Monthly Archives: March 2010

Short Cuts: Molotov’s Mondo Andronicus

Sorry this got held back a week, Molotov Folk, but my City Paper review of Mondo Andronicus is here.

Honestly, Sometimes Even I Can’t Tell Us Apart

Ah, memories. That’s me there on the left, obviously pretty chipper about being in the company of Glen — short story writer, critic, and sequential-art blogger nonpareil; unchallenged 36th-chamber master of the Koyaanisqatsi joke and occasional collaborator; Aquaman biographer and autobiographer; boob-window watcher; faithful drinking buddy, sounding board, pal-for-life.

This snapshot is not quite a year old. I have altered it slightly in deference to Glen’s belief, shared by many of his fellow Micronesian tribesmen, that photos steal the soul. And also that this picture makes him look more like Rod Steiger than he’s prepared to deal with. I have more hair now; Glen has exactly the same amount. Still, you can see how it’d be easy to mistake one of us for the other, especially with our habit of traveling via tandem bicycle and finishing each other’s sentences all the time. (Finishing this guy’s sentences has required me to purchase a new, pocket-sized copy of S.I. Hayakawa’s Choose the Right Word, overwrite the few crumbs of French and Spanish I used to claim to know, and triple-down on my intake of nootropics courtesy of my local milkbar. I’m pretty sure the only prep Glen had to do was to watch Die Hard again.)

So that’s why I can’t get too mad about the City Paper having briefly slapped Glen’s byline on my review of Forum’s Amazons and Their Men. Honest mistake, already fixed, no hard feelings. Anyway, G-Weld’s written plenty of stuff of which I’d be only too happy to claim authorship.

This post appears on the
Washington City Paper Arts Desk.

Some Girl(s) Get the Shirt Off My Back and Leave Me with a Lethal Dose

Brian Sutow and Lisa Hoodsoll in Some Girl(s)

The moment in Some Girl(s) wherein the drama first gives away something of its intentions comes early: At the end of a hotel-room interview with the high school beau who dumped her more than decade earlier, a woman slaps a man with the feeble, constrained strike of someone who isn’t accustomed to raising her voice, much less her fist. After she flees, the man touches his cheek in amazement, then allows a wolfish smile to unfurl across his face.

Yep, this is a Neil LaBute play.

The prolific vivisectionist of emotional cruelty is once again poking the bloody viscera beneath the skin of romantic relationships, even if this five-year-old effort isn’t as jagged with malevolence as prior LaButian beatdowns like the play Fat Pig or the film In the Company of Men or the play-and-film The Shape of Things. This compelling production comes from a new company, No Rules. Director Joshua Morgan and a cast led by Brian Sutow (the pair are the startup’s co-artistic directors) have limned enough humor and revelation from the material to whet our appetite for whatever they do next.

Like Nick Hornby’s popular novel High Fidelity, Some Girl(s) follows a youngish cad on a tour of the casualty ward of his exes. Though his ostensible purpose is to make amends before his marriage, the first of his appointments (mousy Clementine Thomas) has barely removed her coat and started panting at him before we get that he’s a scab-picker and probably worse. Later, he tells Bobbi (Emily Simonness), a more recent former lover, “This is all just part of the honesty thing I’m working on,” as though asking a waiter to leave the mayo off his sandwich. Continue reading

Studio’s That Face, Rubbing It In

Today’s WCP has my review of young Brit playwright Polly Stenham’s queasy family melodrama, That Face.

Muse at the Patriot Center. Sorry, that’s MUSE! AT THE PATRIOT CENTER!

It’s almost impossible to imagine England’s glam-bastic future-shock trio Muse peddling their warp-speed, Dark Matter riffs and florid piano interludes anywhere smaller than the Patriot Center, the coziest basketball arena on the itinerary of their U.S. tour. Wembley-packing popular in Europe, they traversed American football stadiums last fall supporting U2, a gig they may have cinched for their ability to make the headliners appear restrained and subtle by comparison.

Subtlety was irrelevant at last-night’s retina-singeing ode to space operatic excess. For the 105-minute pageant to express the band’s apocalypse-is-coming, so-shall-we-rock quintessence any more perfectly would have required giant harvester-like robots to wander into the audience and atomize us with their laser rays. A stage comprised of three telescoping video-cube platforms yawned open to reveal the three band members, lightsabering their way through “Uprising,” the pulsing, ominous opener of their latest album, The Resistance. (This is one band where the titles tell you exactly what you’re in for.) Lyrics “They will not control us! We will be victorious!” flashed as the crowd chanted along, implicitly telling Them exactly where They can cram their . . . well, whatever. Continue reading