Chaos Attraction

Five Show Weekend

2016-07-25, 7:21 p.m.

I saw a lot of shows this weekend (five) and hit the state fair, so that's pretty good for me. I got a rainbow dress at the fair and photographed various things.

As for the shows:

Cyrano de Bergerac: This is a weird play in that it starts out as a comedy and ends as a tragedy. I...don't know what the author was thinking on that one. I can't quite say it's a whiplash experience because it leads you there fairly, but you are pretty much like, "Oh, come on, did it have to end so sad?" Anyway, I pretty much wanted to see it because I read the play at some point in school and I freaking loved the first act. Cyrano is a swashbuckling poet who can compose on the fly while fencing with someone and can insult his own nose better than anyone else--what's not to love? I don't remember thinking too well of Roxane or Christian while reading the play--a long time ago--but I was impressed at how smart Roxane seemed--how she's as dramatic and hammy and poetic as he is. Runs in the family, I guess. When she berates Christian for only being able to spit out that he loves her without being wordier about it, it actually makes sense from her point of view--any ol' suitor can spit out words of love to her, and they do--but she wants a guy who can distinguish himself and show off his brain power. (Too bad she picked him, eh?) And Christian is clearly not dumb and a very nice guy-- he just isn't a poet. And when he figures out that Cyrano loves Roxane and Roxane isn't in love with Christian as he is, he'd totally rectify the situation if he could. Aw.

Bells Are Ringing: This takes place in the 1950's and features a telephone answering service in which ladies man a switchboard and take people's messages. Ella works for her cousin's company and has found that enough of her clients' lives overlap that she finds out information from one that would really help another, like when songwriting auditions are being held and this one actor could probably get a gig if he'd stop playing Brando all the time and put on a suit. She's also fallen secretly in love with playwright Jeff Moss, who's having a mental crisis after breaking up with his writing partner. The play's big debate is: even if you know you should mind your own business, is it ethical and right to tell anyone the information you found out if it would improve their life? Even though the police are literally trailing Ella (a cop suspects anyone working at an answering service is up to something) and she's been told not to do it, she can't help herself. Which is pretty sweet, really. Even though the 1950's is really not my bag as a time period and now the show seems quite quaint, it was fun to watch.

The other shows were at the Comedy Spot and were...well, farewell shows. There's two people there who are probably/possibly the biggest standout performers overall--one of them was in six shows as a regular and the other was in seven--and they are moving to LA. Which is good for them and they are probably good enough to make it there (okay, not like I know anything on this really) and they should go. But...that's a bummer for those of us who enjoyed watching them. I've taken a class from Molly in game improv and she's subbed in on classes periodically, and she's really smart and sharp and hilarious whether she's playing ladies or uh, gentlemen. Eric I've probably mentioned very frequently when I talk about Jam (if not by name) because hooooo boy, is he great at wacky physical comedy and always stepping in when everyone else is brain-dead on stage. I don't quite know him as well beyond performing with him on stage and our off-stage conversation boiled down to "Did you sign up for Jam?", but he's also super impressive. Molly actually dropped in on class the other night--didn't really do anything besides hang out one last time--but it gave me the opportunity to tell her that I'd always enjoyed the heck out of watching the both of them and I hope they rock LA. Awww.

So I wanted to see their farewell shows, and they were indeed pretty spectacular. I managed to film one of them and a bit of another before my phone keeled over. The improv musical show ended up being about GMO's and farming--more specifically the creation of a sentient female corn. The flagship interview show ended up having what I have to say was probably the funniest moment I've ever seen there--it involved two guys playing kids who had been encouraged to act like pterodactyls, and the expressions on one guy's face alone....oh dear lord, priceless. Especially when they were both flapping wings and pecking on other characters repeatedly. I kinda wish I'd filmed that, but I was already falling over laughing and I don't think that would have gone well. The final show was Molly and Brian doing a two-person Harold with an invocation opening. I hadn't seen an invocation opening before because they don't really do it here because it requires more rehearsal than working people in Sac can reasonably get to, but it certainly led to some interesting stuff. I really need to ask Brian how the hell they thought of all of that stuff WHILE PERFORMING THE ENTIRE TIME. I mean, when there's six people, four of them can be standing there trying to think of some idea that will carry them through three scenes, but they had no down time!

They will be missed. But I hope the rest of y'all will hear of them someday.

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