Monday, August 14, 2006

Slow Children, Fast Drinking

Well, from what I understand, the bulk of the East Coast theatre blogosphere, myself included, is horrifically hung over from Saturday night's Slow Children at Play show (and Dave's Tavern afterwards).

Aside from the resulting headache, I had an absolute blast.

Not only was it fun seeing, and later drinking with, George, Joanne, Matt, Josh, Lucas, Isaac, Zay and MattJ, (meeting the last two on the list for the first time in person Saturday night), as well as many members of the Nosedive gang and old friends from the BU days, but it was great to get back together with my old Boston University sketch troupe (one of whom I hadn't seen since graduation, many of whom in several years) and putting on a silly sketch comedy show.

A few hours before the show, I was definitely feeling stressed about the show, considering we Slow Kids had "rehearsed" the show over email (the members of the group are spread out all over the U.S., many of whom not being able to arrive in the city until the night before the show).

At about 4 p.m. on Saturday, it dawned on the group that this wasn't just going to be a fun reunion for the group, but yes, we would actually be putting on a show for a large number of people. Not only that, it also dawned on the group that we were more than a little shaky on our lines for a number of bits (considering it had been as much as ten years since we had performed many of the sketches).

The actual rehearsal period (i.e., the three or four hours before we opened the doors to the theatre) was a bit of a train wreck. A few of the sketches (mainly the shorter ones) ran smoothly, but several of them...not so much. The weird thing about the group (which was also true back when we performed in college) is that there's no directorial or executive oversight; there's really no one to go, "Okay, listen up, this is how we're doing this." Since there was no one person to go, "this has got to go," it took a lot longer for the group to realize that certain sketches needed to be cut from the set list.

When 6:30 rolled around, there was enough panic from everyone to finally agree that some judicious cutting was needed (nobody could remember "Middle-School Prison" or "The Batman Sketch," other than that they were kind of intricate and required a modicum of tight timing and the entire 7-person group to make it work), which made us relax a bit.

Picking up the beer and hard booze (and indulging in said beer and hard booze) also helped take a bit of the edge off.

At about 7, people started to show up (George, Joanne and Lucas being the first to arrive). I remember sputtering some panicked words to Joshua James when he showed up, something along the lines of, "Oh. Oh! Hi. Uh...uh...look. Uh...thanks for coming, but, but...uh...I, I, I hope you're not, uh, expecting, like, you know, an, or, or or, uh..."

Joshua politely stopped my blathering: "James, relax. I'm just here to have fun."

I calmed down a bit more.

When Dan performed his opening stand-up monologue, I realized that my panic was unfounded. The crowd was clearly on our side, well into their cups and in good spirits. In other words, they all had the same attitude as Mr. James. We remembered our sketches, and didn't embarrass ourselves too badly.

Doing the show with the original members of the comedy group formed back in 1995/1996, it wasn't just our lack of discipline I was reminded of. I was reminded of why we ended up getting together in the first place and why we always had fun performing together. When push came to shove and when it was show time, we were very comfortable and relaxed performing with one another. We knew each other's timing and comic sensibilities and didn't step on each other's toes.

In other words, performing with these six other guys was very fun and relaxing, even after ten years.

(Now, please don't think I'm suggesting this was highbrow, classy, sharply-timed comedy performed by professional or professional-minded writers and actors. No. This was a night of dick n' fart jokes done by and for drunk people.)

Anyway, the show was a lot of fun for both myself, the other performers and (from what it seemed) the audience. After the show, a bunch of us went out and drank heavily (like ya do).

Again, many thanks and much love to everyone who came out to the show (and to those who had the stamina to come out with us to the bar afterwards). Also, thanks, Pete for directing the "Banana Split For My Baby" sketch and Patrick for running lights and sound.

To the theatre bloggers: I was (am) powerfully impressed with your drinking abilities. Anyone who thinks that the theatre blogosphere doesn't know how to party has been gravely misinformed.

And to my fellow Slow Children: seriously, guys. We should do this more often than every ten years.

Enjoying wearing women's clothing,

James "Pretty He-Bitch" Comtois

Ps. Many thanks are also in order for Steve and Mike, a.k.a Uncle Funk, for performing as the musical act during intermission.


Blogger Joshua James said...

Ah James, you thought because I panned PIG FARM I wouldn't enjoy your lovely sketch show?

It was fun, dude - even the wiccan witch in the second row who was harassing the performers was fun (though too bad she left early to hurl) -

But me was seriously hung over the next day, I must admit.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Jamespeak said...

I think it was when you asked what the run-time of the show was, which made me panic. Run-time? GAH! I had absolutely no idea how to answer that question.

But thanks, Josh! I'm glad you were able to come out.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Damn the UK to US flying restrictions. I was so excited to go see this and didn't. But, you already know by now how mad and upset I was. Sounds like so much fun and I so wanted to support.

Does it count that I was thinking about you guys 30K feet above?

12:10 PM  

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