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Despairing for humanity: an adventure in theaterland.

Lots has been going on here in Football-land. As you probably can tell, since I’ve been SILENT AS A GHOST. Well, a silent ghost. I’m sure there are loud ghosts, too. Like those chain-rattly ghosts. I would hate those ghosts. They’d never let me sleep. And I sure do like sleeping.

Shh, Marley, you're being obnoxious.

Shh, Marley, you’re being obnoxious.

AND, I need to get this written in time for face-talking with Andreas tonight. That’s my favorite thing. I’ve been looking forward to that for WEEKS. We had plans for it last weekend, but Andreas contracted the Finnish Death Flu. Well, he SAYS it was just a cold, but I’m pretty sure it was the Finnish Death Flu. I mean, if you can’t exaggerate, why bother even existing, you know? Sheesh. But anyway, he totally lost his voice the day we were supposed to be chatting. LOST HIS VOICE! I mean, come on, if that’s not Finnish Death Flu, I don’t know what is! Also, it’s clearly a conspiracy. Finnish Death Flu did not WANT us to talk! But tonight we have rescheduled. Which is good, because I will be gone the next two Saturdays – in Poughkeepsie for one and in Baltimore for another. I know. I’m fancy. Don’t even be jealous.

(UPDATE! I spoke to Andreas with my face and he agrees that it was possibly some sort of Finnish flu but he said Finnish ZOMBIE Flu. Also, face-talking went very well and Andreas is the best. Google Chat only kicked us out two times. We decided it gets sick of us. “Surely you two are finished NOW?” Google Chat says, and makes our faces freeze. And then we log back in and start up again. That’ll teach you, Google Chat.)

SIDE NOTE! I totally bought luggage for my trip this week. LUGGAGE! I OWN LUGGAGE! Well, I always owned luggage but it was terrible and cheap and falling apart. This is NICE luggage. It is one of those wheely carryon bags with a popup handle that I’ve always wanted. AND it is TEAL BLUE. Why? Because it was the most whimsical color they had at the store. WHIMSY!!!

WHY DIDN'T THE STORE HAVE THIS ONE? OMG, I would TOTALLY have bought this one. It is MADE of whimsy!!!

WHY DIDN’T THE STORE HAVE THIS ONE? OMG, I would TOTALLY have bought this one. It is MADE of whimsy!!!

Anyway, so: I was going to give you two stories today, but in typical Amy fashion, the first story was so long. So I’ll save the second story for tomorrow. Today you get…

A FIELD TRIP TO REVIEW A PLAY!

So last night (which would be your Friday night, I suppose, as I am writing this IN THE PAST) I had to drive to Saratoga to see a play and review it. Saratoga is about half an hour away and is where the horses live. And where they RACE FOR MY ENJOYMENT in the summer! (I will totally be seeing the ponies this summer. I missed them last summer because of unemployment. Not this summer, buckaroos!) So I popped in the car and I drove to Saratoga and other than TomTom making me turn down a road with a totally shady tollbooth for no reason in the middle of it and a big sign that said “$8 toll now” (is TomTom in cahoots with some guy with a tollbooth in his yard? I find this suspect) I made it there with no problems.

Hee! Health, history, horses. I want to add h-words. Hilarity. Humans. Heartbreak. Homewreckers. Hopefulness.

Hee! Health, history, horses. I want to add h-words. Hilarity. Humans. Heartbreak. Homewreckers. Hopefulness.

SIDE NOTE! Although my radio plays it constantly and I’m sure most people are so overly tired of this song they want it to die in a large fire, I am madly in love with this song and it came on the radio THREE TIMES in my trip to and fro yesterday and that made me SO HAPPY. So here, you can listen to my new favorite thing. And if you hate Pink, TOO BAD. I strangely adore her. I like her voice. Mostly because it’s low, and people like me with no upper register in their voice can totally sing along without sounding like a weirdo.

That video is creepy. What’s with demon-teddy? *shudder*

So I got to the theater, I got my seat (which was at the end of an aisle, which I like, but the people on the other side of me kept needing to get in and out, and there’s no leg-room, so I was up and down and UP AND DOWN and that was annoying) and then the play happened.

Well, by the time you read this, the review will be out, so this won’t be a spoiler to anyone who gets the paper, I suppose.

Sometimes being a theater reviewer means you have to watch things that you hate more than you hate clowns. Or people jumping out at you and screaming “surprise!” into your face. Or BOTH of those things. CLOWNS screaming SURPRISE into your FACE.

SURPRISE! And then I am dead of a heart attack. Nice job, clown.

SURPRISE! And then I am dead of a heart attack. Nice job, clown.

I hated this play so much I wished I was scrubbing the bathtub all night long rather than be there.

See, here’s what I like in theater. Intelligent shows. Shows that make me think. Cool, innovative things done with sets or costumes or the theme of the show – anything that shows thought went into the process. Dark, truthful writing. I’m not immune to a good comedy now and then – I like to laugh, don’t think I don’t – but it has to be a GOOD comedy. I don’t like stupidity in theater. I find that lazy. And if there’s anything in theater I hate, it’s laziness. (I have a whole different set of rules for what I like in musicals. I know. I’m weird.)

This play was so lazy, it took fifty naps before the curtain even went up.

Before you start thinking, “BAD THEATER REVIEWER! You should have given it a chance!” I’ve gone into plenty of shows that I thought I would hate and left happy with them and given them a good review. In this case, I went in thinking I’d hate it, and left hating it A BILLION TIMES MORE THAN I THOUGHT I EVER WOULD. This is not an exaggeration.

The acting was fine; the set was pretty; the costumes were nice. But it was the laziest comedy to ever lazy. Seriously. Sloths ran circles around this play. It was Some Like it Hot for idiots. It was two men who cross-dressed to trick someone into giving them an inheritance. AND OH THE WACKY FOIBLES! Ugh, if there’s anything I hate, it’s wacky foibles. Also, I hate homophobia played for laughs? Especially in 2013? And this play was all ABOUT that. The men dressed as women had MALE ADMIRERS! And EW MEN LIKING MEN! HA HA! Ugh, please, I’m about to vomit in my purse.

Men are dressed as women! That is funny! BECAUSE THEY HAVE PENISES!!! HA HA!

Men are dressed as women! That is funny! BECAUSE THEY HAVE PENISES!!! HA HA!

Sadly, the audience LOVED this play. Like, one woman was laughing so hard that people kept shushing her. She was like in an ecstasy of laughter. Gasping and shouting laughter. And a woman in back of me decided to narrate it. To whom? Herself. She was sitting alone. “Oh, he loves her!” “Oh, they are wearing dresses!” “He is using the phone. That is SHADY.” You are not Morgan Freeman and this is not March of the Penguins, lady. Shush it up tight.

This made me so sad. This is why we put on something like The Shape of Things and no one comes, but we put on something like Rumors (which, granted, was a wonderful production, but still, comparatively, it was not even in the league of The Shape of Things) and we sell out the house. I know. “But Amy! It’s a sad scary world and people don’t want to go to dark shows!” Yes, but don’t people want to think? Don’t people want entertainment that they’re discussing for hours afterward? Don’t people want entertainment that opens them up to new ideas, that moves them to tears, that thrills their hearts? And if not – what the hell is wrong with me that it’s ALL that I want?

When it was done (TWO HOURS AND FORTY MINUTES LATER, the hell? What kind of comedy is that long? NOTHING should be that long. That’s longer than a damn QUENTIN TARANTINO movie. And those are GOOD) and curtain call started, I ran out the door like my tail was on fire. Only to encounter…ALL THE RAIN! Like, a monsoon. A TERRIBLE MONSOON. And there were no lights in the parking lot area. So I had to walk to my car in pitch-blackness with no umbrella or coat and there was like three inches of water everywhere and it was SO SO COLD and it had been 74 degrees that day. DAMN YOU NATURE!

How I got home* (*possibly an exaggeration)

How I got home* (*possibly an exaggeration)

So I got to the car all “shudder shudder shake cold brr drip drip” and then I had a half-hour drive home. And then had to write the review, because it’s due by 1pm the next day, only I’m at work that day, so can’t meet that deadline. So I attempted to clean off my water-drippy glasses (and just made them smeary, so THAT’S fun) and put the heater on high so the whole car smelled like wet Amy and drove home.

And then when I was about fifteen minutes away I hit the WORST ROADWORK EVER. Who does roadwork on the highway in a monsoon? New York State does, beeyotches! NOTHING STOPS OUR STATE WORKERS! (Seriously, how terrible of a job would that be? Ugh, you poor people, out in that bad rain.) So I got stuck behind those signal cars with all the lights that tell you to get over or whatever? And they were going 5 mph. So due to them? My half-hour trip home, dripping wet (oh, did I mention getting soaked with a gallon of freezing water made my bladder go on overdrive and I had to pee like at levels never before seen in humanity? IT IS TRUE!) was extended to FIFTY MINUTES.

Nooooooo!

Nooooooo!

AND AND AND, right behind me? Was a cop. And he/she/it decided to turn on their red flashy lights, so my first thought was, “oh, well, the po-po’s got me.” But it’s not like I could pull over. Where would I pull over? Into a concrete barrier? We were down to two lanes and we were all in a line and there was nowhere to pull over. Also, have you ever been in a terrible rainstorm and there were cop-lights? They make things go all bright and flickery in the car and make it VERY HARD TO SEE. But once we were done with the terrible twenty-minute roadblock of doom, the cop turned off his lights and pulled away all calm-like. WHAT THE HELL COP? That was inappropriate.

I didn’t get to bed until 1. And had to get up at 7. That’s not enough sleep for this delicate flower. Also, the review will be in the paper today, and I don’t think it will make any friends at the theater group. Sorry, guys. I was honest. I always am. I highlighted the good things. I also called you out for the bad choice of play. But I also said the audience was loving it, so hopefully it was clear to the readers that I’m just a snobby old theater snob and they’ll go and have a GREAT time. Sigh.

I am a snobby old theater snob. But at least this coming week I get to see In the Heights. And then the week after: Les Miserables. So this snobby theater snob has something to look forward to this week.

Oh, also, I told Dad about all the rain and he was all, “YOU COULD HAVE DIED.” Hee! Yes. Probably not, though.

Happy Sunday, jellybeans. Hope your weeks were lovely and your upcoming weeks are Miss-Kitty-Fantastico. Be back soon. With more things that are either fun or not fun or just rambly. We’ll see.

MISS KITTY FANTASTICO HAS ADVENTURES! Oh, this is the best.

MISS KITTY FANTASTICO HAS ADVENTURES! Oh, this is the best.

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

33 responses to “Despairing for humanity: an adventure in theaterland.

  • mfennvt

    Miss Kitty Fantastico had adventures? Before the crossbow incident, I assume. Or was that just the beginning?

    I strangely adore Pink, too.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      Ooh, I don’t know. They might be kitten afterlife adventures?

      Pink’s kind of great. She sings in my range, she’s kind of girl-powery, and she doesn’t seem to give a damn. I like that.

      Like

  • sj

    Sounds like Friday was horrible ALL AROUND.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      It was not a great day for anyone, really. (Well, maybe for the earth. Because it probably liked getting all that rain so it can grow us some green grass. Otherwise, nope.)

      Like

  • An Embarrassment of Freedom

    LOVED this! Being a snobby theatre snob myself, you have my support. Enjoy the good stuff ahead! ( I know what you mean about the audience reactions to the not so good stuff…but…for some bizarre reason that kind of thing always reminds me of Shakespeare….and what the poor guy had to deal with putting on his plays…( thought I should explain)…!

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I see a lot more good theater than bad, so it really evens out. (And if I didn’t see SOME bad theater, maybe I wouldn’t appreciate the good theater as much?)

      I think Shakespeare would enjoy the fact that he’s revered now, don’t you?

      Like

  • Nagzilla

    Nothing wrong with being a theatre snob. My husband works in theatre, so I totally understand. What play was it? Sounds retched. Or at least like something that would have done well in 1950.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      It was actually SET in the 1950s! 1958!

      “Leading Ladies,” by Ken Ludwig, the man who brought us “Moon Over Buffalo” and “Lend Me a Tenor,” the former I have not seen, the latter I saw and had roughly the same reaction as I did to this one.

      Your husband works in theater! That’s awesome! Onstage? Backstage?

      Like

      • Nagzilla

        He’s the technical director for one of the theatres in town and manages the scene shop. He’s in Omaha as we speak, doing the load out for their production of Bluebeard’s Castle.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          That is SO COOL! He can build things! A good TD is the most important person in the theater! (The man that ran our scene shop in college was one of my most favorite people. He was AWESOME!) Well, that is just the neatest thing, tell him I admire that so much and I totally understand all the tough (and also wonderful) things about working in theater!

          Like

  • Charleen

    Pink really is the best.

    I’ve only been to like three non-musical theatre performances in my life, all of which were back in high school. One of which was definitely full of wacky foibles, but I quite enjoyed it. (I was also 16, so… if it was actually a terrible play, that’s my excuse.) I can’t really remember the others, though I suppose I could go look them up in my yearbook if I weren’t so lazy.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I’m not judgey. (Well, I AM, but that’s my thing.) I should have mentioned – if someone went to see this play, and said, “Oh, I loved that, so funny!” I wouldn’t rain on their parade. I would just tell them I was very glad they went to the theater and enjoyed their night out. I think everyone should go to the theater more. But in the review, I had to be honest. Because if I said it was good, and someone like me went, they would never trust me again, you know?

      We need to get you to more theater! Do you have theater around you? I bet grown-up you would love to be taken to the theater!

      Like

      • Charleen

        When I was living in Illinois, I used to go occasionally because a friend of ours does backstage techy-type stuff at a theatre there, and he’d always have free tickets to give away for press night. Those were always musicals though (which was fine — I love a good musical).

        Honestly I have no idea what the situation is here in Dubuque. I should look into that.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          Ooh, I love a good musical, too! And free = even better!

          I bet there are great community theaters in Dubuque! Wait, will go do a Google search.

          You have the Grand Opera House, the Bell Tower Theater, and the Five Flags Center – and I bet more (because if you do a search for “community theater Albany” you wouldn’t even get half of our amazing community theaters in the results.) But look, there’s three just with a quick search! Time for you to see some theater, I think! YAY!

          Like

  • elaine4queen

    I have three suitcases. One is floral, one is metal coloured and one is baby baby blue. The blue one is my favourite. I bought it in Berlin airport, like a person who travels! (It was after my operation, and for some reason carrying my bag was seriously painful, and I was too hot in my coat. So I bought the little suitcase, found a seat, and put my bag and my coat in the suitcase and wheeled it away. BOOM!)

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I have three that are almost duffel-bag material. And they’re shabby and look terrible. This one is structured and so pretty. I feel like a real traveler with it. It won’t work for longer trips – too small – but for trips like the one to Baltimore and a top-secret one I have planned later in the year (tentatively) – I think it’ll work just fine. Yay!

      Like

      • elaine4queen

        For some reason all three of mine are roughly the same size! Not well planned…

        The silver one is a bit bigger, but really. They are supposed to be like Russian dolls.

        Like

  • the diarist

    Okay, first of all. Pink is from a town I’ve lived in! Doylestown, PA. And every so often, someone would say, “hey, Pink is from here” and everyone would say, “yeah.” Because it’s a known and bragged about thing. Also the Teddy Bear is creepy.

    Cooool! Teal luggage.Teal is an excellent colour.

    A long time ago they sold these lights that you could put in the back of your car, in the window, and you could type in whatever message you wanted and it would scroll (in lights) across the thing. So you could write to people behind you, basically. “Dear Cop: Thank you for what you do, now turn of the damned lights. xoxo” Although I think mine would mostly flash, “the closer you get, the slower I go, babe.” (Now I want one.)

    I’m glad Andreas is better from teh Zombie Death flu which is close to the same thing.

    I’m glad you write truthful reviews. And here’s my theory. The harder things are for people, the more they want light comedic, even stupid, romps or fantasies. The better things are, the more they want intensity and depth. Basically, what people want to see depends on the economy. IMHO.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      There was a lot of boring stodgy luggage, but who wants that? Traveling is joyous. My luggage should reflect that.

      YAY PINK! I really like her. There are very few of her songs I haven’t really enjoyed.

      You’re completely right about the theater theory. We’ve actually discussed that at play selection meetings – that we need to be sure not to have very heavy seasons, especially now, with the state of the world and the economy the way it is. I’m just a weird throwback – the darker and more intelligent a show is, the better mood I’m in when I leave. So I’m the OPPOSITE of most people. I see a silly waste-of-time comedy, and I leave depressed that I could have been spending my limited time and money on something more “me.”

      Yep. My brain’s not wired like most people. I know.

      Like

      • the diarist

        I actually know the suitcase I want to buy. I have my sights on it. When I get to buy things like that again. (Soooo cool.) It’s black. Which is sort of where I seem to be going clothes wise. I want. (It IS stodgy. But also extremely well designed. Ha!)

        I prefer intelligent comedy, actually, and quirky works for me. If it’s stupid or ignorant (such as homophobic, racist, and so forth) I will HATE it. But dark and intelligent is wonderful, too.

        I cannot wait to be able to go to the theater again. I want to go. So. Badly. Ah, one thing at a time.

        Like

        • lucysfootball

          The black suitcases were better-quality. But this one was TEAL!!!

          I like intelligent comedy – intelligent AND quirky both make me so happy (Christopher Durang, sigh.) This was both ignorant AND stupid. You’d have hated it.

          Ooh, if you like dark, read some Neil LaBute. You will love, I think. So wonderful. Not easy topics, but so well written. (And there are some movies made of his work, too – my favorite is “In the Company of Men.”)

          You WILL go to the theater again! I know it! And soon, too!

          Like

  • Samantha

    I also heart Pink. Mostly because she doesn’t give a damn. I keep seeing this meme which may or may not be true about someone giving her crap about breastfeeding in public with a cover on (?!) and she said to her husband “hold my baby, I will fight this guy” in so many words.

    I’m sorry that you had to endure that play.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      I would totally believe that about Pink. She kicks all sorts of ass. (But she can also be vulnerable and honest, too? I like that she seems kind of a normal human.)

      Ah, it’s ok. They paid me to endure it, so it could have been worse. I could have purchased a ticket and STILL had to sit through it, imagine how terrible THAT would be!!! :)

      Like

  • Heather

    I was so happy to move away from NY’s perpetual road work…only to find out that PA is just as bad. Haha! Ugh.

    Like

    • the diarist

      To get away from it you have to go somewhere where there’s no winter.

      It’s pretty rare to see roadwork in Southern Cal. Although when they decide to do it they shut entire sections of highway down. Just close them completely. It’s wacky.

      Like

      • lucysfootball

        True. It’s mostly pothole repair, and winter-damage repair.

        The one time I was in California, there was no highway repair, but there WAS a clueless man who drove on the shoulder for a very long time because he thought it was a lane. And we gave him his own theme song. “Shoulder-RIIIIIDER!” It made us laugh to hysterics.

        Like

        • the diarist

          OMG that cracked me up. “Shoulder-RIIIIDER!” LOL!

          Like

          • lucysfootball

            That was such a great trip. We went to see Moby, we visited Santa Barbara, we saw the Pacific Ocean (the only time I’ve seen it!) and saw San Francisco and the Winchester Mystery House…I have such wonderful memories of California. I really want to go back someday.

            Like

    • lucysfootball

      I think NY and PA are pretty similar. We are AKIN TO EACH OTHER! *fistbump*

      Like

  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Think I’ve figured it out. The police had his lights on to warn traffic of the slow speed. In the heavy rain, visibility would have been severely reduced, which could have led to accidents. See? It was a public service, really.

    Like

    • lucysfootball

      That was my guess, too, but we were all caught up in the same slow traffic, as was the police car, so there was no need to warn us as we were well-aware of how slow we were going. I think he had good intentions, but bad implementation.

      Like

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