Monday, February 19, 2007

The Man of the Year

I've been on a kick lately: live events with some audience participation. It's the zeitgeist, I suppose. In the last year, I've started a blog, I post my personal photos on flickr for the world to see...perhaps these theatrical adaptations are just riding some sort of user-generated boon. Time crowned 'you' as the man of the year and so 'you' has been getting a lot of work lately. However, not all live events encouraging audience participation are the same.

Point Break - Live! Is sheer genuis. The main conceit is a damning condemnation of Keanu Reeve's performance in that early 90s action-film idiocy : every performance a 'Keanu' is picked from the audience to read his lines from cue cards. The show lampoons each absurd (or homoerotic) plot point to brillant effect - using the actual script from the movie augmented only with some stage directions from the cue card holder or director. For those of us who had fondly remembered this film as a lowpoint in cinema history (it's sort of 'Endless Summer meets 'Bonnie and Clyde' - or Bobby and Clyde -- it's a cat-and-mouse cop-and-surfer/bankrobber film), it did not disappoint. Although my boyfriend, Charles, had not seen the film, he enjoyed it nontheless - knowledge of the film is not a prerequisite. Anyone can appreciate writing this good: "That's Bodhi. They call him the Bodhisattva." or "If you want the ultimate thrill, you gotta be willing to pay the ultimate price."

Saturday night, we attended the 'Buffy the Musical Sing Along.' Yeah. From Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Now, this portended to be some sort of Rocky Horror midnight show where people dress up and dance and sing along. Now, I adore Buffy. The show was genius. But this 'tribute' was, to me, only a dilution of and distraction from watching really clever hour of tv. The effect of watching some really bad look-a-likes prance around under a movie screen was not in any way an improvement upon the original. And there is something really weird about having the movie theater response experience 'conducted' from a podium. I could be completely wrong, but I imagine that Rocky Horror developed in an emergent way -- with audience responses rising up and becoming tradition, rather than dictated by a 'creator'. I left the theater feeling resentful of the augmentation.