Monday, June 4, 2007

Half Baked, Half Drowned Weekend Activities

I sort of did the events my last post had me planning on doing. Here's a weekend sum up:

Friday I wrote the first chapter for my novel writing challenge (will do a separate post on that later) and went and saw Grindhouse in the village (loved it! loved both movies! even the tasteless stuff! even that appalling Thanksgiving slasher movie trailer! Well, okay, not really the Thanksgiving thing-- gross.)

I went to the BBQ Theater Event on Saturday. But I got a little lost on my way there (confused by the streets/avenues naming conventions in the Park Slope neighborhood). My mania for arriving places early had me still arriving exactly on time but with a pretty bad sunburn (I have two complexions, total white and lobster pink-- my skin won't do tan). And then they ending up have about 30 more people than they had planned for (at least). So, I was facing the prospect of standing to watch the theater for 4 hours. Hmmm, I love theater and all, but, hmmmm . . .

I got to see Kate Ryan's cute excerpt from her Nanny Goat play that will premiere at 13th Street theater later this year, and an especially delightful and memorable little play from Heidi Schreck-- an imaginative look inside the marriage of Arnold Schwartenger and Maria Shriver that was greatly enjoyed by all. I thought that was a clever idea, and I have wondered myself how this odd public couple made a go of it-- it was nice to experience someone else's active curiosity in such a comic and gentle little play. And then I called it a day and took my sunburn home to rest, missing the other 3, doubtlessly wonderful, hours of theater.

Then yesterday, I didn't bother to look at the weather report and realize that the day was going to end with a torrential, freezing downpour. Now, native New Yorkers will wonder at my foolishness-- but my Los Angeles buddies will understand that I have not had to bother to watch weather reports for over ten years coming from the West Coast. It is a learned habit that I haven't acquired yet. So, I did go to The Brick Theater's Pretensious Festival-- I went for Matthew Freeman's INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR and intended to stay through the theater blogging event but didn't make it that far. I bought an umbrella at a Walgreens, but found myself out and about with no jacket and was quickly dying of hypothermia.

Anyway, Matthew Freeman's INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR was HYSTERICAL! I laughed through the whole play. It will be especially fascinating to other playwrights, as he addresses the self-referential narcissism we all necessarily exhibit as playwrights and issues like: naked envy of other writers' success, the tyranny of past trauma writing obsessions, and the self-conflicted internal soul wars the writer wages with him/herself in evaluating his/her own work. And Matt does it in such a delightful and engagingly self-deprecatory manner, that the audience is always entertained no matter how portentiously self-aggrandizing it all is. I thought it was the PERFECT play for this festival and an utter triumph. Go see, go see, go see!

The only minor quibble I have is purely technical and focused on the festival producers-- their website says that Matt's show is an hour long-- it was 40 or so minutes long. When you are planning to see multiple shows and trying to figure out how much time you have to kill in the freezing rain, when you are locked out of the theater between shows, and in an unfamiliar environment -- having the published run times of the shows off by degrees of 20-30 minutes is really freaking irritating. Especially when the next show I went to see (Bric a' Brack) was 35 minutes shorter than advertised. So, instead of having the manageable, I thought, half hour of time to kill between that and the blogging show-- I was contemplating a miserable hour's wait, freezing with no jacket, huddled under an ugly and hastily purchased umbrella, and having already killed two hours of downtime in the worthless diner and now-closed coffee shop near the bathroom-less theater. So, I ended up not staying for the web-blogging show-- which was the reason I came in the first place. Luckily, Matt's show was worth the $20 I spent on admmissions to the two shows I saw-- because Bric 'a Brack, aside from a perfectly pleasant musical interlude with a violinist and cello player and an amusing pretentious artfilm (Walter Taft Steaming Fish Can't Make Contact)-- was a bit painful to sit through. Especially since I was two seats away from a 'laugher'-- one of those deeply annoying people who laugh agonizingly loudly and too long at things no one else finds amusing strictly for the pleasure of calling attention to him/herself in the audience. So, I spent the hour of downtime beween that and the internet blogging show going home, unfortunately, and will just have to live in suspense not knowing what those famous bloggers look like. I will read about the event on their blogs at least.

More about the novel-writing later.

1 comment:

Freeman said...

Hey there! Thanks for checking it out and for the kinds words!