Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Links: Joe W./Disgruntled Bit-Players

This one's gonna be weird for me, mostly because I don't know how to broach the subject. I mean, w/Skot, I could go on about his drunken/curmudgeon demeanor, Deni's more about his extremism, etc. etc. etc. What can I tell you about Joe, except that 1) he's a goddamn funny motherfucker (up there with some of the best), 2) he likes making pies, and 3) he's head over heels in love with his wife, M? These are his most obvious character traits. His most obvious physical trait is his uncanny resemblance to Divine, which is a shame, really.

And yet, he is one of my closest friends in the world; definitely one of the people I respect the most. The former statement in the last sentence may take him by surprise, considering that I don't really talk with him all that much, since he moved to NYC. This has more to do with my military brat up-bringing (in which distance is the great nullifier), than anything else.

Actually, what's really a shame is that he's not doing as much sketch in NYC as he should, I mean this guy's the fucking shit. Even though we had created DBP together, and started as equal writing partners in the endeavor, by the time 2001 came along he was nearly the only writer on board (a couple of bits would be brought in by myself and others in the group). While I could claim that the nexus for Gate 17 (DBP's most popular show) came from a kernel of an idea I had, 90% of the material was written by Joe, and it was great stuff.

So, no, I can't regale you with stories about how he and I stayed up way past sunrise, drunk off of Vermouth, puking into our shoes.

I can tell you that he's one of the most charming people on earth (much like his wife), entertaining company, giving, caring, and yes: The Funny One.

And that should be enough.

[Click here to go to the next in the "Links" series.--tbo]


Okay, so where were we?

Show opened, went well. Saturday's crowd was a bit raw and rowdy (mainly due to a couple of the audience brad cook members drinking since noon on that day). The cast handled it with aplomb, and I'm in love with the fucking show. I will try to refrain from writing on it too much, I ain't no Wil Wheaton.

The rowdy nature of Saturday's audience, however, did remind me of the last time I had to deal with brad cook that element. This was a couple of years ago, when I was doing Action Movie! at ConWorks. Fun show; I had to play a German scientific mastermind in a wheelchair.

Well, accents are nowhere near my specialty as an actor, and so I tried to adopt the most bastardized German accent since Kenneth Mars' in Young Frankenstein. And for the most part it did the job.

One night, at the top of the show, where I had the majority of the expository nonsense, I just finished butchering my second line of dialogue, when I hear from the rafters: "Jose', man, what the fuck are you saying, man?".

Before I get too thrown by this (interruption to the flow of the show, being called by my real first name, desire to kill whoever this was), I exclaim "Shut the fuck up, out there" and continue.

Eventually, I find out that it's brad cook an acquaintance of mine, who showed up 12a drunk at 8p, and confused my being in the show, with my being involved with this other troupe that specializes in drunken performances for drunken audiences. A friend of his felt embarrassed by his behavior, later chastised him for it, and he, in turn, called the cast during the following week to apologize.

I took his apology, and teased him that the next time he performed, I'd return the favor. I never did, figuring he'd learned his lesson.

Obviously not, as this was one of the main offenders of being rowdy on Saturday night. To be fair, his friend was the more obvious offender, and he did try to contain his friend, but they both offended during the performance, so...

Oh, but I'll get mine, don't worry...I'll get mine.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Pimping for the Cause

Quick entry to pimp the latest show...For the few out there who're in Seattle and might be able to attend.

Can't wait...
Dear friends,

It's been a while since I pestered any of you with an announcement regarding an upcoming production of mine, which means it is high time to break that streak.

And so:

Terrence McNally's The Ritz
Directed by Jose' Amador
@ Re-bar, 1114 Howell (at Boren Ave)
Thu - Sat, 8p
Previews 5/26, Opens 5/27 and runs through 6/25
$14, though if you show up in a robe or a towel, the price goes down to $10

At this point I could give you a whole lotta rigamarole about the gay70s, and wacky highjinks, but I feel that cheapens all of us. How about I give you the high concept?
A man runs from the mafia, hops in a cab and tells the cabbie to take him someplace no one would look for him. The cabbie takes him to a bath house. Hilarity ensues.

No? Nothing?

Okay, here's a cast list:

Alan Wilkie (Lend Me A Tenor), Jeffrey Gilbert (Edmond, Orpheus), Andrew Tasakos (formerly Bitsy Bates, Garden of Allah, Brown Derby), Rebecca Davis (Hellhound on My Trail), Andy Justus (Orpheus), Mike Pham (Spade Cooley's Nightmare, Blasted), Eric Sandoval (if you have to ask...), Aaron Allshouse (Meathook, Are We Scared?), Retha Tinker(Red Noses, Kooterville), Susan Stansbury (Are We Scared?, JCSuperstar), Gary Zinter (I *Heart* Kant), Tom Prince (Meathook), Rob MacGregor (Poona, Cannibal the Musical), introducing Ade', and featuring the choreography of Diana Cardiff (Buttrock Suites).

Still nothing? Jesus, you guys are fickle!

All right then, let me give you a bit of advice: If, during intermission, you miss Ade's amazing renditions of 70s disco classics, you will leave the show kicking yourself. And that is a bona fide tip for you, my friends. No lie.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Links: Eastland Academy

I don't have much to say about the Eastland Academy blog. I believe imdb.com could best encapsulate the experience:

A group of girls attending a boarding school experience the joys and the trials of adolescence under the guiding hand of housemother Edna Garrett.

[Click here to go to the "Featured Essays/Stories" page.--tbo]

Monday, May 16, 2005

MC Al Most & Notorious B.E.I.G.E.

[TBO's Note: On Saturday Night, the Fourth Semi-Regular installment of the Xtreme Theater League took place. Equal parts entertainment and drunken bachannal, the format pits two entities against each other in a variety of arenas--i.e. - Critical Review-Off, Acting Competition, Touching Story competition, etc. It was quite a night, probably worthy of its own entry (the asshole in me wants to mention how the palpable desperation of certain members of a once-mighty fringe theater have become, but that will be sated later). Debuting that night, was a weird new act trying to stake claim in that somewhat neglected niche: Goofball hiphop. The name of the act, as the title of this entry states, is MC Al Most & The Notorious B.E.I.G.E. They went up against Posse Ad Esse on Saturday, and lost. TBO caught up with The Notorious One, via writing this entry, and briefly discussed the XTL event, and his own participation in it.]

TBO: Hello, B.E.I.G.E.

TNB: Just call me Beigey.

TBO: Hello, Beigey.

TNB: 'Sup?

TBO: I wanted to ask you about the other night...

TNB: We wuz robbed.

TBO: Uhm, really? I recall a bunch of blown rhymes and your having to--

TNB: Well, not really, but who gives a shit, you know whut i'm sayin?

TBO: Okay.

TNB: Cracker ass judges impressed by two white chicks rhyming--not rapping, you feel me?--rhyming about parking in Seattle. Sucka fools don't even know what happened to 'em that night. I did like it when one bent over when she was taking off the jumpsuit, that was a nice treat for the beige.

TBO: Uhuh.

TNB: "Red rover red rover send bitches right over," is fucking funny. Period. Ever notice that those who object to the word "bitches" usually are...bullshit feminism can kiss my ass.

TBO: That's a dangerous topic, Beigey, but what about--

TNB: Sorry, man, like the Black Sheep, I gotta go I gotta go I gotta go.

TBO: Don't go.

(He went.)
[TBO's Note: The following are MC Al Most's comments on the matter.]

MCAM: When the first judge said we were disrespecting women, I almost said one of two things. First was "Bitch, Shut the Fuck Up," the other was "Oh. We thought it was a hip-hop contest. Sorry for our language." I said neither.

For the record, I always have an easy time parking on the hill.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Alone in the office today, so today's entry will be more random than most...Things are well here, rehearsals are at that hectic place again. Looking forward to finishing the "Links" series, I have one last one to do, and I want to do it justice. Also, I need to figure out how to create a "featured entries" link that will yadda yadda.

Anyway, a couple of rambling points:
Amazing Race Gets to the Final Three

Unsurprisingly, Gretchen and Meredith aren't in it.

Man, I don't know, this is the first time they've ever not actually raced around the world. Before this time, they actually traversed the globe. And so now, the "around" in "race around the world," is being used in the same context as "leave some stuff around the room." I wonder what world events caused them to reconsider the route this time through. Usually, after India would come either a trip to an Asian country, or a stop in the Australia region before heading to the US. Kinda disappointing.

As far as Rob and Amber (this year's "controversial" team), I've been with them for the most part. I never really watched Survivor, so I never got a chance to get bored with them. Rob gets too cocky, and he shoots his mouth off a fair amount, but that's negated by the fact that they usually perform extremely well. Very few flaws in their race.

I'm on the wall on the fact that their celebrity, such as it is, has helped them out in a few different countries, I mean, yeah, it's not fair, but at the same time, ehh. I just figured that eventually they'll come to a place where people aren't going to give a shit. But then they reached England this last week, and I thought that the Brits wouldn't care for these loutish Americans with their cameras and desperate demeanors.

How wrong was I? Even the English seek their refracted glory in being camera whores, and so, the only hope left is the unnamed African country seen in the previews and the US, where they do stand a chance of playing on a level field. I gather that Rob and Amber aren't that popular over here. We'll See.

Here's how I'd like for it to finish: 1) Uchenna & Joyce, 2) Rob & Amber, 3) Ron & Kelly (and what a piece of work this woman is...criminey.)

Every once in a while, when you're listening to a new CD, you'll find that you like most of an album, but a couple of songs just plain kick your ass. Songs # 3 & 4 off of the self titled Franz Ferdinand CD are like that for me. (so, I'm late to the game...ehhh.)

Take Me Out is one of those songs that gets overplayed, and will always be linked with FF, just like Can't Get No (Satisfaction) is overplayed and linked with the Stones. This doesn't take away from the fact that it's a great song, though.

The Dark of the Matinee, the next song, stands on its own. Between the riff-y bridges and the disco-ish refrain of the chorus, this little beast is a heady swirl of fun.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Jones III, Basketball

Congratulations to the Sonics for various reasons, but primarily for advancing to the 2nd round of the playoffs. At this moment, it looks like they'll be up against the San Antonio Spurs, by which I mean they'll be up against the Spurs starting this weekend. (Highly unlikely the Nuggets will make it three in a row to advance, but I wouldn't put it past George Karl to do so.)

Okay, here's what's been giving me and my RTB soapbox [Refuse to Believe, and if you can't find a link on this page to take you to what I'm referring to, you're not looking hard enough] fits right now:

King Kaufman sez: Kings Make Sonics Look Better Than They Are

I guess "giving me fits" might be overstating it a bit, it just feels like a tizzy.

The thing is, as much as I try to remain neutral about the boys' chances, Kaufman's article feels like a slap to the face (though I should be used to it, Kaufman has been nothing but derisive of Seattle, and the Sonics in particular all season long). Especially considering how dominant the Sonics, not just Ray Allen, were in this series. Kaufman, for once, represents what is the conventional wisdom on the Sonics: Complete Fluke. They shouldn't even be here.

And I'll be the first to admit that this team makes no sense, on paper or even at first glance. When the Sonics were blown out in the first game of the season against the Clippers, I braced myself for yet another disappointing season.

But, damnit if they haven't proven themselves, several times over, worthy of whatever challenge is in front of them.

I place responsibility for this squarely on Nate "Mr. Starbucks Better Get On The Goddamn Schneid Already" McMillan's shoulders. It seems like he was finally able to convince his players that maybe, just maybe, he might be on to something with this coaching thing. Look no further than Jerome James for proof of this. If I were any of these men involved with the team, I'd be yelling "fuck conventional wisdom" at the top of my lungs.

But I'm not. Also, RTB. While I won't commit either one way or the other on the series, I seriously doubt that it'll be the Spurs dismantling the Sonics like Kaufman predicts. I'll leave it to the team to go about proving him wrong.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Craig Ehlo Is A Dumbass

Why in the hell are they using this doofus? I mean seriously, if this idiot mentions getting his ass whupped by Michael Jordan (which is what he's doing people, anytime he mentions "personally seeing Michael Jordan on a streak") one more time, I'm going to lose it, find his family, make them suffer, before I hold Ehlo's ass hostage and demand that they re-hire Marques Johnson as color commentator. Marques has been whithering away in that silly FSN contract he signed, doing bupkus, so bring back the best goddamn color that ever, EVER sat next to Kevin Calabro.

This guy is just plain stupid, can't string together a cohesive sentence to snug a bull to a paper bag, and his insights into the game are of the "Rashard Lewis needs to make that shot," variety. (I mean, fuckin' DER!)

"oh, but he's from Spokane, he went to Gonzaga!" SO THE FUCK WHAT? HE. IS. NOT. GOOD!

Did you see Sunday's game? We're talking about a guy who takes pride in being burned by Jordan, a whimpering simp who, despite the fact that he's at the fucking game in Sacramento, still gets outclassed by Lenny Wilkens in terms of quality input. LW was in the studio...in Bellevue, people! Bellevue!

Do we, as discerning sports fans in general, want to deal with this wimpy-ass no brain motherfucker as a voice of the Sonics? I, for one, say no.

Marques! Marques! Marques! Marques!

sorry. Still refusing to believe. I just need to spend the energy somewhere.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Requiem for Skinemax (c. 1984 - 1987) or Alice in Wonderland Revisited

Like most kids who hit puberty during the mid-80s, I spent many a weekend staying up late to watch the Playboy channel, despite the fact that the cable box scrambled its signal (the cable company where I grew up, ran the Playboy channel right next to MTV, which was handy for whenever the parents made late night trips through the living room. If I placed the rotary dial in the right position, the scrambling was minimal, and I'd get to watch the channel in 20 second intervals, which was enough back then).

Whenever the scrambling was against me, a safe second choice for contraband skin was Cinemax After Dark. Ahh, Cinemax, I wonder if you still live up to your legacy of providing soft core films for the puberty-afflicted-teenage-boy. I also wonder what those without cable did for soft-core kicks back in those days.

A movie I remember sitting too close to the screen for was Alice in Wonderland, this low-budget-ish 70s production which I don't remember much of, except that Skinemax was showing the soft-core edit. I promptly forgot all about the movie about 10 minutes after business was taken care of (if you know what I'm saying, and I think you do).

Forgot all about it, that is, until one of the goons found and purchased a DVD-copy of the unedited print online. It arrived this weekend, and as said goon is currently out of town, I didn't feel too guilty about snagging the copy and holding a private screening in my room.

I can honestly say that I was pleasantly surprised by all of what I had forgotten, or more accurately, didn't pay attention to when I was fourteen. For instance, it's a goddamn musical. And not some cheesy bad singing, three person synthesized orchestra musical, this production boasted a full orchestra, and singing that was at least on-key.

It's almost like finding a time-capsule filled with antiquated porn; the thing feels like it was made by someone who thought that the future of porn lay in staying truthful to Burlesque, with more than passing homage to Burlesque's cousin, Vaudeville.

I mean, let's be realistic here: The movie's humor is barely above sophomoric, but hey, at least there's an attempt. Compare that to any modern porn.

Actually, let's do a modern porn checklist:

Modern Porn/Alice In Wonderland
  1. Boob Jobbed Women/No
  2. Horse-Hung Guys/No
  3. Gonzo Footage (I.E. - Gaping, gang bang, DP, anal-to-oral insertion, etc.)/No
  4. Meth Heads and/or Junkies/No
  5. Morally Repugnant Scenarios/Not really, no*
  6. "Fuck my asshole/clit," "Suck my dick," etc./No

(*-Keeping in mind that, by this point in our civilization, the topic of incest has already been exploited several times over, and not exclusively by the Taboo series. Even still, the mention of it in Alice is used as a throw away gag. In fact, it seems that inter-racial coupling is a much bigger deal for the filmmakers than anything else. A jigaboo bugaboo, if you will.)

To be fair, however, here's a list in which we see what Alice has that modern porn is lacking:

Alice In Wonderland/Modern Porn

  1. A song entitled "His Dingaling's Up!"/No
  2. Knowingly ridiculous excuses for sex scenes/No
  3. Half-Assed Sex Positive "Message"/No
  4. Realistic examples of everyday humans/No
  5. Laugh-In style montages/No
  6. Pubic Hair! (remember that?)/No

The whole thing was refreshingly quaint, really.

And, look, I know how eye-rollingly ludicrous it is for me to be waxing rhapsodic over outdated porn. This is an instance, though, where the novelty of what I saw pointed out the flaws of everything I've been used to.

(Cue gags about "waxing" anything, at this point.)