The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The musical: threat or menace?

I don't write a lot about musicals, mostly because I don't appreciate the art form. First, you restrict the action to a stage in a theater. So far, not unlike a play. But much unlike a play, you are then expected to create a spectacle for the audience (apparently -- I don't claim to know squat about this, personally.) And of course, you have have to 1 to n captivating, unforgettable, toe-tapping songs which generations of high-school performance nerds can break into as a kind of harmonized inside joke ("We were both in Paint Your Wagon and you weren't -- neener neener.) I never encountered this in high school because, recognizing our utter lack of vocal or instrumental talent, we never tried musicals. We stuck to plays. So I never had any affection with or familiarity with musicals until I got to college, and by then my tastes had calcified some.

Anyway (they never said if "rambling" would be a side effect of the steroids, but the above paragraph is perhaps an early indication,) musicals don't make much of an impression on the smooth, glossy, molasses-like surface of my consciousness. Julie Taymor's Spiderman thing, though, is capturing some of my attention, just because it's so Vietnam / Afghanistan - like in its morassness (morassitude?) She's in and she can't get out without a) losing everybody's combined shirts in the money invested to date, and b) admitting that all our boys and girls died in vain. Well, so far, nobody's died, but you know what I mean.

This week, they had one preview show (I think that's what it's called) and somebody fell and was injured. They had another one and, glory be, nothing untoward (meaning unplanned) happened. It apparently goes live next week, and with those stats, there may not be any actors left in NYC by February. Interestingly, maybe because these are "preview" shows? nothing was said in the article I read about quality -- like, was it any good, man?

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