I'm going to Theatre of NOTE's performance marathon tonight. If you're in LA and wanna check it out, I'd love to see you. The marathon never fails to deliver some pretty fantastic stuff. Even the non-fantastic stuff is usually worth watching. I remember a few years ago, one of non-fantastic pieces was by this group of half-naked people covered in mud who played with sticks for ten minutes. That's all they did, and I remember most of the audience was looking around, like, what the fuck is this crap? But as it went on and on and on and people in the audience got more and more tense and frustrated and bored, I realized that these half-naked mud-covered stick players were really kind of brilliantly playing with the audience's emotions and expectations. In my eyes, they were a group of social anthropologists mixed with Andy Kauffman and a sprinkle of Neil Hamburger (if you don't know who Neil Hamburger is, you should) and a dash of mud and sticks, natch. Anyway, once I was in on the joke (and maybe there was no joke, maybe they were completely serious in their stick play, but then, if that's the case, there was something funny about that, too; either way, it was a good joke), I found it incredibly funny, and by the end of the ten minutes, as some people in the audience were ready to tear their hair out, the whole performance had reached this beautiful crescendo (actually, the audience had reached the crescendo, because they were the ones who were changing, who were gradually getting more and more perturbed--the performers remained predictably stickish). Anyway, the whole thing was brilliant. Maybe my definition of brilliant is different than yours, but that's okay too, because there's plenty of variety at the marathon, and whatever your tastes are, they will be covered.
(Some other unquestionably wonderful things I've seen at the marathon include pieces by Luis Alfaro, John Fleck, Rebecca Gray, and the marathon's founder Richie Werner--my apologies to Luis, John, Rebecca, and Richie for going on and on about those dumb mud-covered stick people before even mentioning these legitimately cool people. People like these four are where it's really at, and why the marathon sometimes floors me. I'm sure that at least a few of these four are performing tonight ((maybe all four are performing? could we be so lucky?)) and I promise you any of these four would be worth the price of admission alone.)
I know I sound like I'm pimping the marathon, but that's because I am--I'm pimpin' it cuz I'm gonna be there, yo, and wouldn't it be fun to be there together? In between acts, we can find New Things to do for My Year of New Things.
The marathon started at 2pm today. It goes until 4am tonight. I'll be arriving at around 10ish and plan on staying until at least 1am. (Though I'm usually a sucker for the marathon and end up staying way past the time I intended to leave.)