Monday, October 20, 2008

Comings, Goings, Doings

Hey friends... Friends of friends...

How've you been keeping? I trust well.

I've been busy. Good-busy.

Last Tuesday, of course, marked a particularly Sapphic edition of Bitch Salad - a Gi-normous thank you to all who came out for that ('GI-normous' both as in superlatively huge AND vaGInally...)

It wasn't as lesbo-centric in terms of an audience turnout as I thought - which was just as well, as my lesbo-centric material was scant at best. But yeah - suu-h-uuper-fun. I totally put more germs in my head insofar as doing theme shows WITHIN the already themed show that Bitch Salad is. I.E. an all musical edition... or an all-'urban' edition... or... uhh... an all-puppeteer edition... yeah... probably not... whatevs...

So the excitement continued when last Wednesday saw me attend the opening of Mivish Productions' restaging of the beloved classic "The Sound of Music" - something I was waiting for with baited breath, considering my overly enthusiastic interest in the CBC reality show, "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?" this past summer.

In three words: Feel Good Time.

I don't know if you're a fan of the movie at all, or fuck, even SAW the movie - as a shockingly high number of people I've spoken to haven't (read: One person. I can't believe anyone has NOT seen the movie?!?! I thought some sort of accrued knowledge of the Family Von Trapp was more requisite in someone's childhood than the assfucking Bible... meh)... - but this thing definitely lived up to it.

The solution to "How [Exactly] [You Do] Solve a Problem Like Maria?", underdog Elicia MacKenzie, definitely worked it out. She still isn't nor shall she ever be runner up/predicted winner Janna Polzin (who, incidentally, alternates in the part Wednesday evenings and Sunday matinees), but she's definitely believable in the part of flibbertigibbet songbird nanny/mistress, Maria Rainer-Von Trapp.

Other highlights include Noella Huet's "Mother Abbess"... although her acting ranges from barely passable to passable, she can sing like a motherfucker. Like a motherfucker, let me tell ya. Upon hearing her fuck the shit out of the last phrase in the first-act closer "Climb Ev'ry Mountain", you'll be hard pressed to find yourself sitting on a dry seat. It's devastating.

And, of course, the bitch who plays Gretl is mayhaps the fiercest bitch who's e'er lived. She literally needs to blink and the audience full blown ovates. It's nuts. I was ACTUALLY star struck by her at the after party. I kept almost approaching her, only to come to my senses and be like "Dude... she still poops her pants... we can't hang out."

Some differences from the movie:

In the live version, the staple "My Favourite Things" is NOT sung to the children in bed to distract them from the thunder storm, but instead by the Mother Abbess to Maria in an uncharacteristically secular move. Good heavens!

What Maria does, in fact, sing to the children to lift their spirits during the thunderstorm, is instead "The Lonely Goatherd" - a song famously done in a marionette orgy in the film. This was incredibly disappointing, as I was hoping with all my might that there'd be a chorus of people pretending to be marionettes. BUT NO. Instead, it's just Maria yodelling to the kids as they scream their heads off. I thought, "Fuck... could there not be a little bit of reimagining here? Like maybe a mash-up of "The Lonely Goatherd" and Gwen Stefani's "Wind It Up"? Like have Gretl come out like "This is the key that makes us wind up..." But no. Anyballs...

Another thing that is noticeably different in the stage production is the part of the Baroness - she's not the skanky, jealous tranny that people have come to know and love from the film... but instead a quite noble and feminine character who simply can't have a meeting of the minds with the Captain... BORING! I WANTED TRANNY BARONESS!!! Instead of being played by a Kathleen Turner-type, as she should have been, she was played by a Gwenyth Paltrow-type, if that gives you any idea.

Anyballs - the party afterwards was fine. Cramped as fuck, as it was held in the actual theatre, because - as I'm told - every banquet hall in the city has been booked due to some mystery conference of sorts. There was a considerable food shortage, and it was all Austrain-themed.

During the show, at one point Elicia/Maria rewards herself for a job well done making clothes out of curtains or something, by sneaking a pastry, but is then busted by the Baroness. I then remarked to my co-horts that if Elicia/Maria needs to do that 8 shows a week, she's going to end up like Jenna Maroney in the episode of "30 Rock" when she comes back from summer hiatus performing in "Mystic Pizza: The Musical" on Broadway, only to have gained 50 pounds from having to eat 3 pieces of pizza on stage per show... I couldn't find a clip of it, but because the more 30 Rock you can mention, the better, DO enjoy Jenna performing her Number 1 smash hit (on the Israeli pop charts), "Muffin Top":

Anyballs - this whole Mystic Pizza: The Musical thing was worth mentioning, because afterwards, upon discovering that the scant food selection was all of Austrian persuasion (Cabbage Rolls, Schnizel, Pickeled motherfucking Herring...), my compatriot Heidi remarked that "now [she] really does wish this was Mystic Pizza: The Musical". Ha. Because then various pizza-things would have been served. Meh - it was funny at the time.

So yes...

Go see "The Sound of Music". And by all means join me in having "The Lonely Goatherd" in my head for the rest of days.

I'm going to see "The Secret Life of Bees" tonight. Jennifer Hudson is in it. I expect sass by the barrell full.

Smell ya later,

--- Aj