“My first show was Barefoot in the Park, which was an absolute smash, but my production on the stage of Backdraft was what really got them excited. This whole idea of ‘In Your Face’ theatre really affected them. The conceptualization, the whole abstraction, the obtuseness of this production to me was what was interesting. I wanted the audience to feel the heat from the fire, the fear, because people don’t like fire, poked, poked in their noses, you know when you get a cinder from a barbeque right on the end of your nose and you kind of make that face, you know, that’s not a good thing, and I wanted them to have the sense memory of that. So during the show I had someone burn newspapers and send it through the vents in the theatre. And well, they freaked out, and ‘course the fire Marshall came over and they shut us down for a couple of days.”
-Christopher Guest as Corky St. Clair in Waiting for Guffman, obviously.
Last night I saw a play that actually took the idea of in-your-face theatre (vomit, usually) and made it awesome! If nothing else it reminded me that the things I think I hate (audience participation, physical theatre, touching) don’t necessarily have to suck. I think I still hate Holocaust plays but hey! Prove me wrong! Anyway, my friend Walt had an extra ticket to see The Method Gun at ArtsEmerson last night and I relieved him of his extra ticket and was quite pleased that I did! I didn’t know anything about the play going in, which was great. It was very metatheatrical (BIG WORDS), which I love. This is a play folks, don’t try to deny it. Realism is for movies, they do it better anyway. So it was 5 actors and a tiger (awesome tiger, sweet mask, some kind of South American accent, really great device) and the play was about this theatre company, the real one, right in front of us, researching an acting teacher from the ‘70s who taught something called The Approach and then disappeared to South America, never to return. But it’s not about her so much as it’s about the company she left behind who continued to rehearse a version of Streetcar minus Stanley, Stella, Mitch, and Blanche – FOR SIX YEARS without a performance. A of all, GREAT CONCEPT YOU GUYS! How could it not be awesome with that as a starting point. But also, it was executed really well. They included the audience in such a generous and genuine way that I truly felt a part of the experience. My point is this: if you have an opportunity to see The Method Gun, you should. It’s kind of theatre for theatre kids, but as a theatre kid I was really pleased. So if you’re a theatre kid or if you love a theatre kid, go see that show. It’s playing until October 17th only in Boston so GET TICKETS NOW. Come on. What are you doing this weekend that’s so great anyway? Nothing.
Oh but also, there’s lots of really cool stuff going on in Boston this weekend! Ugh, I’m ruining my point. But hey, you can squeeze it all in! On Saturday is the Boston Book Festival in Copley Square, should be super fun and fantastic. Boston is doing this really cool thing called One City One Story. Check it out! I read the story and it was super interesting, entertaining, and affecting. Read it and then we can talk about it! And the second awesome thing that’s happening is Obama is speaking at a rally for Gov. Deval Patrick. AND James Taylor is going to be there?! Awesome. Hey, were you thinking about not voting? Well that’s a shitty thing to do to your country. Go vote. And come see Obama with me! 1pm at Hynes Convention Center I believe. Let’s go get inspired you guys!