Life can been exceptional amusing at times, especially when great things happen to you unexpectedly. That was the exact position I found myself in last Friday, when I was looking around Facebook and stumbled upon this.
Needless to say, with my love of musicals, I jumped at the opportunity. One minute I’m doing nothing, and the next, I’m planning to go into Chicago for the evening! What an experience that was! I have been to several Broadway shows, but I’ve never had such great seats to a show before. Plus, it’s always fun to go see these plays in groups. I had a good time that night.
However, since I had not even heard of First Wives Club before that day, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew prior to leaving that night is that there had been a movie released in 1996 and that this was its premiere on Broadway, even before it will hit New York. There was a lot of the story that made me uncomfortable, and part of me questions if I would have chosen to see it if I had known more about it. But in the end, I concluded that this is an opportunity for me to learn of those that have these perspectives and to share what I have learned with others, so that’s what I’m going to do.
Since I want to start getting into reviewing entertainment, this experience gives me the opportunity to get into a corner of entertainment that is often left un-reviewed in Christian circles: Broadway musicals. I was quite surprised by this, because there is so much depth to these musicals that we as Christian should be seeking to find. But I guess that many conservatives can also see much that is inappropriate on Broadway and the lifestyles often associated with working in that environment.
In doing reviews, I don’t want to tell you “this is good” or “this is bad and you shouldn’t like if you’re a Christian.” I want to bring to light positive elements and negative elements from the plot in hopes that it will help you discern what is right or wrong. That’s what we should be doing anyway. These are the messages that this play teaches:
Female Friendship is Valuable for Women
I think that most women don’t realize how important it is to have girlfriends that have your back, especially after they’re married. Although investing in your family should be a top priority, investing in friendships shouldn’t be very far behind. Our community is meant to extend beyond our family unit, especially during times of trial. With the craziness of life, it can be difficult to invest in past friendships that used to be close if you have lost touch. But if you had those kinds of friendships, chances are that if you reconnected with those friends, you could pick up right where you left off. That what Brenda, Elise, and Annie discover. One of my favorite songs they performed in the show was the 60’s hit “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” which is a great reminder of what loyal friendship looks like.
We are also reminded of the consequences of not keeping up with these kind of friendships in the death of Cynthia. On one hand, since this play was set in the early 90’s, they didn’t have many of the technological advancements that make it easier than ever to keep up friendships over long distances. But I can’t help but wonder if Cynthia would not have ended her life if the girls had been there to help her through her darkest hour. Although good came out of it in the end, I think the girls get the sense that maybe they should have been there for Cynthia before it was too late. Don’t take any relationship for granted, because it’s quite true that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something
Sometimes, we do need a wake up call. We need a push in the right direction, or a reminder of what we know we should have been doing all along. In this case, it was the death of a friend. But it is true that sometimes, we just need a swift kick in the pants! However, there are times especially in the life of a Christian when we need to take the initiative to figure out what the Lord wants us to do and just do it. For someone like me, this is easier said than done. But we should at least be aware that when we know what we should do, we need to do it!
A Wife Getting Ditched for a Younger Woman is Normal
However, I was also frustrated at how this musical tried to normalize this behavior. They didn’t necessarily condone it, but they didn’t say it was wrong either. It’s just the way that it is and we have to accept it. We are living in a generation that does not know how to be responsible when it comes to their sexual desires. They are continually telling us that we can have our desires fulfilled any way we want and no one can judge you for it.
But there is no way that I can accept that. We need to remember that God has an incredible design for our sexuality, and a huge part of God’s design is fidelity. Even if a husband is dissatisfied sexually, it is wrong to seek out any other source of sexual fulfillment. That’s the way that God sees it, and it’s the way that Christians should see it too
Revenge Is Acceptable When You Have Been Cheated
As a Christian, I know that people are going to hurt me in this life, both physically and emotionally. There is no way around it. I have been hurt by people I trusted and probably will be again at some point in my life. However, I also know that I serve a just God that will deliver justice in His time, so that I don’t have to take revenge on those who have hurt me. This is what gives me the ability to forgive, even if they don’t deserve it. The last thing I want to do is take justice into my own hands. I wish Brenda, Elise, and Annie would had known that.
Other Things I Noticed in First Wives Club
Two other things stood out positively:
- Brenda was able to reconcile with her husband. I was honestly shocked when this happened, but I was glad that some good came out of these women taking their husbands’ companies. After Morty signs the company away to Brenda, he acknowledges that Brenda was the brains behind the company and what he did was wrong. He forgives and asks him to come home. It was very sweet moment.
- The music and the production itself was great! The sets were clean and slick, and the music lives up to the quality of Broadway. It was very well done!
- Drinking – Elise struggles with drinking to drown her sorrows.
- Mocking God's Moral Standards - In the picture shown above is a sculpture of Adam and Eve. Aside from the fact they are in an awkward pose, they are under a tree that has the serpent at the top with an apple in its mouth. What does that mean? I think it was meant to symbolize forbidden love, and it shows that at least the writers where aware that the affairs portrayed in this story were forbidden love. One of the other mistresses (the one who's a minor) is talked about having taking some sort of purity pledge and is made fun of as being "Jesus' girlfriend." She mentions how she didn't plan to fall in love and had ask God to forgive her, but still continued to sleep with Bill.
- Homosexual Agenda – There are two gay characters in the play that are in-your-face with their sexual preferences. One is Brenda’s interior designer Duane, who makes a statement early that his boyfriend dumped him because he was “too gay.” He is instrumental in parts of the girls’ plot to get their husbands back. The other is Annie’s lesbian daughter Alex, who is instrumental in helping her mom buy out her dad’s business partners. When he gets upset after he finds out, Alex makes the comment, “I’m a lesbian, Dad. A big one.” Her mom gives her a check to participate in a gay pride parade. Early in the play, Annie makes a comment about the world being so much more accepting of lesbians than they used to be.
(DISCLAIMER: I disagree with homosexuality, but I do not hate or condone hating those who are gay. However, I get frustrated when they try to shove their lifestyle and agenda in our throats as being normality we must accept, which is what I felt like they tried to do in this play)
Gratitude for Friendship
The main thing I will take away from First Wives Club is that friendship is important to move us forward when we need it the most. Although I do not agree with everything they did and I disliked the sexual content of the play, I am reminded of the power of the steadfast friendships I have had in my own life, and of the times that those friends moved me forward when I needed it. I hope that each and every one of you has the opportunity that have those kind of friendships. That’s part of what God’s design for friendship and community is all about.
Lion's Eyes Reviews is a blog dedicated to reviews of Christian books, most of which are non-fiction, but may also occasionally review movies and musicals. It will also feature the work Bethel does to help launch and promote the works of Christian authors.
The name is derived from one of Bethel's favorite books, Through the Eyes of a Lion by Levi Lusko. Through these reviews, Bethel hope to give Christians the tools they need to look at the world "through the eyes of a lion" so they can find the courage to "run toward the roar".
To find the detailed archives of these reviews, you can check them out here:
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Bethel Grove is a Christian author, book reviewer, and book launcher. A graduate of Ozark Christian College, she is trained in biblical hermeneutics (how to interpret Scripture) and practical ministry. She has written seven self-published titles, published dozens of Christian book reviews, and been involved in over a dozen Christian book launches, both as a team member and a leader. She enjoys reading, writing, singing, and mentoring younger women. She hopes to someday be a vocational youth minister.
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