Hey everyone – my friend Jesse is working tirelessly on a Kickstarter campaign to help fund his musical of American Psycho, the Brett Easton Ellis book that was later adapted into a cult classic film starring Christian Bale. This is actually a legit production with the likes of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Bookwriter), Duncan Sheik (Composer/Lyricist) and Rupert Goold (Director) behind it. The show is looking to raise $150,000 by May 24 in order to fund its run at the Almeida Theatre in London this December. (And after that — who knows? The BroadWAY?)
Anyway, check out the Kickstarter page, which details not only all the talent going into the production but also the various perks of donating to the campaign (the right sidebar has your groovy incentives).
Thursday nights usually mean one thing for me: 30 Rock, Community, Real Housewives, and Jersey Shore — give or take a few shows. I suppose that’s four things, but it all falls under the glorious umbrella of TELEVISION. It certainly takes a lot for me to waiver from this joyous activity, but occasionally something does come along that even TV itself can’t top. Case in point: TV on stage! That’s why when my friend Michelle invited me along to see The Pee-Wee Herman Show last night, I knew I had to put Snooki, Vicki, and Liz Lemon on pause.
For the uninitiated, The Pee-Wee Herman Show is sort of a reprisal of Paul Reubens’ beloved ’80s kids show, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse (which in turn was something of an adaptation of his early ’80s stage show, also called The Pee-Wee Herman Show). It’s been garnering a significant amount of buzz here in LA for the past week or so, and even though we had to navigate through the byzantine corridors and garages of downtown’s LA Live complex (an experience that Michelle and I equated to some horrid Amazing Race impasse), we were still most happy to arrive at Club Nokia, the swanky venue for this off-off-off-off Broadway performance. The icing on the cake: free tix located second row center. Enormous thanks to the staff for hooking us up with that.
As we took our seats in the audience, it was clear that this would not be the typically stuffy theatRE experience. I based this mainly on the fact that a good number of people in the audience seemed to actually be dressed up as Pee-Wee Herman, and those in civilian garb tended to have some ode to the man or his menagerie of characters imprinted on their clothing in some fashion. Heck, the woman next to me had a full-on Pee-Wee doll in her hands.
If it was nostalgia these people wanted, they certainly received it on a high order. The moment Pee-Wee first waltzed out on stage with nothing but a dark curtain behind him, the crowd went nuts. Reubens, now nearly sixty years old, seems shockingly ageless when he inhabits his famous character. Sure, there are some wrinkles and lines here and there, but hidden under layers of thick white makeup, and wrapped up in the man-child mania of Pee-Wee, he truly seems no older than he was twenty-five years ago.
What happens when you’re a cast member of Wicked trying to be a real rock ‘n’ roller? You get Adam Lambert, one of American Idol’s aspiring stars for season eight. The guyliner enthusiast has already achieved frontrunner status due to his soaring vocals (he performs in next week’s semifinals group), but he’s also attracted some mild notoriety from people like me who feel he’s a bit too theatrical, fabricated, and deliberately groomed to be taken seriously. Case in point: the video above. Check out Lambert as he dons an unsettlingly oil-chested, glam rocker persona Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â a look that can best be described as Michael Flatley meets Bowie. I’m not sure that’s a good thing. It’s all so over the top and ridiculous Ã¢â‚¬â€Ã‚Â it’s every thing that Nick/Normund parodies. Adam can sing for sure, but I defy you to understand any of the words in this shrill, four-and-a-half minute what-the-fuck odyssey. Performance art? Possibly. Mock-worthy? Absolutely.
Via Vote For The Worst UPDATE: Another curious Adam Lambert clip after the jump…
It’s not often that I stray from my TV, but once in a while, I do peel myself off the couch and take in a bit of the theatre (pronounced “theee-atttrah”). Case in point: last week, I attended Point Break Live!, the much buzzed-about play which reenacts the famed 1991 action pic, Point Break, live on stage. Long story short: it was hilarious.
To the uninitiated, Point Break Live! is one of those low-rent, interactive performances — the type that mandates the use of a poncho, lest your shirt be soaked with water, beer, and fake blood (all three of which are ultimately flung into the audience — quite liberally). These touches are funny, but what truly separates Point Break Live! from the pack is its genius conceit of having an audience member play Johnny Utah, the lead role originally inhabited by the prototypically monotone Keanu Reeves. Subscribing to the theory that anyone can do just as good a job as Reeves, the play throws its unrehearsed Johnny Utah into the fray, feeding him cue-cards throughout the duration of the show and creating the sort of trainwreck performance that can only be described as perfectly brilliant and brilliantly perfect.
But this isn’t just a one-joke show. The entire cast absolutely tears into the wooden screenplay with campy yet reverential glee, milking all its silly one-liners for maximum comic potential. People who’ve never seen the original may be shocked to know that this dialogue has been taken verbatim from the movie, but rest assured, it’s 98% faithful to the source material. Plus, if anything, this version is better. Creators Jaime Keeling and Jamie Hook cut away some of the unnecessary plot diversions of the film and leave us with a streamlined, if still utterly unbelievable, story. Everyone appears to be having the time of their lives on stage, and as the various actors and actresses galavant throughout the theater (and onto the street outside), the mania becomes infectious. Point Break Live! very easily could have worn out its welcome after thirty minutes, but instead, this hysterical, uproarious production keeps things lively the entire night. My party, which included fellow influential bloggers J-Unit (Half-Black Charisma), Cat Vasko (Gridskipper), and Katherine Spiers (Metromix LA), all agreed: Point Break Live! is definitely worth checking out (buy the poncho at the door).
Tickets for Angelenos can be found at Theatermania.com. And should the production hit the road, be sure to keep up with the schedule at the show’s MySpace page.
(Two more bonus pics after the jump)