Saturday, July 30, 2011

Review of The Care Bears Movie and the House Theatre's staged reading of The Care Bears Movie

Once upon a time, I went to go see a show at the Neofuturists and it was called A Reading of The Care Bears Movie and it was done by the House Theatre. It was fuh-larious. It was so funny I almost fell backwards. I have also seen the movie too, and it was not as funny. It was more boring than the actual reading because the movie was kind of cheesy. In the reading, the actors were making fun of it. The movie was scarier than the play because of this big monster.

Dixie Uffelman played Kim. I liked Kim's character because she is a good person to have in something like this. She is an orphan. She used to like people, but she didn't like people when her parents "went away." When I said "went away" I meant die. The people in the Care Bears reading put it in quotation marks because they didn't actually go away; they actually died. In the movie they just said went away because they didn't want kids to be sad about parents dying because that is something that you need to think about later in life. Kim, I think, is Mrs. Cherrywood. I think it is because at the end she says "That is my favorite story." And then Mr. Cherrywood said, "It made me happier that I ever could be", so that sounds like she knows the story because 1) she just heard it lots and lots of times or 2) she was a characterin the story.

Joey Steakley played Good Luck Bear. Good Luck Bear was Irish, and he was so funny. He was sooo Irish. He had the Irish-est accent in the world. It was tooo Irish. He said his name "Goood Luke Bear." And he also said Lollipoop, and all the words were all vowels. It was so funny. Can you imagine that? Joey also played Mr. Cherrywood who was a Canadian kind of father. And Mr. Cherrywood is also Nicholas. Nicholas is the villain of this story, but it turns out that he starts to care. He is a villain because he likes this book--an evil spirit. Not like "like like" but like "like." Hear that? An eeeevil spirit. He becomes friends with Kim and Jason; that shows that he starts to care. He always flapped with his cape whenever the narrator said "Nicholas." Birthday Bear is a really funny Care Bear because once when someone brought bad news, he said "Something terrible is happening" and then he said, "Happy Birthday!"When he always said happy birthday that was not in the movies. I think it was Joey's idea to be funny.

Shawn Pfautsch played Mr. Fettucine. He was really funny because one time he changed characters at the wrong time. One time he thought he was supposed to play Mr. Fettucine but he was actually going to play Tender Heart. He put up the mustache, and then he looked at the script and just pulled up his hood again that meant that he was a Care Bear. Tender Heart was one of the main Care Bears. He went to go save Nicholas. So did all the other care bears, but he was the first to discover Nicholas and the book. Once he was like "Nicholas, NO!" and then Nicholas was like "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!" It was so funny because Nicholas was so loud it sounded like he was being murdered.

The evil spirit was the actual really terribly bad guy. Marika Mashburn played the evil spirit. There was this part where the narrator started talking and then the evil spirit laughed in the middle of his sentence. That was so funny. I don't think she was trying to be very scary--because they are making fun of the movie. And she also played the penguin. The penguin rescues Sleepytime Bear. In the movie she actually just threw him back in the lake instead of putting him back on the ship. The penguin was like "hi" and then walked back up to the ship without taking him actually on the ship. Sometimes the spirit was creepy. I also loved when Nicholas was trying to close the book and then she said, "don't close me" like she was actually being closed.

Brandon Ruiter played Grumpy Bear and Jason. And Jason was a little boy who didn't want to make friends. He is the brother of Kim which I talked about at the beginning. Grumpy Bear was funny and he worked with Good Luck Bear. They are trying to make the Care-o-Meter work again. There was this really funny part where everybody said "The Care-o-Meter has dropped to zero!!" And then Grumpy Bear says "Ca-ROM-eter." They call it the Care-o-Meter because they are Care Bears. In the movie, they said Care-o-Meter only. They didn't say anything else. I think that in the reading they decided to do it the other way because they thought it was funnier for a Care Bear to correct them because he's grumpy.

Ben Lobpries, he played Friend Bear and Lotsaheart. Lotsaheart was a Elephant, so when he said "well it has to go somewhere" to one of the Care Bears when they were on a ship, that is kind of weird and stupid, but in a funny way because most people would already know that it has to go somewhere if they had a brain. Everybody knows a ship has to go somewhere. Friend Bear was on an adventure with Secret Bear and they are trying to send Kim and Jason back to earth but they can't. The caring forest is another place about caring--like Care-a-lot. And there was this funny part where Friend Bear said, "My Bed is fluffy as a cloud," and Kim says "Your bed is a cloud." And then he says. "Ha. Ha. That's right." They both had it in the movie and the reading, but I liked it best in the reading because it was funnier because Kim in the movie said it very plain and not very funny. Kim in the reading said it with a different style--I would call it like a "duh" style.

Ele Matelan played Secret Bear. There was this really funny part where Sceret Bear was whispering to Friend Bear. Then he said, "Secret Bear says not to worry about the falling. Worry about the lion instead." And then he's like, "Lion? Lion!!!" There was this really funny part where Secret Bear gave birth to a key. So the key got stolen, and the she kind of gave birth to another key, like getting it out of her tummy. It was gross.

The narrator (Johnny Arena) was not actually a character in the story. He doesn't even tell the story--Mr. Cherrywood tells the story. The narrator just says what's going on, like "Meanwhile..." and stuff. He kind of made the story a story because if they were moving on to another part of the story then if he wasn't in, nobody could have said "Meanwhile..." so you wouldn't know there was a switch. I knew where we were going in the movie because you can actually see in the movie, but this was just a reading. I loved how the narrator kept saying the word Canadian: "A houseful of Canadian orphans" and "Two very happy Canadian children were sitting between their two happy Canadian parents." Canadian Canadian, Canadian.

It is possible to like the movie more than the reading IF you are a big Care Bears fan. Finding out that the reading is funnier would make Care Bears fans feelings about the Care Bear Movie different but in a good way. It would show them that the Care Bears Movie is terrible and this reading is awesome. I would recommend the people that read my reviews see the movie if they just think of the reading in their head while they are watching it.

I think you should see readings and plays by the House Theatre because they are a really awesome company. And the Neofuturists is a really nice theater. I have never seen anything that is bad at the Neofuturists. Not a single thing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sketchbook Awesomeness

Ten-ce upon a time, I went to and was in a show, and it was called Sketchbook.  It was really fun to be in and really fun to see. Sketchbook is 16 short plays all put together.  Wait a minute. I will teach you some math.  8 + 8 = awesome Sketchbook!!!!!!

"It Came from the Third Dimension" was really funny and cool because at the beginning they were just flat puppets, so they were in the second dimension.  So they went into the third dimension, and the people who were working the puppets became the puppets kind of, only that they were third dimensional like me, the universe, everybody.  And when they turned into the people, they were like "What? What? Who?" And then they were like, "We've done it!  Into the third dimension!"  Then they would touch people because they were like, "this is so beautiful and cool. So much mass, so much volume."  I felt like I was in two shows when I got touched by the actors in the third dimension.  It was cool.  When they were touching people, it was so funny and crazy; it was awesome.

When the scientists were looking at the people in the audience, then these birds flew in, and they tried to catch the birds, and they were talking about samples. And they were so funny because it looked like all they cared about was the samples.  They were like "samples! samples!" It was really hilarious.  Then one of the scientists ran in, and his friend had been eaten by a monster. And he was like, "What have you done with my friend, you third-dimensional nightmare?" And then the monster looks at him, and the scientist is like "who--o-o-a."  And then the scientist is like, "I know.  I will defeat you with the power of science."  The power of science was weird and stupid in a funny way because he just threw the bird at him--so that was the power of science in the play.  But that was not really the power of science in real life.  That was really weird.  The power of science in real life is racing to see who can complete a science experiment fast.

When the monster came out I was kind of creeped out because I didn't know it was going to happen.  But then when the monster started doing things, and the scientist was there, it was kind of funny because the scientist was doing all these funny but very stupid things.  The monster was like a big puppet that lots of people had to get into. It had no mouth; all it had was wings and eyeballs.

This was one of the very funny plays because of all the funny lines, the monster, and the acting.  And almost all the time it was funny, except if it was your first time (or only time) seeing the monster.  Then it was kind of scary.

There was this fun show that I didn't see all of because it had a really weird ending that children could not see.  And the play was called "Confluence."  It is about this mass on this man's thigh that cannot be touched.  If it is touched, he dies.  The girl is in love with him, but they can't do things they want to because of the mass in his thigh.

There was this really funny part where a girl named Joy had toilet paper in her shoe.  That was how they fell in love.  They were seeing who could pick it up, and then the boy picked it up, and then this music came on, and then he handed her the toilet paper.  She was like "thanks," and he was like "oh, that's gross," and he put it in the pocket that didn't have a big bulge. She said "it went on like this for the rest of the night"--that is a very funny line because them staring at each other because of toilet paper is just weird and it could never go on for all night because they would have to yawn once.

"Confluence" was really fun because it was really funny. And even though it was the grown-upist show in the whole Sketchbook, it was kind of for kids because of the toilet paper and how they fell in love about toilet paper and also the frog story.  The frog story was about a frog and about how Nathan was going to smash a frog but he missed.  It is just a weird story. That is like a funny kid's thing.

"The Franchise" was a really funny piece.  It was about this firefighter that really liked being a firefighter, but his wife didn't want him to get hurt.  He kept talking about putting out fires with his blood.  That was funny but kind of grody. And it was really weird because putting out fires with blood never happens because the only way to put out a fire is not with your own blood but with water, wa-ter, w a t e r, water!  That character is crazy.

There are these hilarious places that they went where they put out fires.  The first one was just a plain old fire.  I liked the DJ one, and I also really liked the one where all the people come in that he worked with but John the firefighter wouldn't listen to them because he was so in love with his wife.  He has to go put out a space!  It was very weird.  And there was this really funny part when they are discussing about what they should do, and he asks "why can't I put out a fire!?" and his wife says, "because it is metaphorical." If you don't know what a metaphor is, you can learn it from me, ADA GREY! (and MY MOM! because she told me what a metaphor is.  I learned it just a few seconds ago.)  A metaphor is like (here is an example that I came up with) in "The Parasite," which I am going to talk about next, she says "I am on fire." She feels like she is on fire because she is so in love with a parasite, but she is not actually on fire.

There was this funny part where this guy was holding a gun up at the firefighter, and then he was talking, and he said, "Pip pip cheerio, Mr. Blaze.  Pip pip cheerio forever."And then he did a little bow; it was funny. And then he laughed an evil laugh, and then they just started going down like in an elevator.  They just went down like on to their knees, and then you couldn't see them. This show was really funny.

"The Parasite" was a very fun play even though there were a few swear words.  The play is about this woman who is in love with her parasite.  If you don't know what a parasite is, you can learn it from me, ADA GREY!  A parasite is a kind of bug that lives in your body.  And in this play, somebody says "It's eating you!"  There was this really funny part where her friend doesn't want the parasite to be with her, and they are arguing about him.  Then the girl that is in love with the parasite says, "He's different.  He's...he's...he's...Spanish."  It is funny, because it doesn't matter where he is from.  She means that she's really in love with the parasite because he's handsome and sings.  She loves Spanish songs so then she is like "ooooh" when he sings.

There was this really funny part where he said, "I weell sing you a sowng," and a guitar was on his back, and then he turned it over and he started playing it.  And here is the song he sang, "Mi Aaaaa-morrrr!"  And then she just sat on the table and cleared off all the nail polish with her hands and it made a big clank.  Then she put her glasses into her pocket because she wanted to look beautifuller and so she could kiss him better.

The parasite gets strangled by her friend, and then the girl that is in love with the parasite is really sad. The first time I saw it, I thought it was kind of tragic.  But then when I saw it the rest of the times, then I thought it was kind of funny because he looked like a bug, so much like a bug, when he died. He had his arms up like with his fingers all bended and his elbows pushed in.

It was a really funny show because the actors were really good actors and they just were too hilarious--but in a good way too hilarious.

"I Wish You Love" was a kind of dance.  There was this ship--a girl with a ship hat, actually--and there was also this man who smoked a cigarette who looked like a lighthouse and looked like he had rock hair.  I don't mean like rock-and-roll hair.  I mean like rocks.

I wish I could do this part of the review with icons because this one should be with icons because nobody actually had lines.  I would use the icons which would be ship, lighthouse, water, an icon that is a bit to the side to show her head tilting, rocks, and coming toward somebody, and break, and smoke a cigarette.  And last--but not least--laugh because everybody laughed at this one.

It is sad because the ship was so in love with the lighthouse, but when she broke herself on his rocks he didn't care.  I think it is called "I Wish You Love," because it was just kind of short for "I wish you loved me."  I think it is just like a sniffle sad.  The ending was funny because they showed it in a funny way, which was it made the ship look like it was actually being wrecked because her head tilted.  It can be both hilariously funny and sad because it was just a boat and a lighthouse--not people.

"Evolution" was about Kristoffer Diaz writing this play that I'm going to talk about.  It is kind of weird to write a play about the play that he's writing.  I think the two grown-upist plays in Sketchbook were this and "Confluence."  It was about critics (like myself) not liking other people's plays.  The critics should just go with what they want to say but not just say "this play was terrible. I hated it."  They should say some bad things and some good things.  Then the writers and the actors know that you thought it was ok, but just not the best play that you ever saw.

It starts with Kristoffer Diaz played by an actor bringing an actual person from the audience onto the stage and onto the couch. There was a choice that that person had to make, a decision at the end.  Here are the three options that he gave: 1) tell him that he's wrong, 2) kiss him, 3) punch the critic in the face.  Nobody said he was wrong.  One kissed him.  Mostly they asked Kristoffer Diaz to punch the critic in the face.  I think I would choose to punch the critic in the face.  I just don't think he is a very good critic. Nobody thinks I am a bad critic, so it wouldn't be like punching myself in the face.

[Hello.  This is Ada's mom. Ethical reviewer that she is, Ada has asked me to review the piece in Sketchbook in which she appeared so that she would not have to review it herself.  Here goes. "I and My iPhone" featured the Red Orchid Youth Ensemble and was a treat for me to watch each of the ten times I saw it.  Like many parents, I tend to watch my own kid the entire time she is onstage.  When she did The Nutcracker at her ballet school last year, I was convinced the whole ballet was about a child party guest who gets a gift from the Stahlbaum family, watches some dancing dolls, and then falls asleep and is carried home. Frankly, the second act seemed to go off the rails; what do dancing flowers have to do with a child party guest?  So, it is a testament to the great actors in "I and My iPhone" that I know what each of them looks like and realized that the play was about a teenager whose family and friends stage an intervention to confront her about her iPhone addiction.  These kids were funny, articulate, and authentic onstage--when they were throwing that iPhone around, I felt real anxiety for its safety.  Just as important to me, as a mom, the whole cast was sweeter than pie to my kid offstage. The ensemble gets a rave review from me for that too.]

I think Sketchbook is a really fun thing.  It is really fun because when at the end of a play you are like, "Aww, it's over" then in Sketchbook you are like, "Yay! There's another one!"  Sketchbook is a cool, crazy good time. Next year, I think Sketchbook is going to be still one of the awesomest things to see.

Photo: Candice Conner