Chaos Attraction

Two Hits And A Miss

2015-04-11, 11:51 a.m.

I saw a lot of things today:

(a) The TEDX group here did a 2-ish-hour show today, so I attended that. The lectures were on (a) changing majors a bunch of times--which is to say three; (b) surprise, there ARE black people in Ireland! (c) a good talk on talking to strangers--which I am expert at, see yesterday's entry--, (d) a talk on statistics being misleading and misinterpreted, (e) why computer science can figure out how to solve chess but not easy things that humans can do, and (f) oh dear god, social media is everywhere stalking you.

(b) Then I went to the powwow, which I like to do every year. This year they weren't in the gym--I am guessing something else was booked in there--and were outside on the lawn. This is probably not the best thing ever to put people in very heavy, elaborate outfits under nothing but bright sunlight, especially the ones who were dancing. The outfits were still amazing, though. I started daydreaming about how I'd like to start a blog called "How'd You Make That Awesome Outfit" and then go interview everyone as to how they made theirs, except well, I'm white and that probably would come off as racist for an evil whitey to ask that sort of thing. Another idea I thought of that will never be executed in life...oh well.

(c) Then tonight I went to some of the MFA thesis performances that were being shown on campus. I went to Program 2, which I was really excited about. And rightfully so. I loooooooove one man/one woman shows (wish I could do one, start writing them in my head during shows at times), and these were really excellent.

“Indecency (& other bawdy bits)” was a one-woman show in which the long-dead Mary Frith comes back to life in a very strange place, wonders where the heck she is and why these people haven't heard of her--she was a celebrity in her time, hung out with Shakespeare, and had a play written about her--and tells you all about it. She started out cutting purses, and later took up fencing and pimping. She also performed a lot and inspired theater herself and loved singing, and insisted on doing all of this in men's clothing, only the last of which is what she went to jail for. Oh yeah, and at one point she sings a bawdy song and wants to know if we still have them these days. (It was a VERY interactive show, as she questions people in the audience pretty frequently.) I of course suggested "Fuck Her Gently" and "Big Balls," a few others eventually came out with some, and then a friend of hers came onstage to perform "The Bad Touch." She probably at least got all of the dirty references in that one...and made a lot herself. I haven't seen this many crotch jokes since I last saw "Romeo and Juliet."* Mary was a very fun lady to hang out with!

* You think I'm kidding.... I am not!

I think she needs to perform the show here. (And I even e-mailed her to say so.)

More on Mary.

“Tales of a Sexual Tomboy (A One Woman Comedy),” is the sort of thing I'm really into--the deep but funny personal stuff. Anyway, Joyful (the actress) starts out with the more tomboy aspects of growing up--how she wanted to play basketball and box with the boys and get accepted enough so that she could really play. Her parents are theater people so she grew up in that kind of crazy atmosphere. Anyway, what inspired her to do this show was how when she was a kid she'd wonder how various awesome women she knew would get into relationships with dead beats... and then when she got old enough, she found herself doing the exact same thing, dating guys who were only a few years past legal, who'd cuss out her roommates and have nasty homes and drink too much, etc. (I would also like to point out that this is the first real life reference I have ever seen of the phrase dick too bomb.)

And a repeated theme early on is apologizing for punching a dude (during boxing), and not speaking up when a guy was kissing her terribly or just plain banging too much, because she didn't want to hurt his feelings. She keeps on banging the "dick too bomb" guy after he cusses out her roommate "a few more times," and at the end of the play, she does a monologue saying what she should have said to her latest 22-year-old whose house smells like bong water--how she wants a real partner who owns a salad bowl and things like that--but she still can't say that aloud to the guy. (She admitted afterwards she still hasn't figured that out yet.) There was a talkback afterwards that I attended and I cited this quote, which she'd read and agreed with too-- in wondering if we just don't say anything because we're afraid of the consequences of not being nice, or it getting worse. True enough.

As for the last one....well. It was supposedly a dance performance. I regret to say that it was the second dullest dance performance I have ever seen. The dullest one ever I saw years ago and featured people posing like statuary for 10-20 minutes (whatever, it was incredibly dull) and basically had no movement. This one...well, it had a bit more going on than that, but hoo boy, was it slooooooow. (And I was sitting next to the creator, so I felt even worse for not liking or getting it.) It took like 5-10 minutes to just have anyone move at all instead of the lights flickering off and on. There were a ton of props for the show, which got me all excited at first except most of the time very little was going on with them. (Example: girl stares at chair while the director says. "This is a chair. This is not a chair. This is a chair. This is not a chair.") The most action within the first ten minutes is when a guy gets a blanket thrown at his head. The best part was, well, when a giant piece of foam and the blanket....mate with each other. I shit you not.

Anyway, periodically one or more objects would slowly be brought on stage and even more slowly possibly have something done with it. (Note: the program actually cites "blanket," "green foam," "lamp shade," and all the other props under performance and collaboration, along with the human performers.) Nobody actually dances until 20 long minutes into the 25-minute production. I was pleased to see some actual human movement go on, though it did remind me a bit of the post-lottery dancing repetition I mentioned in this show. It was the sort of show where the director actually had to get up and say the show was over, I'll put it that way. It was not my thing. Too lifeless or slow life most of the time to keep my interest and it's a good thing I bring stuff to fidget with.

Well...two hits and a miss. So it goes. In the unlikely event that a local reads this, I'd recommend hitting the show Sunday night as long as you leave at the intermission. Tomorrow I will probably go to the other half of the MFA performances since Bev said to.

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