Saturday, December 10, 2011

Of Botox and Baggies

Any way you look at it, it was a night of theater start to finish.

The opening act was at Lemaire after my good friend and confidante suggested it for its festive holiday dressing.

What we didn't allow for were the masses of holiday celebrants at the Jefferson on a Friday evening.

And we're not just talking women in Christmas sweaters and small children with large hair bows, although both groups were well represented.

No, no, we're talking a blond with lips so full of collagen that they resembled a duck's bill. My friend couldn't keep a straight face when she looked at them.

Then there was the showy trophy wife who looked about thirty years younger than her husband. He hovered around her like she was going to be snatched away.

One woman's face looked to have had so much work done that it was almost motionless and certainly expressionless.

My friend guessed she had a ball of skin under her hair where it had been pulled back and gathered up.

We'd never seen these people at Lemaire before, so we had to assume that it was the holidays that brought them out.

And we weren't complaining because there was so much to look at as the crowd kept getting bigger.

A distant cousin to street theater, we'll just call it bar theater.

Note to self: leave Lemaire for the new year, even if the view is fun to watch.

And it is.

From there I battled the Siegel Center traffic to get to the Firehouse to see a student production of "The Pillowman," the award-winning play by Martin McDonagh.

The most student-like part of the production was the bank for ticket purchases.

A Baggie.

You handed them a bill, which was put into the Baggie and change was made from the same Baggie.

Basic? Yep. Functional? Absolutely.

My theatrical evening continued with the dark comedy about a writer of grim stories in which children are often murdered (as in "101 ways to skewer a five-year old").

When actual kids start being murdered, he's brought in by the police for questioning along with the brain-damaged sister with whom he lives.

During the course of the play, several of his stories are acted out by a black-clad ensemble, making for every child's fantasy of seeing their bedtime story come to life.

Well, not these bedtime stories perhaps.

The young cast was strong, making for passionate performances of a riveting story line.

No one was just going through the motions.

Least of all the audience, who got to see a controversial play executed by a roving band of actors determined to put on a production wherever they could.

Let's just say it was a good night to be a theater lover in Richmond.

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