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Friday, April 23, 2010

Go Fudge Yourself

This post originally appeared on my blog at TheCompleteFirstSeason.com. Please go over there and read some of the other funny things me and my friends have been writing about.

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We're continually trying to come up with new ideas/themes for our shows. One idea that's been stuck in my head for a while was doing a musical/opera version of Brian De Palma's Scarface. It was rife with possibilities in my mind at least.

  • Tony arrives on a boat from Cuba with his best friend Manny and dreams of making it big ("The World Is Yours").

  • A conversation-song with Sondheim-like complexity with the two officers joking around with him ("The Interrogation").

  • The Sunset Motel sequence in interpretive dance ("The Chainsaw Ballet").

  • A Do-Re-Mi style teaching song where Tony tells his lovelorn friend Manny how to impress a girl ("You Get The Money, Then The Power, Then The Women").

  • Frank pleads with Tony not to kill him, and offers him Elvira. Tony refuses. ("Stay Loyal").

  • The good times montage ("Take It To The Limit", from the original movie) where Tony marries Elvira.

  • Tony, out of his mind on cocaine, sings a tormented solo of how he's betrayed/murdered so many of his friends and family ("Oh Manolo")

  • ... which transitions into Tony's explosion of rage ("My Little Friend") and a spectacularly choreographed dance piece with explosions and gunfire.

  • The finale with Tony and all of his victims rising from the grave, warning the audience about the dangers of having too much ambition and greed ("The World Is Yours (Reprise)").

  • The show ends by exploding talcum powder (i.e. cocaine) over the front row of the audience.

People told me it wasn't a good idea because someone had already done it and it flopped.

I Googled it to make sure and, while I never found any evidence of a failed musical, I did come across this little viral video that's a motherfudging gem and a little bit disturbing.



It's so wrong but so cute. I love that they replaced the pile of cocaine with popcorn.

So yeah, no matter how much I wanted to make Scarface The Musical, it'll never top that. Back to the drawing board on top of the well.

Goodfellas On Ice? You genius, James. The world really is yours.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Link To The Past

This post originally appeared last Monday on my blog at TheCompleteFirstSeason.com. Please go over there and read some of the other funny things we have been writing about almost daily.

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This is a true story.

On the weekend I found my Game Boy. The old school, 1989 Game Boy.

It has been touched by time.

The once white brick of not quite rectangular-prismic shape is now a tinted yellow, as if it had been holding lit cigarettes for the past ten years. I'm caught in the aim of the grey direction cross, across the keypad from two red cherry buttons marked B & A, with Nintendo's typical disregard for alphabetical order. Its screen is still that putrid green-yellow square with a grey border and the words above proclaiming 'DOT MATRIX WITH SURROUND SOUND'.

Batteries were needed and needed without haste. Four of them.

Double A's.

I couldn't find enough.

The gods tempt me such?

They TEASE me?

Luckily I had an adapter lying around. It wasn't used for sometime. I used to use it on my old tiny Casio keyboard. I'd never used it on anything else.

Would this work? The plug seemed the right size.

What was the voltage? ... 9V.

What was the voltage required by the Game Boy? ... 6V.

... what would happen? I'm not a physicist or an engineer. Would I destroy the Game Boy? Would I discover its body only to then kill it with the slightest touch?

I had to take the chance.

It was plugged in. The game cartridge inserted. A breath was taken. The switch at the top clicked to the right.

The red dot reserved for an indication of battery life flicked into life. But there were no batteries - this Game Boy was possessed by a direct current. The words 'Nintendo' scrolled down the screen like the title card of a Quentin Tarantino movie. It centered itself and let out a DIIIING.

Then nothing. It froze. 'Normally, it cuts to a credit screen by now, with a copyright year of 1990-something.'

The word 'Nintendo' taunting me.

THIS IS WHAT YOU CANNOT HAVE, JAMES. THE GAME BOY IS OURS. IT IS OF OUR WORLD.

The red eye glared. The lull lasted for seconds.

I reciprocated the pause with a pause of my own and not the pause button for to press the pause button now would be ineffective, there was nothing to pause.

I slid the button to the off position. The red dot clicked off, the 'Nintendo' vanished from the screen. I applied the typical Nintendo troubleshooting method - removing the cartridge and blowing on it. I re-inserted.

The switch was flicked. The red eye reopened, unblinking. 'Nintendo' scrolled down again. DING.
And then it was gone.

A credits screen flashed up for a few seconds. I cheered.

The red eye glowed.

The game began in 8-bit images and a tinny sound card. Bleep. DING. Bleep. Buh-leep. My avatar in the game raised the cannon attached to his arm and blasted through tricky robotic villains with bleeps and bloops.

I was so engrossed in it, I forgot about the adapter and the apparent excessive amount of voltage going in I had negligently disregarded. I claimed an extra life.

My ring and pinky fingers went numb from their position of uselessness at the rear of the Game Boy console. Had they had feeling, they may have alerted me to what was to happen. They would have sensed the presence.

The red dot glowed. GLARED.

I didn't see the laser until it was too late. It shot out and digitized me. Piece by piece, the laser sucked me in.

Then there was nothing. The room was empty.

The Game Boy dropped to the floor.

It sat there for a moment or two.

Finally, the red dot blinked.




... and that's why I'm posting this week's blog a little late. I was trapped inside a video game and had to fight my way out.


Oh hey, The Bill's been axed. That sucks, hey?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Not A Kettle

The first thing that struck me was the ponytail.

A ponytail on a man of any age - let alone his - would occur to me as an odd look to go with. He was short, in his mid to late 40s, and he had reddish-brown hair pulled back into a ponytail. His mouth was frozen wide open, baring his teeth.

He spoke quietly.

'Do you sell those containers for hot water?'

'A thermos?' I proposed.

'No, it heats it up.'

'A kettle?'

'No, not a kettle. You plug it in.'

'... an urn?'

'No, no.'

I paused.

'... you're sure it's not a kettle?'

'Not a kettle.'

'If it's electrical, try appliances, up that way.'

He moved in that direction. His mouth was still plastered in that grin.

Minutes later he reappeared, clutching a red box with the picture of a kettle and containing the word "KETTLE" in a bright, blazing white font

'This is what I wanted.'

'A kettle?'

'Yes.'

I gave up and took his money. He left with the not-kettle, one dollar in change and that goddamned ponytail.

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Unrelated news - I got through to the Queensland state final of Raw Comedy. Didn't make it any further - the prize of the night went to Geoffrey Windle, who I think deserved it given the time and effort he's put into working on his act. Top stuff, Geoff. Naturally, I'm disappointed I didn't get to go through, but the last two weeks have yielded my best performances/audience reactions to 'Anne', so I'm really happy with that. Thanks to my friends and family who came out to watch and support - you make me feel loved.

But now what?