Sunday, September 26, 2010

Backyard Theater

It's hard to describe where I was last night--two back yards
on W 49th st lit by candles, torches, and christmas lights strung
up in the trees. There were maybe a hundred people, milling
about, eating, drinking, sitting with friends or meeting new ones.
Kids were climbing trees, and a duo with an accordian and a trumpet
serenaded the gathering. When everyone was finished eating, the
crowd gradually migrated from one back yard to the other, bringing
their folding chairs with them to sit down in front of a stage. Local
theater companies, musicians, and dancers performed a variety
of acts. The famous Bread & Puppet theater was also in attendance,
and they put on an incredible show.



My favorite act was by All The Saints Theater Company,
who were hosting the whole event. It was the story of
a monstrous judge (based on a children's book called
"The Judge"), who was repeatedly sentancing innocent people
to be hauled off to jail. The whole thing was performed in song,
set to a thumping drum beat and unearthly accordian music.
The whole crowd was clapping, and the pleas went something
like this:

"Please let me go Judge,
I didn't know Judge!
That what I did
was against
the Laaaaaaaaaw!
I only said what I saaaaaw!

A Horrible Thing is coming this way,
creeping closer every day,
its eyes are scary,
its tail is hairy,
its paws have claws
it snaps its jaws!
I tell you Judge, we all better pray!"

Then the judge in turn proclaimed each victim
insane, and had them carried off by his devilish
assistant. In the end, of course, the Horrible Thing
came. It was a huge skeleton/dragon puppet, operated
by three performers in black clothing, and it gobbled
the judge whole, which was mighty satisfying and the
whole crowd cheered. It was great stuff, gave me
some shivers.



And here's a real quickie painting of my guitar.
20-30 mins?

3 comments:

  1. Wow Jamie that sounds like a fantastic experience! Sounds like you're living it up down there :) Keep the stories coming!

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  2. I'm so jealous! I haven't seen a show with giant puppets in decades!

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  3. He gazed at the night sky, wondering if he would one day join the ranks of past star guitars twinkling far above.

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