Sunday, April 17, 2005

No strings attached.

So my friend Brad and I just got back from this show at the Center for Puppetry Arts called "The Anatomy of Melancholy," based rather loosely upon the 1621 anthology by Robert Burton investigating the phenomenon of depression.

We are now sitting before my blog to discuss the highlights of the show.

RM: Brad, what did you think of the puppet-only recreation of the World Trade Center attacks, featuring a model plane and papier-mache fire?
BF: It really brought me back to that day. Especially the big close up of Brit Hume's distorted face on the screen. I wish the plane had flown into Brit Hume's face, instead of that tower set.
RM: And the sound effects?
BF: What about them? What did I think of them?
RM: The rewind sound, when the Sept. 11 plane went backward ... causing it to crash over and over. Right before they showed that puppet who looked like Dilbert jump out of the building.
BF: Oh, I guess the rewind sound was effective. I got the impression that they wanted to 'rewind' the event. Did Judi Dench do the rewind voice, or was that some other effect? 'Cause they had that Judi Dench lady narrate everything else. Did you notice her mike kept cutting out?
RM: She didn't need the mike. The cape she was wearing was loud enough.
BF: And the room wasn't very big. Do you think if Pearl Bailey narrated instead, they would've miked her?
RM: I don't think Pearl Bailey would've done that production. It wasn't quite THE FOX AND THE HOUND.
BF: She could've sang the blues. Wait, I think Carol Channing should've done the narration. She could've really brought life to the oversized poster-board scissor scene.
RM: How did the puppet (pictured above) make you feel?
BF: Angry. I had no sympathy for that puppet whatsoever. Did you? I didn't care if he hated life so much. Da-a-amn. Stay in bed and hit your pillow. I just knew, at some point, they were going to have a Sisyphus scene in there. Like, from the moment it started, I knew that puppet was going to push a rock up a hill.
RM: I didn't like the happy ending, where the puppet finds its missing piece in that Chinese puppeteer woman's pocket. Was she supposed to represent God, or could they just not come up with a better ending?
BF: I couldn't follow it after the puppet surfed on that giant Prozac pill past the giant bottle of booze and giant posterboard joint.
RM: What do you think the message of the play was?
BF: I think that the message it conveyed was to escape depression, you just have to let the butterfly out of your personal SECRETS box. I also learned that, when you're alone at a party, you shouldn't just stand in a corner and wave at everyone. You should introduce yourself. And, if your mother sounds like a chicken, you shouldn't get into an argument with her ... because she will win, and you will still be sad. And if a Chinese woman tries to put something in your belly, let her. You will be glad. Also, if your neighbor gets a purse like yours, don't cause too much of a commotion. No matter how many people try to photograph her, pretend like you don't care, or you will be overcome with sadness.
RM: What did you think of the title cards separating the scenes?
BF: I thought they were really pretty. I enjoyed the font.
RM: So, to sum up ...
BF: Among the causes of melancholy presented in the play, I would like to add one. Melancholy. Cause: Puppet show.
RM: Just because we got free tickets, why did we have to sit in the back?
BF: Yeah, that made me feel melancholy.
RM: If anyone from Puppetry Arts reads this, they'll hate me.
BF: Well, they need to know that show did not work.
RM: Do you think SNOW WHITE will be better?
BF: So long as they don't focus on a dwarf named Sadness.

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