I haven’t had a chance to post about these things, but I went to two rather different events recently. First, I went to see Mythbusters: Behind the Scenes Tour.
Even though it was clearly geared towards their primary audience (11-year-old boys) I enjoyed myself quite a bit. Cricket came with me and I don’t think he liked it nearly as much due to the fact that he actually took adult-type science classes in high school like chemistry and physics. I did none of that. My senior year of high school I was assigned to Biology for Football Players and Poets where all we did was watch National Geographic videos. The school had given up on us at that point, probably for the best. My classmates and I were not going to be working in a lab anytime soon. But, due to my child-like knowledge of science, I found many of the experiments Jamie and Adam did on stage fascinating. They did this thing where a small boy from the audience lifted a chubby man simply by altering the pivot point of a lever and I was all, “Magic!” Cricket turned to me with a dumbfounded expression and said, “Yeah, it’s basic physics. It’s a lever. You didn’t know that would happen? Have you never lifted anything?” and I responded that I had not and Cricket was disappointed in me, the Rye school system and humanity in general. I learned what a “Bleve” is, and I learned that Adam grew up in Sleepy Hollow and his mom was in the audience (she stood up and we all cheered, it was very nice). During the audience Q&A, someone asked Adam what the scariest myth he worked on and he refused to answer because his mother is not allowed to watch that episode. The finale was taking an audience member, dressing him up in a medieval suit of armor and firing paintballs at him with one of those giant guns that you see in war footage. I found a video online and while you can’t see much, you can hear it.
Great finale. If it comes to your town and you know a kid around the age of 11, take them because they will love it.
The other thing I went to was NOT geared towards children and while informative, it was not educational in nature. I went to see Nutcracker Rouge.
I saw online that Shelly Watson was performing in it, and I loved her so much at Gotham Burlesque that I decided to go and check it out. It is a rough retelling of the Nutcracker ballet with elements of circus arts, burlesque and cabaret and it was, without a doubt, THE GAYEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN. I don’t mean “gay” in that unacceptable derogatory way meaning “lame” or “less than,” I mean “gay” like “The Logo Channel would explode from this.” Shelly did an operatic version of Madonna’s “Material Girl” in French. That gay. Look, see for yourself.
I had a jolly good time. The audience was comprised of 75% meticulously groomed gay male couples and 25% other. There was a bunch of elderly foreign tourists in line with me at the ticket-taker’s station, I suspect they saw the sign and thought, “Huh, I guess we’ll go see this performance of The Nutcracker,” and I really wish I could have seen their faces when, near the end, the entire cast forms a can-can line where everyone is humping everyone else. Is this what you expected, Nana and Pop-Pop? Is it? I don’t want to tell you too much in case you go to see it next year, but my two favorite people was the woman who played the peppermint candy cane, Courtney Giannone. I found a picture of her online.
She performed in that gigantic hula hoop that spins and I always expect their fingers to get crushed but they don’t. Here, a video of one in action. She did it all topless and smiling, and her back muscles were intense. I wanted to chew on them. Here’s another pic I found of Courtney.
The other person I loved was a woman named Katrina Cunningham. She was a lovely dancer and singer and I found out later she is a graduate of SUNY Purchase’s Dance Conservatory! Hooray alma mater!* Katrina was beautiful and she helped answer a question that has been plaguing me for years: who the hell buys that crazy giant sparkle-encrusted jewelry and the dresses so covered in rhinestones and sequins they weigh eighty pounds? These people do. This cast does. Katrina wore several.
So if you’re looking for a sexy opulent good time held together by a threadbare plot, this is what you need. There are chandeliers as stage lights. People do ballet wearing stag horns. Cannons shoot glitter all over the audience. Cross-dressing flamenco dancing. Drag queens. Whips and leather. Absolutely delightful.
*I didn’t graduate from the Dance Conservatory. I was in the Theater Arts Conservatory, but I still like to look out for my fellow conservatory graduates because hooo boy does being in a conservatory suck.