Anthony R. Miller Checks in with whatever’s on his mind.
Hey you guys, so once again, I completely fail to have one “Big Idea” to discuss, but luckily, I still have a few things to talk about, luckily, there are five.
I was lucky enough to attend the opening of “School of Rock” at the Curran Theatre and I’m seriously still high on life. While the show is still on Broadway, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber has allowed amateur and school productions to be licensed now. OSA had the chance to present the very first school production in the country. The show is fantastic, and I could go on for hours about it. Webber is the undisputed king of the reprise, the music is clearly influenced by British Metal, Julian Fellows (Yes that Julian Fellows) took a great, but problematic movie script and gave it so much shape and rounded out the characters and relationships so well. But that’s not what’s important, what’s important is THESE KIDS. Just to be in the room and share this moment of unbridled joy for all the amazing kids in the cast. It warmed my bitter cynical heart and left me with a dumb grin on my face the whole time. It was like mainlining serotonin. I think the entire run is sold out, but if you can, sneak in, buy a scalped ticket, do whatever. It’s been a long time since I’ve loved a show so much. Thanks Kids.
Death of a Fictional Character
And now let’s talk about pro-wrestling. It’s been a rough year or so for Terry Bollea. You may better know him as Pro Wrestling God Hulk Hogan. The thing to know about old school wrestlers is they never dropped the act; they were their character all time. This was never so true than it was for Hogan. But now he’s in court suing over a sex tape with his friend’s wife, where he is, to say the least, very un-Hogan like. We are presented with the uncomfortable truth that my childhood hero is a human being, capable of doing and saying very unfortunate things. This brings me back to my never ending “Art vs. The Artist” discussion. Do I simply love the art created by the person or does the realities of who the artist is in real life taint that ability? It’s easy to say “Well, Hulk Hogan is ok, he’s a fictional character, but Terry Bollea is a dick.” But when the man spent most of his career convincing us those two people were one in the same, It’s not so easy.
PianoFight’s short play competition known as “Short Lived” has begun. Tons of writers and theatre folks are presenting shows in this content. Myself included. My Play, “We Were Walking Around Like We Owned The Place Before It Was Cool” will be featured in week 4, it’s about how Hipsters being mad about gentrification may be the most ironic thing of all. It’s pretty funny, has a great cast and is directed by my Director on Retainer, Colin Johnson, come see it and vote for us.
Happy International Women’s Day
For those that follow my article regularly (Hi Dad) you may recall fellow blogger Allison Page and I went on an excursion to see “Thunder From Down Under” the Australian Male Stripper Troupe. Beforehand, she and I were chatting and the conversation of “What Comics do you find funny?” Came up and perhaps I disappointed Allison with my response because the only ones I could think of at the time were men. Then two days later it occurred to me that IU had done a terrible disservice to a woman whom I find remarkably funny, if not one of the funniest people who ever lived. So for International Women’s day I would like to take a moment and honor Carol Burnett. She had sass, presence, wit and is still a remarkable performer. Check out old clips of the Carol Burnett Show of Youtube, you won’t be sorry. She is one of the greats. (Are we cool now Allison?)
Reunited and It Feels So Meh
And Finally, the great rite of passage for anyone in their late thiries is upon me, My 20 year High School reunion. (Yeah, I’m old) So while I’m sorta-kinda looking forward to seeing who is balder than me or who married someone with a ridiculous last name, I’m in fear of what people might say to me. In high school I was a weird theatre-kid and now, well, I’m a weird theatre-adult. I’m doing exactly what I said I would do. I’m not like famous or anything, so what do I say to a bunch of people who will be homeowners with steady jobs, spouses and 401K’s? “Yeah, I’m pretty broke all the time, but that’s pretty much the life I chose.” I made a big point to never be a person who misses all the cool things they did in High School . And it does make a nice bookend to my recent experience to “School of Rock”. Without theatre, I would have probably been a juvenile delinquent, and while I was by no means popular in High School, everyone knew who I was. It’s gonna be weird, because at some point people will tell me how they perceived me 20 years ago, and I’m not sure I want to know. I don’t spend much time looking back at those days; nor do I want to be a person who does. Not to mention its being held at a bar I used to run the San Jose Poetry Slam at, this place was My House. Some of the greatest Artistic achievements of my 20’s began at that bar, so it’s gonna be double nostalgic and double weird. Ugh, the past.
That’s all this week, see you soon nerds.
Anthony R. Miller is a writer and producer, go to http://www.awesometheatre.org or follow him on twitter @armiller78 to keep up with all his projects.