July 11, 2006

Back in the Swing of Things

Now that I'm back in my regular life, I find myself longing for our vacation which ended over a week ago. As Jon pointed out earlier today, we've been home longer than we were in France.

I didn't have any work the week we returned but I did pick up some theater shifts this past week.

I started with a Wednesday matinee of The Color Purple and then worked The Drowsy Chaperone Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights. That's a fun play.

I can't explain the show properly. It's best of you go to the website or read the reviews to get an understanding of what the play is about and how it's structured. Oh well. Maybe I can. Let me give it a try.

The show is narrated by a lonely, seemingly gay man from an arm chair in his sparsely decorated apartment. What he's talking about is a musical called The Drowsy Chaperone. He explains the show to the audience while playing the cast album and a very talented cast acts out the show. It won the Tony for best musical. I thought it was a lot of fun. The costumes are fabulous and the show tunes are catchy. You'll feel good when you leave the theater. And the fact that there is no intermission reflects the philosophy of our narrator (who is also the playwright) that intermissions take you out of the moment.

One of the most fun things was running into Sarah and her mom before the Friday night performance. It's the first time since I've been distributing headsets for last 7 years or so that I've run into someone I know while on the job.
Saturday night
It was great running into them on Friday night because we were scheduled to meet for dinner and a show on Saturday night.

Pig FarmThe show we saw - Pig Farm by Greg Kotis who is most famous for penning Urinetown. I had great hopes for the show because Urinetown is pretty brilliant, making fun of musical theater, regular theater, literature , politics and society at large in general.

While watching the characters struggle through the purposely mundane yet ironic yet alliterate dialogue, I kind of got what the playwright was attempting to do in Pig Farm - emphasis on kind of. He was either making fun of the recent rash of plays about working class Irish life or he was making fun of the straight play genre or he was just taking a piss on the institution of theater all together.

By that I mean, maybe he wrote something bordering on bad just to see what he could away with with Broadway audiences - much like a two year old putting a banana in a VCR to see if his parents will stop him.

If that's the case than I say we need to stop him before he tries something even worse. Not that I didn't have a good time. It was great seeing a show as a patron for a change in an assigned seat near the stage rather than standing in the back of the theater. It was also great going out with Sarah and Michelle and for that I'm very grateful. But honestly, it's not like theater tickets are cheap. If serious money is going to spent on a show, then the show should be worth spending money on. And the childish antics of an over ambitious playwright should not be tolerated.

You could tell Kotis knows how to write though. Technically, the play was well structured. The dialogue was just too much and the humor was spoon fed - the play tried too hard. If Kotis had dialed it back a bit, it could have worked.

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