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Monday, November 24, 2008

22 Sketches Breakdown

So, 22 Sketches You Must See Before You Die played on the weekend at the Metro Arts Theatre, and went really well in my opinion.

The show's surreal opener involved three grown men wearing yellow shirts walking around like chickens, suddenly breaking out in some choreography to The Sylvers' Boogie Fever, before a farmer comes in and shoots one dead. It was the second time in my life I'd been in a show where Boogie Fever opened the performance - but I don't remember having a bruised knee from falling down dead the first time I did it. :p

Tom and Grdo played twins whose mother had implemented a unique parenting system. It featured funny digs at Coldplay and Powderfinger.

Grdo then switched to the parent role as a traumatically blunt father breaking the news to his kids that their pets had... run away to the circus.

To conclude the "parent and children" trilogy of sketches, Georgie played a precocious and questioning child with Alex playing her badly influential father, projecting his own marital inadequacies onto why his child's praying mantis has been eaten by its mate. It featured the word "cunt".

Anna played a woman who's convinced she was a gay man trapped in the body of a woman. The transvestite at her bus stop tries to convince her she's just a straight woman and that the estrogen pills she's taking are unnecessary.

Tom played the narrow-minded agent of a black actor who failed to fit the stereotype of black men. Adam - our sound and lighting guy - cameo-ed as the actor very well, very good comic timing.

Georgie played a bizarre HR person interviewing Lawson for a job that for some reason requires the applicants to name as many Pokemon as possible, fit as many marshmallows in your mouth as possible and realistically draw penises.

We also did a trilogy of "shop sketches" following the typical shop sketch formula which was parodied in the third. There were some suitably stereotypically Asian accents.

I pretended to masturbate underneath a sheet to awkward comic effect when Anna my stage wife caught me.

Tom played a stripper. He then proceeded to method act.

Grdo and Alex gave brilliant performances as commentators for a televised race of emotional cripples. Top writing and top performing from both.

We witnessed the evolution of man in an unexpected way which involved the milking of a cow. Very Jo.

Tom and I played rival gang leaders about to rumble - turns into a political discussion about the appropriate usage of the word "nigger". Basically, there is none. There's only one thing less intimidating than me and Tom as gang leaders. And that's me and Tom as gang leaders armed with coloured tee-ball bats.

I did four or five musical numbers - including the Anne Hathaway song; a big number that turns out to be very anticlimactic (the most Micallef-y kind of gag I've done I think); the Twelve Bar Blues; a thirty second parody of Breakfast At Tiffany's which gets aborted after descending into presumptions about ethnicities; and a patter song about things that I've mistakenly assumed throughout my life. I fucked up this last one on the last night - forgot a verse, blanked on stage, moved on to the end.

Tom used me as a last minute replacement for a sketch with him as a terrible backing singer trying to steal the spotlight from the lead singer doing Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth.

Closed the show with the Anne Hathaway song - worked like a charm on both nights. Me on lead, flanked by four very talented men singing backing vocals - including Donnie who learned the song only the day before. Outstanding stuff boys. Was nervous about using it to close the show given the randomly specific subject matter, yet it did enable to end the show with a joke about Scarlett Johannson's boobs.

We fit it in under 90 minutes without an interval which was our goal. There ended up being 26 sketches instead of 22, but, meh, so what.
"So ... if the show's called 22 sketches... and there are 26... which four are optional?"
"Well, this one for starters."
For those who missed it, I don't know if I'll post any clips from the show on YouTube, sorry - we did film both nights, but it was done statically and from an angle with nobody operating the camera, so I have no idea of the quality of the footage yet. Nonetheless, I'll end up posting recordings and music videos of my songs that I performed in the show.

I will post some pics when they become available.

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It was a fantastic experience to be able to get up on stage with all of these very talented people again - something which hasn't happened outside of the Law Revue for most of us - and it felt really good to be able to collaborate again. Thank you to everyone involved especially Jo - whose brainchild it was - for having the balls and the discipline to lay it down, book the theatre, set deadlines, and effectively force us to commit ourselves to it. Which is what we always needed.

So, until next time, it's back to the writing.

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Post script. After party story. I didn't think I could be bruised in a barechested permanent marker fight. But Jo proved me wrong. The most fun I've had being bruised. :p

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