The Hess Report

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Glen Malcolm Theater 

I saw two plays last night at the Glen Malcolm Theater. The first one featured Maddie as the Fairy of Spring. I've watched and enjoyed the original Fairies play, still the best, and all of the sequels up through Fairies 5: The Day After Doom, which wasn't bad either. Unfortunately, last night's Fairies 6 was not up to her usual standards. There were no somber dirges or skippy summer melodies sung with the unselfconscious sincerity that only a seven year old girl can muster. There wasn't even a coherent plot. First she was a fairy, then a detective, then a fairy again, then a puppeteer using a stick horse for a puppet stand-in of the character she was just playing. Erk. I don't really know what happened. And it's not like she should have to produce a star spectacular for in-house consumption, but Maddie just wasn't adequately prepared. I think that if you are telling people you are going to put on a play, you'd better be putting on, like, a play or something. Not just farting around and saying or doing whatever pops into your head. Being three years old is a good excuse for that. Being seven is not.

On the other hand, Lucy's play was entertaining. So, if you don't count every other play she's ever put on, and only include last night's show and the previously reviewed "Cinderellow," she's batting 1.000! Last night's play was titled "Violet Twenty Thousand," even though the normal Violet character did not appear. Instead, she was Elliot (from E.T.), and Elliot was taking part in a number of different skits. There was a promised "Future (Feature) Presentation" that never happened. However, I was treated to a succession of mini-plays which turned out to be previews of upcoming attractions. Each little show was introduced by Lucy, in her best impression of the Movie Trailer Voice Guy, saying: "Coming soon to theaters and to own on DVD," which was more than worth the price of admission to hear. There was one about a guy pretending to be a bear who was really a guy. One about a magic sword that could make pink clouds appear. A couple of others. But each was brief enough that it didn't drag out, and each had some little creative touch that made me smile.

Lucy's play also ended without prompting or threats of an audience walk-out, which we usually have to do.

So today, the world is on it's head, as Shakespeare has written a crummy episode of "According to Jim" and Larry Flynt has apparently filmed a truly touching movie version of "Far From the Madding Crowd". Okay, it's not quite that extreme, but it's close. Maybe we've entered a new era in Glen Malcolm Theater productions.

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