Monday, June 14, 2004

Metroid Prime

In 1986, some brilliant people came out with a new game for the Nintendo Entertainment System: "Metroid". At the time, this was what I thought the coolest game ever! I played and played and played and eventually beat the game. Then came Metroid Fusion for the Gameboy Advanced, after almost 15 years of no Metroid. I was so excited! Then Metroid Prime came out for the Nintendo Gamecube, I was in heaven. I told you before, I am nerd. I nerded out again on Friday and Saturday. I spend hours playing Metroid Prime. I got this game almost a year ago, and since I am not a teenager and I cannot spend all my time playing video games, I am only 41% done... But I will not rest until this game is beat! Oh no. I will not.

The fringe Festival

In Montreal, we have what we call "The Fringe Festival" every Spring. It is basically a reason for giving exposure to local writers, directors and actors so they can showcase their crappy plays. This year was no exception. I went to see "Wanting" on Saturday evening. YACK, CACAC! First of all, the venue was an old abandoned building that was recently sheetrocked, unpainted and way too hot for early June. The lighting sucked, the sound sucked, the actors were horrible and the script VERY weak. Oh! Did I mention nudity? Every five minutes someone was taking off their clothes, then putting them on again. Its been done. Frankly, NOTHING about this play warranted that kind of artistic expression. So the guy was hot but he was only naked for like 10 seconds, however the two girls were practically exposing their muff all over the stage, for no apparent reason. People don't normally put their clothes on and off every 10 minutes. Yet, that's what happened in this play. Wanting left me wanting more. More of a script, more of a venue, more direction, more acting and more of my money back. Just because you took a creative writing class does not mean you should be writing plays. I have been to amateur produced plays before, and I have really enjoyed most of them... But this....

But that's par for the course with the Fringe Festival. Usually the stuff is crap. The idea is great... I mean, what a great way to put local artists on stage, but do we have to produce every piece of artistic drool that is coughed up by granola munching "plateau residents"?


Now, Sunday, I went to see RENT. For the first time ever, translated into French. If you don't know, RENT is loosely based on Puccini's La Boheme and revolves around a bunch of squatters in a loft in NYC, most of which are HIV positive, some gay, some straight some bisexual and some questionable. The show was very well executed and had immense production value. It did not get great reviews and will probably not be extended. The major problem: the main character, Mark, could not sing, dance or act. HELLO THIS IS A MUSICAL you need to be able to do all three!

Thank god, the rest of the cast was stellar. The show was stolen by the Collins and Angel (Angel the African-American transvestite/drag queen). These two had a chemistry on stage that grabbed the audience by the heart. I was deeply moved when Angel lost her battle against AIDS in one of the final scenes in Act Two. The second act was very strong, only brought down by that prancing "Mark" who just got on everyone's nerves. I felt like getting up and screaming : "Give me a gong!". (Remember the Gong Show!) It was a good thing we saw less of him in Act Two than Act One.

The audience gave the cast a standing ovation, it was well deserved. The actors did a tremendous job. However, I would like to smack the director, casting director, sound director and lighting director in the face with a smelly rotten herring. What were you all thinking? In a lot of the numbers, the sound was horrible, the band muffling the singing. In some of the scenes, the actors chests were lit up while their faces were in the dark: Bravo! There was too much fighting for attention on stage, actors upstaging each other. Director HELLO! And who the heck casted Mark? You get 3 smelly herring slaps, whoever you are.

Now my last beef... Why did this production flop you might ask? Easy: something got lost in the translation. I mean, seriously, they translated "The cow jumped over the moon" literally. This metaphor was the focus of the musical and many references were made to this... But this means something in English. I MEANS NOTHING IN FRENCH. Bravo. Beautifull translation. I hope you never translate anything ever again! 5 smelly herring slaps for the translator!

BY THE WAY : HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOEL :) Your big sister loves you! ;)

Phew.. I feel better now :)

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