Wednesday, March 28, 2007

An Atkins dieter's dream.

Hey everyone!!! There's a reason why I'm using more exclamation points than a teenage girl signing a high school yearbook!!!

Dad's Garage, the Atlanta non-profit improv theater where I take classes and see shows every week, is having its annual fundraiser on Saturday, beginning at 2 but available to visit all afternoon, and I am inviting - wait, begging - my friends to all show up at the Elizabeth Street-North Highland location to partake in the festivities. The benefit's been called BaconFest, and it's apparently a gigantic, loving tribute to the renowned art of eating bacon and drinking beer. And there are bands. And a silent auction. And a big, big improv show that night.

If you've never been to Dad's, it seems like a lovely way to introduce yourself to the great group of people there. If you enjoy and appreciate Dad's, it seems like a fun way to pay your respects. If you like me, come see what I've been doing with my available free time. If you like comedy or like improv and have never heard of Dad's Garage before, by all means, you must show up. If you just want a lot of bacon, apparently, they've got the hook-up.

Come on, one and all, and meet several stars from your favorite Georgia Lottery commercials! Meet people who've done some voiceover work for the Cartoon Network! Meet several people from puppet shows I talked about years ago on my blog! The stars of MURDER, SHE IMPROVISED! Meet people who are teaching me how to be more random and wacky! See the comedy! Enjoy the pork!

I'm off Saturday and intend to celebrate. Give me a call if you want to meet up there or something.

You guys, this would really, really help my favorite theater. (I'm there all the time. Seriously. Ask them.) It's a really good cause. These people do good work.

To buy tickets or donate money to the fundraiser, click here.


Here's the official Dad's Garage notice:

BaconFest is back and it's shaping up to be more bacon-ee than ever before! So, if you like the sound of a sizzlin' skillet, and the feel of a frosty mug in your hand (because you can't have bacon without beer) - then join us on Saturday, March 31st from 2-10pm.

BaconFest is our annual fundraiser (yep, Dad's Garage is a Non-Profit company), but there won't be any black ties or ball gowns here, just a whole bunch of bacon and fun! In fact, we'll be cooking up a whole bunch of festivities - including bodacious bands, greasy games, porky prizes, a succulent silent auction, and of course - an awesome improv show. So, come on out, and help Dad's Garage bring home the bacon while you eat it!

Bands: The Attractive Eighties Women, Pistolero, Three Dog Stevens, and Flyght Rysk!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Jacob's ladder.

So, thanks to my old friend Syd at the Center for Puppetry Arts, I was able to see the preview of their latest "big idea" show for adults, THE VERTIGO OF SHEEP.

For those of you who don't recall, it was my attendance at THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY, an ill-conceived "big idea" existentialist puppet show about depression, a couple years ago that inadvertantly led me to meet Syd in the first place. And my review of that show is probably one of the great moments in my blog's history. But anyway ...

THE VERTIGO OF SHEEP is a beautiful, inventive show about a man trying to better understand the messages of the Old Testament by reimagining and staging some of the parables himself, using the everyday objects he keeps around in the set's shelves and cabinets as puppets. The use of the everyday objects is what gives the show its charm and momentum. As a viewer, I was always curious to see what the man would pull out of his cabinets.

My favorite part was the fall of Sodom and Gommorah, illustrated with slices of angel food cake and a pile of forks. Also good was the story of Abraham and Isaac, parts of which were told with a butter knife, a rock and a cup of water. The creation of the world was told using coat hangers and a wine rack.

But the whole thing flows kinda brilliantly, thanks to the talents and enthusiasm of the two cast members, and it's always fun and never, ever preachy.

The whole show was developed, built and performed by Andrew Kim and Kathy Bradley, and Kim's work as the central character and primary puppeteer is engaging.

Bradley, meanwhile, steals the show by creating a fully-realized, expressive character who, meanwhile, provides all of the incidental music, sings three solos and even injects humor and attitude into just changing the title cards. She was terrific. I want her to follow me around with a ukelele and provide theme music for my whole life.

The whole show was really good, managing to explore its big ideas while not getting too overwhelmed by them and remembering always to entertain the audience.

It plays through March 25.