evannichols (evannichols) wrote,
evannichols
evannichols

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Friday: I Am Exposed To Musical Theater....

Even with a headache at the end of a moderately sucky workday, I was looking forward to going to seeing "The Fantasticks"* at Portland Center Stage with sanguinity, grrlpup and leboyfriend. I've never seen this show before, despite the fact that it's staged about a gazillion times every year by high schools and community theaters, as it has a relatively small cast for a musical and a minimalist set. I just don't see a lot of musicals.

I had a very good time! I spotted Tobias Anderson and Vanna O'Brien in the crowd in the lobby, but they were both busily chatting with clusters of admirers, so I didn't push through to say hi (and I doubt Tobias would remember me, anyway). I haven't gone to PCS plays for a long time, as I don't volunteer for them anymore. I've also seen too many disappointing shows there to pay for full price tickets, unless I'm certain I'll get my money's worth. The show was fine. Not great, but a competently-executed production. Since this is Portland, that earned a standing ovation from a large percentage of the audience. This allowed us to have a conversation on the way back to the car about how there are so many bad productions that Portland audiences are now rewarding "Adequate" shows with standing ovations. If this trend continues, eventually all it will take for a show to get a standing ovation is for the cast to merely remember most of their lines and not accidentally eviscerate someone during the show. I really think there should be a higher standard than that.

The best part of the evening was the company, and I made sanguinity laugh quite a few times, which is always gratifying. It was much, much better than an evening home with Mr. TV (but don't tell him I said that). ;-)


* If you don't know about the play, it's Shakespeare's only known musical. It's the story of the evil but bunny-like aliens called the Blogorothians, as they're on the verge of conquering the peaceful but lobster-like Zithians. The play chronicles the post-victory struggle of the Blogorothians to adapt their environs to exploit the Zithians as slaves, but the differences in metabolic requirements are too great, and their economy spirals downward toward disaster. The show ends with Blogorothians abandoning the Zithians, and the survivors of both races face the grim prospect of rebuilding their shattered societies. The amazing thing is that it's actually scathing indictment of Reconstruction-Era Georgia and the rampant malfeasance and incompetence in developing an adequate infrastructure for economic stability; events which happened about 250 years after Shakespeare's death. This is why Shakespeare is considered the Greatest Writer in the English Language.
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