down, yes, but now it's revealed that they too have embraced their female sexuality, but that particular aspect is not shown to have any real repercussions. That undermines the entire premise of the show, if in the end Kathryn goes down for her addiction to cocaine, which she hides in her rosary (which, I was right in front of where they dumped it out, and I'm about 90% sure that Lauren and her covers were snorting flour.) and her bullimia and general scheming and being a bad person, but not her sexuality, then did Cecile's subplot even matter? It seems not to be the case.
(Photo credit Jenny Anderson)