Monday, January 20, 2014

Theatre Review: "Jessie's Song" Gets Sung at Frank's

As soon as we heard that Card Table Theatre intended to re-enact an episode of Saved by the Bell in the basement at Frank's, we said to ourselves:  This is an idea so dumb/clever that it's going to draw a HUGE crowd of scenesters.  And we were right.  The group even added an extra performance.  Both sold out. 

We were too old for the Saved by the Bell phenomenon and have probably never seen more than ten minutes of an episode at a stretch (all of which we hated), but the series proved a perfect choice for this kind of theatrical "experiment," capable of working on several different levels.  The show's fans were no doubt getting a huge kick out of  the familiarity and anticipation of favorite lines and seeing local favorites like Jerry Mitchell (of Victor Continental fame) taking on beloved characters (he played A.C Slater).  But somehow we suspect it may have worked even better for those with no investment whatsoever in the series, since the group's earnest treatment of the material highlighted the vapidity of the show in fascinating ways, with the play becoming a  deconstruction of sitcom conventions:  most of what was funny was only funny because it was so aggressively unfunny.  Puzzle over that awhile. 

Coupled with hysterical actual public service announcements (such as Andy Morton warning of the dangers of downed power lines) and a high-energy, frenetic condensed version of Die Hard, the evening was about as much fun as one can (legally) have in an old cockfighting pit.

Suggestions:  we'd totally watch a whole evening of condensed film classics.

Give Card Table Productions a "like" on FB over here and pitch them some ideas for future projects.  For instance, we're hard at work on a musical about famous LFK true-crime cases which will begin with a tender duet between local cereal thieves Buffkin and Becker called "Honey Nut Cheeri-Ode" and will end with an aria titled "Jimboy's Song (Donuts in the Ceiling").


If you missed the boat on the Frank's show, you can still catch some fine art over at the Burroughs' "Creative Observer" exhibit at LAC.

Burroughs' realized that a lot of art is easily improved by shooting it full of bullet holes or, in this case, dismantling it with "bowling ball cannon blasts."

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