Friday, June 24, 2005

Yuck, fish. Yuck, chicken.

I'm not a fan of sushi. Texture . . . odd. Taste . . . odd. All in all, give me something deep-fried and a cold pint of cider.

That being said, for the last two days, I've been craving sushi like mad. I finally relented and had sushi for dinner tonight, tuna and avocado rolls. Texture . . . odd. Taste . . . odd. And yet, that's what I wanted.

I've also been craving Fresca.

WTF is up with my body?

In other news, this has been the theater week for me. Started with WYSIWYG on Tuesday. Chicken Delight on Wednesday. Sweet Charity last night. On Golden Pond tonight. Skating on Thin Ice on Saturday.

Well, I did move here for the theater.

So I've blogged about WYSIWYG (it was great . . . you missed it . . . nya, nya, nya). The next show was Chicken Delight by John Glines, produced by DJM Productions.

Chicken Delight
by John Glines
Directed by Dave McCracken
Starring: Gil Bar-Sela (Splash), Will Barrios (Neal), Dale Church (Brock), Michael Eisenbrown (Harry), Brett Parks (Randy), Christian Sepastian (Jesus)
Playing at The Dionysus Theater's L'il Peach (270 W. 36th St.)

One of the comic strips in Bloom County had Opus writing a review of "Benji Saves the Universe." He writes this savage review that ends with him saying the movie is so bad that it takes the word bad to new dimensions of badness. He then pauses and writes "Maybe it wasn't that bad, but Lord, it wasn't good."

That pretty well sums up Chicken Delight. The basic plot is that two college friends are hooking up with their young (hence the chicken in Chicken Delight) 21 year old tricks for the evening at a third friend's house. And there are a couple of cater-waiters there. The tricks show up and hijinx (should) ensue. Except it didn't. Nary a jinx could be found.

In situations like this, it's easy to blame the actors, but believe it or not, they were doing the best they could with the material and the direction. Sure, the 'chicken' actors were a little long in the tooth. And some of them had lousy comic . . . (wait for it) . . . timing (at times you could see them holding for laughs even though there were none). And sentences had Pinteresque pauses inserted in them that added nothing to the delivery. They also seemed nervous in that 'high school jock being forced to do theater and worried that he'll forget his lines' way. Weird energy.

Fortunately, there were a couple of actors who were pretty to look at (Barrios and Bar-Sela). Those two spent most of the show in towels. As one of the older 'gentlemen' in the audience said on his way out, 'this play would have been okay if they'd have gotten naked.'

It seemed like the actors weren't really sure what they were supposed to be doing while onstage. Movement, action, even lines didn't have any motivation behind them. The director should have noticed and corrected this.

Perhaps it was a short rehearsal process.

And another pet peeve. There was a remote control that played a big part in this show. Rather than the actors pointing it stage left to turn on and off the music (this was set on a balcony . . . stage left would have been toward the inside of the apartment), they pointed it toward the sound booth, either because it was a working remote control or to let the sound guy see what they were doing. Of course, the way the stage was arranged, that would have meant the stereo was hovering over the streets of Tribeca. Minor point, but it annoyed the fuck out of me.

As I mentioned, my biggest problems were with the play itself. It was based on a farce by Georges Feydeau. But unlike most adaptations, this one still had the feel and rhythm of a 19th century French farce. And it didn't work. Sure, Glines updated the language, but it just didn't sound right. I also had problems with the jokes. Painfully obvious. Humor usually has an element of surprise (I didn't see that coming . . . did she really just say that . . . etc.), but this didn't. Every set up had an obvious payoff . . . you really could say the punchlines along with the actors. And if you get the joke that early, by the time the actor finishes saying it, it is no longer funny.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't bother with this production. Maybe if you know someone in the cast, someone gives you free tickets, or you want to see twinks in their underpants . . . okay. But otherwise, save your money.


Homer said...

craving sushi- are you pregnant?

Crash said...

If it turns out I am, it means that I'm carrying the Messiah.

Zenchick said...

dammit, took my comment.
(C: Maybe you're carrying the *Jewish* messiah. We've been waiting an awful long time, and we are not a patient people.)

mark said...

I think we all were thinking that very same comment Homer and Zenny.

I'm with you on Sushi. It reminds me of fish flavored gummi bears.

rubbery, tough and fishy.

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