I was offered a free ticket to the theater tonight so naturally I said yes. It was to see a rather obscure (to me, at least) musical called Hello Again.
I went into it totally blind both literally and figuratively. Figuratively because I had not even an inkling of the plot or genre. Literally because a giant gust of wind blew a chunk of sand into my eye as we were parking the car. By the time we gave our tickets to the usher my eye was red and swollen and leaking fluid, she scrunched her face up and said “Ummm are you like…okay?” I fled the bathroom and with the help of an older lady who taught me the “pull your top eyelid over your eyeball as if you were Quasimodo” trick and eventually I could see again. I looked in the mirror and caught a glimpse of my anxious, disheveled countenance and again wished I was blind.
We got into the theater which was actually a large room converted to be a performance space. The seating was around the room at little tables, everything was made to look like a nightclub. We were a little late to the game due to my blind in the bathroom situation so we had no choice but to shack up at a little table with a much older couple who excitedly engaged us in conversation, clearly very happy to be out on the town and “experiencing culture” etc.
The actors were milling about the space and one came to our table and explained it was an “immersive” piece and could we please make sure nothing was on the table as the actors would be moving it around.
Call me old fashioned. Call me stuffy or plain. But I think the majority of “immersive” theater is a crock of shit and not actually immersive at all save for the fact the audience is seated in a unique and uncomfortable fashion. I just really, really, hate the breaking of the fourth wall. I can deal with a little one liner to the old lady in the front row. I can tolerate small amounts of audience interaction and participation but for the most part please for the love of god do not come dancing down the aisle. Do not invite me up on stage to white girl clap. It makes me uncomfortable and I don’t like it.
In the pre show speech the company manager or whoever announced the show was 90 minutes without an intermission. To me this means one of two things. Either we’re about to see a brilliant piece of art that has such a beautiful flow it cannot be interrupted, or we are about to witness a painful train wreck and will be trapped, TRAPPED LIKE RATS.
Anyway, if you know the show at all you’ll know that its basically a pornographic musical where each song is between a couple who ultimately engages with each other in a graphically sexual manner. DURING. EVERY. SCENE AND SONG. The whole conceit is that they travel through the decades which was the only thing keeping it marginally interesting. The show is non discriminatory at the very least, there’s straight sex, gay sex, in this particular production interracial sex. There was a random scene set in the steerage of the effing titanic as it sank and some guy gave another guy a fake blow job because YOLO the ship be goin’ down you might as well too?
Oh my lord you guys. I’m not a delicate flower, I’m not easily shocked or scandalized. I voluntarily watch GIRLS on HBO and therefore endure all the 90 second awkward sex scenes but this was just vulgar and unbearable. Or as my friend so articulately named it:
“Hump n Dump” the musical.
I would almost rather have that sand in my eye bi-weekly than sit through that hot mess again.