What says 'Weekend' like Christian boy bands, hustler bars, gay movies and child killers? What, I ask you, what?
Thursday night I saw Altar Boyz with Frank. That was a lot of fun. They really nailed it. The painfully earnest lyrics. The proto-homo with an obvious crush on one of his bandmates. The dancing. All of it. While this wasn't 'Death of a Salesman,' it was one of the most entertaining shows I've seen in a while. I can't wait to get the cast album. I may even go see it again.
Friday, I met up with Frank and Stuff and went to the Famous Author Rob Byrnes Memorial Bar (East), a/k/a The Townhouse. Several of the um . . . working boys, were lookin' mighty fine. Of course the bar was also being visited by some extras from the latest George Romero film, so we decided to move on. We headed over to the Web so Stuff could do a little window shopping. I mostly just enjoyed the air-conditioning.
Saturday, I continued my NewFest adventures seeing two movies with Stuff and Jason, Afterschool Specials and Boy Meets Boy, both were screenings of short films. Several of them were standouts, most were good, one made me want to scratch my eyes out and scream 'Why, God, why?" If you ever get a chance to see a short film called 'The Mormon Conquests,' see it. It was brilliant. I'll try to write about some of the other shorts once I have a little more time.
Saturday evening, I went to see 'Thrill Me,' a musical based on the Leopold and Loeb story (two Chicago teens who, in the 1920s, kidnapped and killed a young boy, believing that they were the embodiment of the Nietzschean superman). The show was a little hit and miss. Part of the problem for me was that it was told entirely in flashbacks. It takes place at Nathan Leopold's parole hearing, with him being asked to explain what happened. He does so in narration and flashbacks of key scenes. I just got tired of having all the scenes introduced and then summarized after they were over.
Overall, it was an okay, barebones production (not much in the way of a set, though I tend to like that; music provided by a piano; simple costumes). Stephen Dolginoff, who wrote the book and music, is a good, but not outstanding, composer. A couple of the songs are really rather good; one of them, called 'Roadster,' was especially good. The problem for me was that the lyrics and the dialogue sounded too modern. Of course, I didn't expect it to sound like some sort of gangster movie and perhaps it was written that way to make it resonate for a modern audience, but it kept me from truly getting into the show. In addition, I found the book to be rather weak. There was very little dialogue to the point that I almost wish Dolginoff had either beefed up the book or gone the way of 'Rent' and had the entire show sung.
Of course, it's easy to be a critic. I'd suggest seeing it for yourself to decide. If nothing else, it was a fascinating story.