Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"This is, like, a hundred times better than Armageddon!"

I saw 500 Clown Macbeth this weekend while doing a bit of research. My parents and two high school/college age brothers are coming to town in a couple of weeks and none of them are really "theatre people", so it's a neverending quest to convince them that there are shows that are just as entertaining and spectacular as Wicked, but cheaper, more Chicago-centric, and in places that I won't have to deal with as many tourists. (I'm already joining them for a Cubs game... if I'm dealing with Wrigleyville, I get to call a shot or two myself.) Micky B passed with flying colors, so's we're all heading down to 500 Clown Frankenstein on closing weekend. If it's anything like the other show, it'll be perfect for the family. Macbeth was a prime example of not talking down to an audience while providing something for every level of viewer -- from the three (?) people who laughed at the "Burnham Lumber Co." sight gag to the guy who seemed flabbergasted that one of the clowns had come out into the audience and was actually talking directly to him, and expecting a reply, no less!

I'm also getting two new tattoos with my middle brother and his girlfriend (both of their first) while they're here. There's a whole different sort of exciting.

I followed up 500 Clown with Transformers, in true everyman fashion, and while I'm no Bay apologist, and the film doesn't even near my top 10 of 2007 so far (yes, I'm a film geek and I keep track of these things -- don't mock, I wear that badge proudly), it was a good time. The most striking part for me seemed to be that Bay's actually starting to be funny. The joke:laugh ratio still ain't nothing outstanding, but c'mon: the Autobots 'hiding' as a bunch of souped up cars and trucks right smack dab in the middle of a residential backyard? That was damn funny.

The big complaint I keep hearing about the film is that it's impossible to tell what's going on during the fights. I didn't really have too much of a problem with it, and I can't help but wonder if this is the positive flip side of the MTV generation -- sure, today's youth ain't got patience for shit, but ain't it also likely that we are able to process these flash and dash images more effectively than, say, Roger Ebert? Someone has to have done a study on this; direct me to results!

Also, big big recommendation for Mary-Arrchie's Sam Shepard two-fer going on right now. More specifically for Cowboy Mouth. Even more specifically for Hans Fleischmann's knock-down drag-out Slim and Richard Cotovsky's seamless direction. I can't tell where one stops and the other begins, and the result is one of the best shows I've seen in the city.

"He sleeps on my belly 'cause my belly is Today!"


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