Monday, June 25, 2012

Review of B----, I'll Cut You at Chicago Women's Funny Festival

Once upon a time, I went to a show and it was called, and I cannot tell you what the name is because the first word is the B-word. So the whole thing is B----, I'll Cut You. I think I know why Monique Madrid used the B-word--because she is supposed to be a sexy, weird, hair-cutting lady named Monica Barcelona. And the "I'll cut you" part is supposed to be not "I'll cut your head off" but "I'll cut your hair." This show is an audience-participation comedy. Some people wrote their name down on a list ,and then two people get to come up on stage and get a hairdo or get their makeup done. I thought it was fun because all the audience felt like they were in the actual show.

Monica Barcelona has a weird hairdo, like they are like big puffy ponytails, only not just big but enormous big puffy ponytails, only not just enormous but quizillion-wizillion-normous. They're just really big. They are bigger than her head. P.S. they are not bigger than the universe. It is funny because she is supposed to be weird and that means she might have a weird taste and then she will give herself a weird taste of a hairdo.

This is not a touching play. If you only like dramas, then you would hate this play with all your heart and never want to see Monique and Erica Elam again because they are fuhlarious. (And if you also go to Monique's house to see her husband, you will also be disappointed because he is hilarious as well.) The whole audience has to say this little chant that goes like this, "Monica Barcelona, you is beautiful. And if Monica Barcelona says you is beautiful, then you is beautiful." And I thought that was a funny way to get people ready to have a haircut.

Erica plays Monica Barcelona's assistant. At the beginning, she says "I have some problems with..." and somebody has to shout out what she has a problem with. And then when somebody does that, she says, "Yes I have a problem with..." in this case, "drinking." She said, "Oh, we have lots of different things, we have water, wine, and beer." It was obvious that she had a drinking problem if they only had water, wine and beer, because obviously two of them were her idea.

One of the people from the audience who was getting a haircut was dancing with Monica Barcelona instead of his "girlfriend."  His girlfriend was played by Erica.  But instead of just dancing with her he danced sexy and romantic with her which is not very nice to do in front of your girlfriend.  And then Monica Barcelona did not think that was very nice, and I cannot blame her even though she is very weird.  She just said "Why are you dancing with me instead of your pretty girlfriend that you are planning to marry," or something along the lines of that.  It showed you that she gives away secrets and she is not very nice to her customers and it makes it funnier because if someone is kind of mean to someone in a play or in a cartoon it can be funny.  Kind of like slapstick.  This wasn't slapstick, it was like, instead of hitting them, hurting them in the heart.   It wouldn't be funny in real life because you would feel sorry for that person.  But since it is just a play, people don't feel sorry because it isn't in real life.

People that would like this show are people that would like audience participation, crazy hairdos, and little chants.  I think this show is really fun for lots of different people who have good taste. Ada Barcelona, you is beautiful.  And if Ada Barcelona says you is beautiful, then you is beautiful. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review of The Hypocrites' Romeo Juliet at Chopin Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Romeo Juliet. And it was about Romeo and Juliet, some of the famousest Shakespeare characters. As you can see, because the title is different, it is not just plain old Romeo and Juliet. It is a shorter and funnier version. I think Sean Graney, the director and writer, wanted the actors to get to do stuff that they wanted to do and not just be directed around all the time. He let them choose what the set looked like and what would be easiest to move around in. He put an opera and play together, only he took out the singing, and shortened them both up, and then he added the middle lines by himself, and then he would mix the different lines up, and then, voila, you have a script. I think the actors might change the script every night for different audiences and what they liked and stuff. This show is touching, funny, and makes the audience feel like they are actually in Romeo and Juliet's world.

At the beginning the audience would go into this little door and have tea and make a love token to put on the love wall. I felt like it really was telling you to enjoy yourself and that this would be an awesome play. And the attendants/actors were very nice. It made you know that this is only a play and when they die and have sword fights and kill themselves that is not actually going to happen. But I still felt like this is scary, and I was so involved, but when I got too scared I would remember those nice things that they said to the audience in the tea room.

I thought the scene where Tybalt (Lindsey Gavel) dies is a very cool scene. His name is the prince of cats, but since Tybalt was played by a girl it should be the princess of cats. It is very interesting to see a girl talk in a man's voice and do manly things. It makes you think, this person has good acting skills and she knows how to act like a man. Another of my favorite parts where a woman is playing a man is the part with Paris (Tien Doman) when Paris was jumping up and down and was going to give Juliet's father (Zeke Sulkes) a big hug, but then she's like "No, no. Men shake. Manly shake." It is funny to be a woman and you are pretending to be a boy and since you don't know how men talk to each other in an affectionate way, when she does it she's like, "no...manly shake." Sometimes in Shakespeare's stories women dress up as men to fight, get what they want, or find the perfect match for themselves, and I think that is one of the reasons why they cast Lindsey and Tien as boys. But the boys did not play girls in this play because they already had two women actresses and there are only three women's parts and they took out one of the women's parts.

I liked the romance scene. Some kids might think it was funny or gross. I thought it was both because almost the whole time people were kissing in the background and that is funny but weird. In the front Romeo (Walter Briggs) and Juliet (Lindsey Gavel) are talking about romance and how they are going to get married and stuff like that. I call it the romance scene because it is mostly romance. This is based on the balcony scene. It is the most famous scene from Romeo and Juliet. But in this play, Juliet said most of Romeo's lines, like "soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Romeo is the sun." But usually it is "soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun." By doing this, it shows you that a woman can talk romantically to a man and not just the other way around.

I thought the Nurse (Tien Doman) was sweeter than I usually remember in the usual version. This is because she wasn't just the Nurse; she was Friar Nurse because Sean Graney mixed Friar Lawrence with the Nurse. So she gave the special ointment to Juliet and told Juliet's father that she was "D-E-A-D." When I say she is sweeter than I remember, this is a pun. That's why Juliet called her her "honey nurse."

Mercutio (Zeke Sulkes) seems to like Romeo more than he usually does. I am not sure that he like likes Romeo, but he likes him more than he usually does because he says "I love you," and sometimes that means "I want to marry you" and sometimes it means, "You are a good friend to me." He gets a big death scene where Romeo, to stop the pain, has to kill Mercutio, which is not the usual way of doing it in the Shakespeare play. And he gets killed later. Usually he gets killed in the middle of the play, but this play he gets killed right before Romeo and Juliet die. But also Paris dies and he says "A plague to both your houses," which is usually Mercutio's line, and then Mercutio says, "She's stealing my life and she stole my lines too!" which I thought was fuh-larious. I liked having Mercutio around longer because it is usually a big bummer that he dies right in the middle of the show because you still want more of his hilarity and sarcasm.

I thought the death scene was sad but also funny because Mercutio said some funny lines that I talked about in the last paragraph. Romeo says that the poison is quick, but actually it takes him about 5 minutes to actually die. We get to see him talk to Juliet and be like, "I'm already dying and she is waking up. This is not working out well." And then, instead of Juliet just stabbing herself, she says a line from the balcony scene which is "Parting is such sweet sorrow," and then she stabs herself. I think they did that to make it be more sad and scary. She says "parting is such sweet sorrow" which also can mean "dying is such sweet sorrow." Sweet sorrow means bittersweet. If you want to be with the person that's dead, then it can be happy for you. It is a little silly to do that, so I'm never going to do that, because it is really weird. Shakespeare isn't weird, but killing themselves is weird, but not ha ha weird. It is a sad kind of weird.

People that would like this show are people that like Shakespeare, bittersweet things, and people stealing lines. I think this show should be for ages 7 and up. I liked this show because you can be involved in the show by peeling oranges and having tea. It is funny and sad, both in the same play.

Photos: Ryan Bourque

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Review of Walkabout Theater's Crow

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Crow. It is about this guy named Donald Crowhurst (Jeremy Sher) who enters in a competition to see if he can travel around the world in a boat. And if he gets first place he will get a lot of money and a big trophy as well. And this trip wouldn't have been possible without Mr. Best who was not at all the best--his name was totally misleading--who gave him money for the boat that he would sail in. But it was kind of a crappy boat because it didn't have all the safety things it needed--like things to make it not leak and tip over. And that's why it was so crappy, so he couldn't really sail in it without dying or killing himself. So, right before he went missing he went a little crazy. He was writing in his journal, which they found later, and he wrote some really weird things about how it was on the boat. So he would lie a lot right before he died, which meant it might have been about his family or about if he was going really crazy. It is about a guy going crazy on a boat while he was in a contest and had children and a wife, so I suspect they missed him a lot after he died, and I feel sorry for all of them. You should not take any little kids to see this. It is too sad. Adults should see it because I think they would find it very touching, and I like it even though I am a kid--but I'm not very little.

I really liked the scene where Donald was reading his wife's fortune and saying how many children she would have and that she would have a husband that loves her. He was very drunk when he did this. I think he was at a fair or a bar or has had 20 flights of different beers. He just holds a ball of rope and that's her hand or a fortune-telling ball. If you are wondering why I have not mentioned any other actors, don't blame me because there are no others. They chose to just do a one man performance with rope because there are lots of ropes on boats and there was only one person on the boat. It tells you that he is all alone on this boat and the rope is his family and his friends. His baby is also made out of rope, which is a little bit freaky, as you can understand. And he also used rope as a telephone to talk to Mr. Best. He ties ropes together to make different things that will help him on his long journey. He is connecting ropes like his family tree and stringing them together like it is his family tree. He misses his family and wants to go back to them. But he can't.

Donald had a best friend who was a bird on the boat. His name was Albert, and he was a seagull, and Donald would have conversations with him. In those conversations, Albert would ask him things about God and about Albert Einstein. I think this also showed how much Donald was going crazy because he was talking to a bird who couldn't understand what he was saying. The bird was named Albert, named after Albert Einstein, because Donald was very very interested in Albert Einstein because he was interested in getting to the horizon. Einstein is interested in space and time and so is Donald because he is traveling around the world. Time is important to him because he wants to get around the world in the right time. Space is important to him because he doesn't want to get lost, which he does.

I thought the scenes with projections by Liviu Pasare were really awesome. I thought the projections were really awesome and cool because they showed us that Donald was really going crazy. So he would be going crazy with letters; letters were coming like up all around him on the screens that were also sails. I thought the screens being sails was a really good idea because you didn't have to pull down a screen or anything and you would already have things that could be used as screens. There were also these scenes where they put projections of like squiggly lines on the TV which are called statics which means on your TV that your program is broken and that is not good. But at this time it just happened behind people. In the play it also went on his face which was very cool but not very realistic. There are lots of different scenes with his video camera. He is shooting things to send to his wife or Mr. Best and on to the news. Sometimes he is talking to Mr. Best, and sometimes he is telling people on the tv how he is doing--bad but he said good. And that's the lying I was talking about. I think it showed well how he wanted his life to be. I mean that he wanted to win and he wanted to be a rich man and that he was going to be a rich man and was going to be famous and was going to be loved by everybody. But he double wasn't going to be. When he is talking into the video camera, he seems very cheerful and he seems like he's going to be very successful in the immediate future. But he is really not.

I think this show should be for ages 7 and up because it is very sad and I think 7-year-olds can handle sad things. People that would like this show are people that like Albert Einstein, seagulls, and rope. I loved this show because it is a really touching and awesome show.

Photos: Emma Stanton