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 Post subject: About that cookie jar
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 3:21 am 
Miner
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This might not be a change, I'm not sure, so I'll solicit opinions while I wax philosophical.

I only noticed this a few performances ago and have been watching for it since. To me, it has seemed like the cookie jar was the symbol of innocence and childhood. It is the last moment of carefree bliss, Billy having just finished hanging out with his best friend and heads to the cookie jar, being completely unaware of Dad, Tony and Grandma anxiously awaiting the moment that will change Billy's life forever.

So when Billy announces he didn't get in and refuses the consoling touch of Dad, does it make sense for Billy to go back into the cookie jar? It doesn't fit with acting as if he is distraught if he wants to play the joke out. It is almost a casualness about the situation, seemingly saying "Oh well, I didn't get in, now back to childhood." One may say he is seeking the comfort that a cookie jar typically affords, but that just doesn't harmonize with him going into that same jar a few minutes earlier.

Ever since I began watching for this, I've observed that Alex Ko in his final performance did not go into the cookie jar a second time while Peter, Joseph and Tade all do. Don't know about Jacob, but may have more to say next week. How is it done elsewhere and what am I missing on this?


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 Post subject: Re: About that cookie jar
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 3:28 am 
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Billy
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I think you're making too much significance out of the cookie jar. Suppose it's just a cookie jar? 8-) Sometimes a prop is just a prop. :?

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 Post subject: Re: About that cookie jar
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 5:06 am 
Tall Boy
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Interesting thought. And yes Jacob Does go to the cookie jar the second time. Obviously as with any on-stage action, there is in fact a reason for it. Whether that reason is logical or not is of course another matter all together. If there is any large significance to it, I just see it similarly the what you said. It is his "safe place" per-say. He is comfortable there. Therefore, it would only make sense for him to keep going back there.


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 Post subject: Re: About that cookie jar
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 5:30 am 
Mrs Wilkinson
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Too much analysis for this...it gives him a reason to be turned away from his family nothing more I'd say. A few Billy smirk a bit when Tony is behind them...most have no reaction at all before Tony grabs them. Personally I think they want there to be actual suspense till that last moment...I honestly don't remember my reaction in my first show but I knew he got in of course so it doesn't have the same effect to people who know nothing of the story. All ways wondered how sad of a brief moment that was to a first time viewer.


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 Post subject: Re: About that cookie jar
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 11:49 am 
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Billy
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My feeling about the cookie jar is that Billy, being a growing boy, is in the habit of making a beeline for it whenever he comes in from school or playing with his friends because he's hungry. There are props in the story that obviously do have some symbolic significance, such as the letter from Billys mother (and his to her), for example, or in the London version, the black ballet shoes that Billy hurls off stage. But by and large, I believe the props are just ordinary objects that would be used by the character for one reason or another. I think it's possible to overanalyze things. Here's an example of what I mean:

Grandma's moldy pasty symbolizes the decaying state of her mind.

Billy's shoe box symbolizes his mother's coffin.

Billy's Rubiks cube symbolizes the complexity of his problem.

Tony's crowbar symbolizes his anger at his dad.

The keys that Billy must give to Mrs. Wilkinson symbolize unlocking the door to his future. (Now this one actually makes some sense! 8-) )

Would anyone else like a go at interpreting some of the following objects?

The packet of soup

The cassette tape for Billy's audition

Michael's polaroid camera

Small boy's lollypop

The bottle of milk

Tracey Atkinson's pie

And, of course, Billy's bag

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"I don't want people who want to dance; I want people who have to dance.”
-George Balanchine 1904 -1983


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 Post subject: Re: About that cookie jar
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 8:16 pm 
Mrs Wilkinson
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Oh I like the keys one !:)


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 Post subject: Re: About that cookie jar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:07 am 
Mr Braithwaite

Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 5:10 am
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Location: Williamstown, NJ
The power of the message of Billy Elliot The Musical is that it is a child's experience. I noticed that Lee Hall is constantly reminding us that these are children. The cookie jar is reminder that these are not adults. The contest between Billy and Michael to see who can put on the tap shoes quickest ("Billy Wins") is a child's game. The sexual curiosity between Billy and Debbie also reminds us of their ages. So I think that the cookie jar does represent childhood, but not necessarily a return to childhood. It is a reminder from Hall that they never left childhood, even though they are going through adult situations.


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 Post subject: Re: About that cookie jar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:17 am 
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Billy
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Kids like cookies. Billy is a kid and he eats cookies out of a cookie jar. Sorry, but I just don't see this as being symbolic of anything.

I have to admit that I am coming at this as a former English teacher who spent a lot of time trying to teach symbolism to my high school English students. Some of them were very literal minded and had difficulty grasping the use of imagery and symbolism in literary works; for example, the symbolism of the pearl in John Steinbeck's story "The Pearl." But the other side of being too literal minded can be the attempt to find a deeper psychological or moral meaning in every aspect of a story when it isn't necessary to do so. Here's a pretty good explanation of symbolism in literature: http://www.scribd.com/doc/6472314/Symbo ... Literature

So, to reitierate: In my opinion, the cookie jar is just a cookie jar. But if anyone feels it holds a deeper significance to the story, well, that's okay too. One thing that makes the story so rich is that it resonates on so many different levels with different people.

By the way, in the link above, the key is actually discussed as an accepted conventional symbolic object in literature. 8-) ;)

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"I don't want people who want to dance; I want people who have to dance.”
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 Post subject: Re: About that cookie jar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:24 am 
Debbie
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The key must be the key then. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: About that cookie jar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 2:30 am 
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Billy
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Yes, I think it's definitely a key. :D

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"I don't want people who want to dance; I want people who have to dance.”
-George Balanchine 1904 -1983


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