Saturday, January 07, 2017

Hold on to Your Butts!! and The Mikado

Friday, Amanda and I went to see a third production by Recent Cutbacks at The Pit.  (Previously, we'd seen Fly, You Fools! and Kevin!!!, which lovingly re-created/spoofed LotR and Home Alone, respectively.)  Of the three, my favorite remains Fly, You Fools! -- mostly because I'm more familiar with the story and the movies.  But "Hold on to Your Butts!" was also a lot of fun.  Two guys acted out all the parts, using mostly simple props (e.g., an umbrella served as helicopter blades, gun, and triceratops horns).  Sound effects were all done by a woman seated near them on stage.  She did a great job!  They managed to evoke the beauty of the landscape with majestic dinosaurs loping, as well as all the action-adventure bits, and used simple black frams to give us the famous camera angles and close-ups (e.g., the cup of water shaking with the approach of the dinosaur).  Lots of creative use of the performance space, lots of knowing jokes for the audience, and the occasional self-aware breach of the fourth wall.  Very fun.  I think they should do Indiana Jones next.  Or possibly Star Wars.

Saturday, I took U-chan's suggestion and watched The Mikado at Hunter College.  (Oddly enough, I'd not remembered that I knew where Hunter College was, when she first mentioned it.  I kept thinking of Baruch College, and apparently forgot that for some years I'd attended Redeemer services at Hunter! My only excuse, perhaps, is that I'd never gone into the Kaye Playhouse - services were always held in the auditorium, not the theater.)  There weren't many seats left when I got my tickets, but I decided to go for the front row, on the side.  This was a pretty good view (just a few moments when I couldn't see the action) but not very comfortable.  I'd wondered if I might have my pick of seats, due to the inclement weather, but the show had entirely sold out, and I think just about everyone showed up.

They tried to deal with the racial/cultural insentivity of the original by framing the story as Sullivan's dream when he faints.  They had a racially diverse cast, and fanciful Victorian-dreamscape costumes for most characters. I really liked the women's costumes; "normal" dresses with an uncovered frame for a fuller hoop skirt attached in back.  It was pretty cool.

They also managed to avoid  Japanese schoolgirl cliches in the "Three Little Maids" song - which was a bit of an accomplishment! - and, refreshingly, updated the "List" song without any political commentary.

No comments: