Friday, September 21, 2007

No Day But Today

So b&c got back from Germany late Wednesday night (Except that he'd apparently gotten a bit bored in Germany, so he'd detoured for a few days in Athens and a few more in Mykonos, just because he could, you know? And he's all, "I've got to take you to Mykonos sometime," and I'm all, "I'll go pack," and he's all, "No, seriously, once you've been there, you won't understand any of the fuss about Rehoboth," and I'm all, "Dude, when have I ever said anything nice about Rehoboth? Have you been doing Sambuca shots on the airplane again?"), which meant, of course, that we had tickets to the Kennedy Center on Thursday. Naturally, I assumed this meant Kathy Griffin1, but, no, b&c ("Who's Kathy Griffin?") had gotten us tickets to see the opera.

So, yeah, they were doing Rent. Except -- and I HATE it when they fuck with the classics -- they weren't calling it Rent. Instead, they had made a bunch of changes, and the new name was The Hippie Chick. Except -- and I HATE it when people glorify the use of foreign languages -- The Hippie Chick is apparently not a fancy enough title for the gray/blue hairs who go to the opera, so they had to put the whole thing in Italian. La Bohème, or whatever. They rewrote a lot of the music, too. Again with the influence of the blue/gray hairs: it sounded like fucking Puccini.

Oh, and get this: Maureen? NOT A DYKE! They were calling her Musetta and she was all about the dick. The girl didn't quite sparkle on her highest notes, but otherwise, I gotta admit she was working it. And major props to all the other singers. Every one of the male leads was in good voice (and they were all very shaggable: I wanted to scream out, "Marcello! Stop being Maureen's bitch and come be mine!" but they frown on that sort of thing in the Kennedy Center, except at the Kathy Griffin show, I reckon), especially Rodolfo (and you know how I hate to compliment tenors). The chick playing Mimi was terrific, and the chemistry between the leads was very compelling. I actually cried when

Oh. Get this. They killed Mimi! Those bastards! I was sitting there, waiting for her to revive and say that Angel (there was NO Angel in this production, but there were plenty of drag queens in the second act, at least) had told her to go on back to Roger Rodolfo, but he just starts screaming, and then the curtain comes down and everybody's all clapping and shit. And then they're yelling, "Bravo," and I'm all, "Bitches, Kathy Griffin is NEXT DOOR, and I'm not even sure Bravo's picked her up for another season. You don't think they're going to give a reality show to some Italian tenor, do you?" I hate it when people are clueless about the arts.

Anyway, it was all very well done, and we were even out of there in less than 2.5 hours (only one intermission! hooray!) but I was pissed at them for pissing on Rent that way. At least they got the setting (urban loft, late twentieth century) right, but they totally gutted the HIV angle. Hell, the way they went on about coughing, Mimi might just as easily have had tuberculosis.

When we came back from intermission, the guy behind me was talking to his beard girlfriend and saying something like "I don't like it when they try to contemporize things like this. Something is always lost." I was sure that I'd found a kindred spirit, but when I whipped out my lighter, said, "Amen, brother!" and started singing "five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes," he just looked away, and the ushers seemed unhappy. I guess they didn't want me reminding the crowd what it's really supposed to sound like.

1Full disclosure. I don't think Kathy Griffin's all that funny, most of the time. I do think her discussion of Jesus in her Emmy acceptance speech was brilliant, however. There were many fewer gay boys than usual at the opera last night, but there were tons of them in the Kennedy Center lobby afterwards. I didn't look at everybody, but I'm pretty sure the guy with the "I SHAVED MY NUTS FOR THIS?" t-shirt was coming out of the Kathy Griffin show rather than from La Bohème.


Will said...

And to think that I was at New York City Opera seeing a new American opera on the tragic pre-Civil War story of Margaret Garner (and yes, Ted, it IS a very operatic story) when I could have been in DC wiith you guys seeing Rent readapted into La Boheme. Sort of like making cream from butter.

Clearly, I need a priority check.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the fuddy-duddies did the same damn thing to Avenue Q. Didya see the watered down no-hot-button series that made it into for PBS? I mean, only a kid would like THAT show. Bastards!

Rick said...

That was one of your funniest posts. Time away from b&c did you well!

Canberrabiker said...

Yes, another very funny post :) I like it when I laugh out loud at something I've read and your posts regularly have that effect.