Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cherries in the Woods and Asses in the Seats (Preview by James Anthony Zoccoli)

I don’t know much, but I know what I like. To the point where I can look at something – advertising for a movie, packaging of a candy bar, the child-bearing hips of a human female – and know instantly whether or not it’s for me.

“Crunchy peanut butter coated in a rich toasted coconut? Nice try, Zagnut. See you in hell!”

“The critics agree this film simultaneously transcends and redefines a genre? Whatever, Dark Knight!”

That’s just how I talk to the advertising, though. I’m much nicer to human females. However, it is for this aforementioned reason that I so seldom go to the theatre to see plays.

“What does a guy named Tennessee know about New Orleans? Keep on rollin’ down the line Streetcar! I’m takin’ the bus, thank you very much!!”

“A heartwarming celebration of one young boy’s triumph against the odds set in a small mining town? Piss off & top o’the mornin’ to ya’, Billy Elliot! I’ll be in the WC smoking a fag, you ponce!!”

Well, every so often something comes along that disarms my hostile retaliation to the assault of advertising.

You know what I mean. That constant onslaught of overactive superlatives and underimaginative descriptions that accosts my senses and tries to pick my pocket - like that dude at the Taste of Chicago last year, which is the only reason that I’m going back this year is so that I can find that son of a bitch and follow him around and catch him “accidentally bumping into” somebody else and “accidentally bump into” his face with my fist. Repeatedly.

But I digress. Or do I? Because that’s the way I feel about the marketing approach of most everything in the world today. Everywhere you look there’s somebody lying to you and trying to take your money.

Contrarywise, there are those rare times when you read some simple, straight forward account that touches your heart and you know that it’s the real thing, baby. A testimonial. A phrase. A font. None of us know what it is, exactly, this magically convincing sales formula but it compels you out of your seat into action. Into the line at the movie theatre or the grocery store or the technology shack. I still respond to this kind of advertising – literally, I talk to it – but with a lot less exclamation points after each line.

The other day, I’m leafing through the entertainment section of the newspaper (I didn’t think they still made newspapers but they do because what else are we gonna’ use to wrap our fish and line our bird cages) and I read: Cherrywood.

“Cherrywood?” First, I figured it was just the best porn title ever. I love puns. I love compound words! This is BOTH!!

Then, I realized it was just a stageplay and I thought, “Since when does the Admiral Theatre produce plays?”

Finally, I learned that Cherrywood was a incredible piece of experimental performance art. So, I figured I should get over my fear of the internet and read some more about this show. On their website, the marketing experts at Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company (who, in stroke of genius also call their space by a different name: Angel Island) describe the show as such: ‘A hilarious and intriguing bender loaded with great music, social commentary and cutting-edge structure. Sure to be one wild ride!’

And I’m like: “Bender? Loaded? Music? Commentary? Okay, okay! Enough!! I’m in!!! Let ME on the wild ride!!!!”

But it doesn’t stop there: “Cutting-edge structure??? UNCLE!!!!!”

Until I scream out the window: “THIS IS THE PLAY FOR ME!!! Take me, Cherrywood!! Take me now!”

(Okay, I guess there are still lots of exclamation points, but these are the joyfully-noisy kind, not the furiously-angered kind.)

Well. As if that weren’t enough, word on the street is that it’s also about Werewolves, dude. And you know where there are Werewolves, there are Werebitches. HOT. MUCH hotter than human females. (Sorry, human females, but you know it’s true.) If there is anything that can guarantee a fulfilling and cathartic theatre experience, it’s a stank-ass room full of sweatified actors under the brilliant guidance of brilliant director David “Brilliant” Cromer groping their way through an avant-garde mad-lib…and all the while you don’t know which of these Werebitches is gonna’ kill somebody.

Euripides knew it. Shakespeare would have done it himself if it wasn’t for the whole Queen thing. Brecht is green with envy and rolling over in his grave.

I’m no reviewer, but if I was, I would say something like: “This Cherrywood is truly a thing of wonder and awe which must be beheld to be believed and should be seen by all.”

Plus, I read somewhere that Cedric the Entertainer is in it and I absolutely LOVE that cat!! He be havin’ me ROLLIN’, y’all.

I haven’t even seen the thing yet and I give it 50 Stars.

GO USA:jaz.

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