we rolled the dice in a gamble and decided to purchase not-so-cheap tickets to the current production at the UnderMain Theater in the block next to my building. (and yes, it actually is under Main). the current production is a one-man performance piece using the writings of gauguin and was described as follows:
Using spellbinding theatrical imagination, masks, puppets, and Gauguin's own words and video projections of his art, the work reveals the man behind the myth.
as we sat closed in down in the basement of this century-old building, we already knew we had an evening of unmatched entertainment ahead of us when the 50-something year old performer stepped forward to welcome the audience wearing white pants, a long sleeved white t-shirt, and a series of slightly 'off' facial and tonal expressions causing me to whisper: "are we about to join a cult?"
there were so many fascinating aspects to be related from this one-man performance that i was speechless a good 10 minutes after leaving the theater.
it opened with the performer tossing and turning behind a sheer white screen upon which was projected a close-up video of waves. the entire performance piece was orchestrated with a mix of video, paintings, recordings of the performer's dialogue, and live dialogue.
the pace of action quickly increased to a frenzied level as he whipped out two small flashlights he would use to project his shadow from behind the screen. he would begin spinning wildly around in a bit of a boogity-boo tribal dance complete with frightening expressions lit from above.lit from below.lit from above.lit from below....
honestly, it was about 84 minutes of non-stop mention-worthy actions, so i'm just going to have to cull the list and provide some isolated snapshots:
1. as he danced about and engaged in bits of dialog, a series of painted faces were projected upon his torso. i couldn't help but notice that the mouths were landing on his crotch. then he made the mouths talk.
2. there were bits of 'modern dance' throughout that immediately conjured images of john malkovich in being john malkovich when he performs his puppet dance in the bedroom with a robe or towel tied around his waist. one particular move came _this_ close to giving me 'the whole show'' as i received a straight shot up the leg of his pants.
3. there was a puppet approximately 3 feet long consisting of assembled bits of a gauguin painting of a loincloth-draped polynesian male figure attached to several sticks. the performer enacted, in quite a tongue-filled lascivious manner, gauguin's supposed hot-to-trottedness for the polynesian male as the puppet aggressively massaged the performer's nipples, then belly, then ... whew! that was close. i suddenly realized that the not-so-distant thudding noise i was hearing was the sound of gauguin spinning with centrifugal force in his grave.
4. i feared pants were about to come off as the actor quoted they were both wearing loincloths as he went to place one of the sticks in the front waistband of his pants.
5. eventually, two additional miniature flashlights came into play... one red, one blue. at one point, another frenzied dance ensued that ended with backside to audience as he circled the red and blue lights on his gyrating ass.
6. darren's favorite: from behind the screen, he made the projection of his head appear to eat an orb of light (tongue-action and all), cry it back out, eat it again, throw it back up, then a small arm came out of his his mouth to grab the light and pull it back into his mouth. darren was mystified.
i did my best to remember that at times the lights were up and he could easily see me 20 feet away with my eyes glazed over and my jaw dropped. at other times, i did my best to restrain my convulsions of laughter and did not dare glance darren's direction... that would've spelled certain disaster with a capital 'D'.
i was pleased that after exiting the theater, i noticed my heart attack and multiple mini-strokes had cleared right up and we were ready for a couple of hours of drinkin'.
after learning our lesson and then quickly forgetting it, we made our way to cosmo's where, once again, the mickeys were free-flowing into our drinks. by his second martini, darren had already grabbed my foot from under the table and proceeded to hump it from his chair. i informed him he was cut off. as a result of denverbettie's 7-inch theory, much fun was had with the miniature pizza menu measuring, by my calculations, approximately 7 inches by two inches (miniature for a menu). darren tore me with the seven inches. i bled a little.
we eventually and inevitably delved deep into conversation about love lives and happiness factors. according to the email i just received, i apparently managed to talk darren into contacting via email someone he met at a complicated time in his relationship life with wonderwoman last year. let the record show i did not advise him to do this while inebriated at 3:30am. of course, had he been sober, it never would've happened. the good and the bad.