Thursday, July 20, 2006

Wild and unwise

Prepare for radio silence. Tomorrow morning I'm getting all four of my wisdom teeth pulled, so if I see any theatre at all this weekend , it will be playing inside my head to a sweet Vicodin symphony. Go outside, y'all!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Getting some sleep

Back out and around after a shameful multiple-weekends absence. Ah theatre, ah vaudeville, how I missed you.

Just got back from Live Action Cartoonists at the Storefront, the lovely mid-sized, city-owned blackbox that gives punk non-profits a place to play in the big kid's theatre district. I love this town- the government actually exploits its theatre scene. Downtown has a natural desert-like quality, but the Daley-Medicis keep gamely filling it up with circus performers, festivals, and insane public art. It's hard to get anything to take root in the Loop without food, shopping and nightlife, but they won't give up, the dears! I think my next ludicrous goal will be to attend every city-sponsored free event in one year. First step- perfect the human cloning process.

The show itself was quite neat, but neater in medium then in message. "Performance of Sleep in One Long Act Without Intermission" is about sleep, death, and various stages in between. There's a story, sort of, one that manages to intertwine the "right to die" controversy with the death penalty. (Which is not a controversy as far as LAC is concerned, and not as far as I'm concerned either.*) It's sort of a Neo-Futurists show on acid and speed: giant cartoons drawn on the spot, awesomely slick video project everywhere, giant blinking eyeballs, etc. etc. In addition to live cartoons, there's some sharp cartoon style acting, with frozen faces and thousand-yard stares.
However, the ideas behind it weren't as subtle or resonant as they should have been. Yes, the death penalty is bad, and yes, keeping people in persistent vegetative states is problematic. The show got caught up in those two fairly didactic points, and didn't go as deep into our relationship with sleep and death as it needed to. Ah well. Still looked cool.

Last night I caught "Fuck the Back Row," a film/live music event curated by the Dresden Dolls, a band that loves vaudeville as much as I do. Doesn't quite qualify as theatre, but I had a hell of a time. Both good and bad. I sat through the single most inexplicable act I have ever had to sit through, but at the end I got to have my girl-crush on Dolls frontwoman Amanda Palmer confirmed by proximity. Kids, she's so cool. And she wants you to get your art on, even if nobody else likes it.

So that's my directive for the weekend. Obey Miss Palmer. Obey the Daley-Medicis. There's a lot of empty space out there, and we need to fill it somehow.

*We're both firmly against it, in case you were wondering.