For so many years I felt like a lowly minority that received little praise for my uniqueness. My unadulterated ivory shell was unwanted when all my friends and neighbors had tawny sunkissed skin. My pumpkin curls seemed more like a cartoon coloring than the real raven locks that others brushed intently. All of my self-hatred and concerns seemed so futile for most of my upbringing but occasionally (once in a red-shaded moon) I would spot another like me and feel slightly less unusual. While these sightings were promising and a brief release, I felt as though the presence of those like me was lacking in the movies I watched and the magazines I leafed through.
But a new arrival on the theater circuit as made me think that the tide is changing to favor my special breed.
AT LAST! A musical production based on a true travesty and those who are ready to take arm and fight for their lives. A play that speaks to one of the least reported inhalations of our day: The extinction of redheads.
With music and lyrics by Katie Thompson, this Doug Spagnola directed piece is sure to raise awareness in the New York off-Broadway bunch. This play provides a solution to the fading scarlet sirens — procreate at all costs. It doesn’t matter if you are gay or straight — procreate with a redhead for goodness sake!
According to their website, the R.R.R.E.D the Musical production thinks that: IN THE YEAR 2009, we redheads decided to take matters into our own hands. A world without redheads was no kind of world we were going to let happen, and if heads had to roll, well, they wouldn’t be red… heads.
This NY-based play displays two major groups that I am ready to sign up and pay my memberships dues: The WorldWide Alliance of Redheads (W.W.A.R.) in and the Real Redheaded Revolutionary Evolutionary Defiance (R.R.R.E.D.)
While some theater critiques didn’t know how to receive this off-beat comedy on the autumn-toned play, many eventually reviewed the production positively and pointed out the humor in their unique message.
Broadway.com even stated, “Predictably, the blatantly anti-redhead element at Broadway World did everything humanly possible to keep R.R.R.E.D. from being promoted on their site. In the end, they had no choice but to post details about the show, based on Katie Thompson’s impressive credits working with divas Shoshana Bean and Eden Espinosa, both decidedly brunette, and Duncan Sheik, who doesn’t just have brown hair, he has a lot of brown hair.”
When R.R.R.E.D. is ready to hit the road and travel to San Francisco (the fog is kind on our gentle skin) then I will be first in line to see this appropriate musical.
This redhead-centric creation is a clear jump from your grandmother’s wholesome red-haired theater piece Annie or even the more bitting one-woman show: The Blonde, the Brunette, and Vengeful Redhead (where the manic redhead stereotype in reinforced so clearly in the title that I laugh only moments before I cringe.)
I only wish that when I was a kid that there could have been a play that put humor to the separateness that redheads feel. Somehow I think that seeing the fully matured and satirized perspective on the (often-randomly appearing) red hair phenomena would have lightened the burden I carried. At least a new generation of gingers have hope of skipping over much of the trauma — or at least laugh through more of it.