Thursday, August 27, 2009

Noises Off!

So I've been a little to busy living my life to be blogging about it!

Last week, my husband and I saw a local production of the play, "Noises Off."

First let me say that I have been highly impressed with the acting quality found in San Diego's theater companies, and people who know me know that I don't praise live entertainment lightly. (For example, in undergrad, I got into a huge argument with a fellow student who declared that the biggest problem with the theater department was that it was underfunded. I argued that the biggest problem was that no one could act!).

So back to "Noises Off"...

My husband declared it "the best play yet!" I'd like to qualify the "yet" to mean the best play of all of the plays to which I've dragged him, and not to mean the best play ever. Although, in this situation, it just might mean both!

Many of you may remember the 1992 movie version of Noises Off starring the always talented Micheal Caine, and Christopher Reeve (as an aside, and perhaps I was a bit slow on the uptake, but this was the first time saw Christopher Reeve NOT playing superman, and it was a bit surprising when, in the scene when his pants get eaten through with acid, that he wasn't wearing bright blue spandex leggings!).

I thought the movie was thoroughly entertaining, but I have to say, the play was EVEN BETTER!

For starters, I think there was more of the "play within a play" feel to it than in the movie (probably due to the use of stage actors).

Secondly, the people who played the stage manager and assistant stage manager had to actually move the staging around (Acts I and III are seen from the audience perspective, while Act II is viewed from back stage). They did this during intermission, but they still had dialogue. My husband wondered if we were going to spend all of intermission watching the set change (we didn't...we went and had a cookie...mmm...I love cookies).

And there's the fact that there's something to be said for watching a play being performed as a play. I think many people have the misconceived notion that live theater is going to be something lame, like a poorly run middle-school production. However, stage actors do much more than just memorize lines. Not only do they have to actually act, since the special effects are much more limited than in movies, but they also have to be able to ad lib if something doesn't go just right, as there is no one to yell "cut!" and start the scene over. Other than the intermissions, they don't get breaks, so they have to have stamina. And in the case of "Noises Off," where there is quite a bit of running around, they have to have a degree of athleticism.
We were sitting in the front row, and there's this bit where Garry Lejeune / Roger Tramplemain trips down the stairs. This is no ordinary trip down the stairs, where one lands in sort of a puddle at the bottom stair, in fact "trip" is probably not a strong enough word. Garry/Roger falls face first, bounces off a banister, continues his tumble, and literally crashes about 15 feet across the stage. We were afraid he was going to land in our laps, but he didn't. He kept on breathing and managed to make his next cue.

All in all, an enjoyable way to spend an evening!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Welcome to my blog!

I can't believe I'm actually doing this!

A while ago I had mentioned to a friend that I'd love to be a writer, except that I've had no training, I'm not sure I can string together a series of coherent thoughts, and really, who wants to read what I write anyway? She suggested I use a blog as "practice."

I've always loved reading, but I've only recently started thinking of writing as a possible creative outlet/source of amusement for me. My practical side wonders how this would ever pay the bills. (Panic not, Hubby: I'm not quitting the "day job") However, the older I get (ugh!) the more I realize how much total crap gets published, and I think to myself, "I could write something better." Not necessarily good, but better, yes, I think I could manage that.

So this is my attempt to both amuse myself, and hopefully string together enough ideas to amuse others as well. Please join me on this adventure and let me know what yout think!