I apologize, but unless you have an incredibly vivid imagination or a fetish for CL's typeface, there's not a lot of sex in this column. It's just that I'm trying to get your attention. I mean no harm, but I'm insecure.
Book 'em, Dano: Dad's Garage co-founder Matt Stanton has a dream, an awesome dream -- people in the park playing games in the dark. Sorry, that was Lionel Richie's chart-topping dream from 1986. Stanton's dream was to borrow the PushPush Theater for a few weeks to put on an improv comedy show based on books. Apparently he's one of those "turn dreams into reality" people, because last weekend he opened the brilliant book-based improv comedy show, BibliO'Malley.
The show works this way: Before each skit, a cast member gets an audience member to offer up a passage from a book. The theater is filled with books brought by cast and audience. Last Friday's show started with a skit based on Nice Guys Don't Get Laid, featuring actor Christian Danley as a momma's boy who needs the approval of his ghost-mother before he can fully pursue a woman. With the help of a strangely accented French-Scottish waiter, he's able to put his mother's ghost to rest and pursue his love. All the actors in the show are men, so the love pursued naturally comes in the form of sex.
Ghosts and accents featured prominently in two of the best skits. In a piece featuring a man helping his younger brother grow up by encouraging him to abandon video games for pornography, Danley makes a sudden appearance as Mario, the mustachioed Italian plumber from the Super Mario Brothers and Donkey Kong video games. Danley is neither mustachioed nor Italian, but hilariously conveyed his identity by waving his hands in a ghostly way and announcing in a bad Italian accent, "Itza-me, Mario."
Riding his moment of inspiration, Danley reappeared in the next skit as the ghost of Shakespeare. Waving his hands in the air and speaking in the same Italian accent, he announced, "I'm-a-Willy-um-Shake-a-speare." It was brilliant. Italian plumber Shake-a-speare even offered to help another character fix a clogged drain. The show runs for two more weekends.
That's what friends are for: Periodically, Atlanta's musicians get together to play a benefit show for one of their own. It's usually something to do with raising money for medical care. Last weekend though, The Earl hosted a benefit show with musicians raising money for burgled local music critic and Chunklet magazine publisher Henry Owings. The Subsonics, the Hots, Drill Team and Ladies Night all performed, raising money to help Owings replace his stolen stuff.
Leaving the biggest impression on me that night was the Hots. Though they weren't quite in tune (which I suspect was a technical glitch rather than a talent glitch), I'm down with their attempt to grind classic poppy soul and lush chords into guitar rock music. They opened their set with a tune that almost sounded like Diana Ross' hit version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," before it settled into something more pop/rock (I mean the genre, not the candy). Anyway, when I have my own benefit show (to be titled Concert to Buy Renter's Insurance So That When I'm Robbed I Don't Need a Benefit Show), I'll invite them.
Actually, the biggest impression left on me that night was not by a band, but by a guy vomiting outside the Echo Lounge. Vomiting on a Saturday night in East Atlanta isn't particularly impressive or noteworthy. However, vomiting while taking puffs on a cigarette is a truly amazing feat. Bravo, sir.
Skits o'phrenia: Am I the only one who thinks of multiple personality disorders when watching a good spoken word performance? At We the People, Telling Hour Story, a spoken word performance at Youngblood Gallery examining societal ills from the perspective of individuals, I kept having the feeling that I was witnessing a psychotic episode. During "Believe It or Not," a piece exploring the similarities between followers of different religions, actress and show producer Francine Mar'chelle kept spooking me by changing voices so convincingly. In other pieces, when the performers asked rhetorical questions, I felt obligated to answer. The show's script isn't a particularly original take on the issues it tackles, but the quality of the acting makes it worthwhile.
Party hard: I heard a good joke the other day. It goes like this -- A lawyer, a DJ and a rabbi walk into a theater. No wait, that wasn't a joke. Those were some of the panelists at Political Party, the semi- regular political debate at Dad's Garage, co-sponsored by Creative Loafing and Hands On Atlanta. The bulk of last week's debate was spent on Iraq and whether we should invade. The audience and the panel were mostly skeptical of an invasion. Indeed, the panel was a fairly left-of-center lovefest, with attorney-panelist McCracken Poston seeming the most conservative, not because of his views, but because he wore a suit and has a Southern accent. To their credit, the debate's moderators searched the audience for a Republican. When one was found, his identity as a true Republican was questioned by Poston who said, "You can tell he's a false Republican because he didn't cloak his views in the flag or God." Ouch.
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