Amanda Palmer's Neutral Milk Hotel Play and Disney's High School Musical: Separated At Birth?
High School Musicals: Amanda Palmer (left, in 1992), Kelsi Nielsen
In one of the spring's most face-melting developments, AMANDA PALMER announced earlier this month that she was returning to Lexington High to collaborate with her old high-school drama teacher and 20 current students on a production based on Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane, Over the Sea.Palmer's drama teacher, Steven Bogart, told Palmer's publicist that this isn't really much of a stretch since, as a senior, Amanda wrote a play based on the music of the Legendary Pink Dots called Asylum. Apparently it was quite the hit: the "theatrical post-modern form of the piece challenged the
Massachusetts High School Drama Guild to rewrite their criteria for
judging the state drama festival," Bogart says.
Palmer, for her part, credits Lexington High's drama program -- in which students wrote their own plays from scratch over the course of two months -- with turning her into an artist: "This is the way I grew up understanding theater,"
Palmer says in the press release. "We created magic out of nothing. I always hated the
boring stock plays and musicals, they seemed lifeless. Bogart always
encouraged us to use our brains and hearts to dig deep and find
something meaningful and original to put on the stage."
At around this point in the press release, we suddenly felt like we were reading an abstract of the High School Musical script, and we were suddenly reminded how much Kelsi in HSM#1 reminded us of Amanda (only with Brian Vig's signature bowler thrown in), and wait, don't we have Amanda's high-school yearbook photo floating around here somewhere? Thus, the images above: that's Palmer's 1992 Lexington High yearbook photo. On the left, mind you.
Sure, High School Musical was all Romeo and Juliet, and Palmer's NMH staging is gonna be all Anne Frank, but c'mon -- in terms of teenage drama, we're basically one mop-topped boy away from a match. Speaking of which, did we mention that Palmer was at Lexington High at the same time as underground comedy guru EUGENEMIRMAN? Alas, he's no dead ringer for Zac Efron . . . but is it too late for us to start a petition to cast the Euge as Jeff Mangum?
And just for good measure, here's a couple of Lexington High Yearbook candids to help you answer the old M.I.A. question: Where were you in '92?