...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Friday, November 19, 2004

I am the Queen of the Theater. Bow before me!

Hey! Want to go see a clever show, brilliantly conceived, directed, and acted, with a great sound system and crackerjack cast? Then whatever you do, don't go see City of Angels (or, as the South newsletter called it, City of Angles--it really is pointy down there in LA), South Eugene High School's latest theater-department offering.

The reviewer in The Register-Guard raved, so Mom and I went to see it tonight. We left during intermission, it was so bad. It seemed like the show was well-written enough, and they staged it cleverly, with the film noir half on one revolving platform and the real life story on another, but it was just beyond the abilities of most of the actors. The orchestra was so goddamn loud that it was nearly impossible to follow the plot or understand half the dialogue, and the "songs" could have used a little more work, because it sounded as though the actors were singing (or, rather, shouting out unrhymed words) to one tune, while the orchestra played another. And can we please, please, please either mic the kids sufficiently, or tell them to speak the hell up? To be fair, some of the actors were pretty good: The kid who played Stone, the film noir private eye, was great--he reminded me a ton of a young John Cusack, and he had a pretty strong singing voice, and the girl who played Alaura looked, as my mom commented, like a young Katherine Hepburn. But some of them...

Persuant to that, the quote of the day has to come from the biography of one of the actors, as published in the playbill (it's [sic] throughout). Read it dramatically and as poncily as possible to get the full effect. (You might have to switch into a "gansta" accent for part. Oh, you'll see):

This is A's 4th and final South Musical. His previous 3 were Anything Goes, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and 42nd Street. He has also appeared in a number of...Oh, what the deuce do you call them?....Ah, yes! Plays! Among these, The Nerd, Hamlet, Sylvia, and Talley's Folly stand out in his memory. He would like to thank L for her wifedom (not to be confused with fifedom), A for always being (in the whitest way possible) all about the money, dollar-dollar-bill-ya'll, C for his body, A for her yurtly goodness, S for the Nanny and the Principal, A for that wonderful weekend in Reno, L for being a you-know-what, and P for guiding this crazy Acid Test through bat country (without ever stopping). Finally, ALex would like to say that, in concern to his legacy here at South, he doesn't want anyone to thank him or anything. All he hopes is that, someday in the future, he will be walking down the street and someone will sa, "Hey, that's A. H......I should thank him.

Seriously. That's what it says. In the playbill. I mean, dollar-dollar-bill-ya'll? YURTLY GOODNESS?

As if all that wasn't bad enough (and it was), the people behind us talked. Through. The entire. Goddamn. First half. I don't know if they kept talking, because we left during intermission. But I got to thinking, things would be a lot simpler if I were just appointed Queen of the Theater. I could stand outside and grant admission to the worthy, casting out the nuisances: "You! Stop cracking your gum. You with the fifteen-inch Mohawk [seriously, folks]! Get a haircut or sit in the back. AND STOP TALKING OR THE WRATH OF QUEEN JESSICA WILL BE SWIFT AND MIGHTY." And you'd better believe I'd be doling out these and these like so much candy. Sweet, sweet candy.

Don't fret: I will be writing more about Gustavo Gutiérrez and...Oh, what the deuce do you call it?...Ah, yes! Liberation theology! later. But if you'll excuse me, right now I have to go guide a crazy Acid Test through bat country. Whatever that means.