Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I Mock Shows I Have Not Seen and Probably Will Not See

My friend Nomi is one of a handful of people I know who goes to see more performances than Catherine and I do. Nomi has Cristal taste—from the opera, to ballet, Broadway, and concerts—but, like all of us working day jobs to support our theater habit, she has to finance it from her PBR income. Over the years, she's acquired several memberships with organizations that allow her to see the best entertainment that NYC has to offer for little (and sometimes even no) money. Theatre Development Fund is the primary one because Nomi has told me several times that she would be a TDF member even if they didn't have ticket services; you have only to read their mission statement and history to understand why.

The one that inspired me to write today, however, was Goldstar. While Goldstar has many wonderful offers on tickets, what struck me today when I looked over their weekly e-blast of events was the incredible range of entertainment options in NYC, many of which I would really like to see. I thought I might randomly run down the list of possibilities and then either mock or praise them, depending on my mood and my opinion of each event's merit (or lack thereof). The titles below, you will see, are exactly as they appear on the Goldstar site:

Academy Award-Winning Filmmaker Ethan Coen's Almost an Evening. I have not seen this and, while I like the Coen brothers' films a great deal (we own almost all of them), I will not be seeing it. That's not to pass judgment on it other than to say I have not been sufficiently interested by anything I've read to make the effort. Instead, I will see The Importance of Being Earnest in Queens... twice.

New York City Opera Presents Leonard Bernstein's Candide with Richard Kind, Daniel Reichard. I love the nasty little Voltaire novel; I love Bernstein's music from the play; the play itself... enh! If I can swing it, time-wise, I would be somewhat interested in seeing this.

Mary Poppins: Disney's Classic Broadway Musical. Yeah, that's going to happen. I can't even see myself renting the movie...

1950s Lesbian Pulp Fiction Drama Beebo Brinker Chronicles. I've already posted how much Catherine and I liked this show. Unless my wife is in it, however, I rarely go to see a show more than once; if I had more free time, I would seriously consider it with this piece, if only to see how well it transferred to a bigger house.

ZZ Top and Creedence Clearwater Revival Tribute Bands at B.B. King's. My friend Eric Jensen is a fan of B.B. King's, which surprised me, it being located on the touristiest trappiest street in Manhattan, West 42nd. However, Eric is a connoisseur of music venues and every one he's ever recommended has been great—he introduced us to the wonder that was The Bottom Line—so his opinion means a lot to me. But I don't care how good the venue, I will NOT being going to see a tribute band of any kind, anywhere. I mean, for cryin' out loud: ZZ Top is still together and still touring! There's also a Beatles and a Billy Joel tribute later in the month.

In the Mood: A 1940s Musical Revue. Isn't this pretty much the same thing as a tribute band? For much, much, much older people? Actually, if you're into CCR tributes, maybe not that much older...

My First Time: I'll Tell You Mine if You Tell Me Yours. I have great respect for interview-created theater: The Vagina Monologues, Fires in the Mirror, The Laramie Project; sometimes, presenting a variety of real perspectives on a difficult or controversial subject can be a powerful experience. But c'mon, folks: the Internet is already filled with these stories—do we really need someone to read them to us?

Mini Kiss and Tragedy: Heavy Metal Tribute Bands at Canal Room. Okay, I might break my tribute band rule to see this...

Reverend Billy's Hot & Holy Highline Revival: Putting the "Odd" Back In God. I have seen Reverend Billy on stage (and even in the street) many times, saw the movie, wore the t-shirt... go see them!

Lennie Watts in Manilow '73-'83 at the Metropolitan Room. Oh dear.... that's just fish in a barrel, my brethren...

2 comments:

nick@ said...

Say it ain't so, Shoeless Joe!

Say this is silly, Reverend Billy!

The Church of Stop Shopping belongs in a Victoria’s Secret store, not a theatre.

But all the same, I'll be in the pews with rest of the faithful.

Barry Rowell said...

I think it's safe to say that Billy will never give up his missionary work (or his missionary zeal). The shows at the Highline Ballroom may be slightly "preaching to the choir," but I think the choir needs to be the intended recipient of the message every now and again, too. I know seeing Billy's movie on Black Friday (or whatever the Friday after Thanksgiving is called) definitely shaped the way Catherine and I shopped for Christmas presents this past December: we made a point of only buying from local merchants and, whenever we could, buying locally made products. And, judging from the responses we got from family members, the efforts paid off... unless they're lying to us about liking our gifts, which is entirely possible: we come from a long line of 'it's better to make them feel good than to tell them the truth' folk...