Friday, February 01, 2008
More Great Theater
I'm always pleased when one of my friends makes some great theater. Tonight at my theater I saw Montserrat Mendez's Thoroughly Stupid Things, which is a rompy farce sequel to Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest".
This is a brilliant door-slamming cross-dressing comedy of the "let's dress like men and then kiss men dressed like women" variety. Actually, it's a door-slamming cross-dressing comedy of the "let's dress like men and then kiss men dressed like women" and then go even further with the French English Undercover Secret Police, on-stage quick-changes, and spending an entire freakin' act in rhymed couplets (because that's the rules of the English men's club we're in) - type comedy.
Now that's brilliant.
Thoroughly Stupid is very tightly directed by Megan Demarest (whom I had met before tonight but it was while I was shooting Solar Vengeance so I hadn't really put together her face with her name because my brain was so scattered at the time) with an excellent cast.
You see, the trick with this kind of material is that for the course two hours each and every actor has to be very specific -- at a rate of about two specific things a minute -- or the jokes would be lost. This kind of thing is really hard and exacting to direct and act in. And they really pulled it off. I can't even single out anyone excellent from this cast because they're universally so strong -- working in this absurdest and frequently self-referential play which I simply must see again.
The costumes and sets were lovely, putting the audience (and perhaps the actors too) immediately into the world which Mozz had created. And although a couple dimmers were apparently turned off during the first two acts of the show I saw (argh), which was only its second performance, the lighting design was elegant and dramatic.
Can you tell I liked it?
The ending of the play, which nods to A Midsummer Night's Dream, even has a touch of a somber note -- marking the reality of the world which confounds us. Making such a touching and poignant ending was a brave and successful choice to a beautiful, hilarious, and ridiculous evening. Now that's what theater is!
And to think, Mozz is writing a screenplay for Pandora Machine! Wow, I really lucked out with the people I'm graced to work with.
Clearly, this is a play, which like Universal Robots by Mac Rogers, has more life to it. I can't wait to see the journey it will go on.