Sunday, November 2, 2008

Jason has a birthday Shocktoberfest at the Hypnodrome

It's that time of year for the Thrillpeddlers big Grand Guignol show, Shocktoberfest!  And this year, I chose to see it on my birthday (Halloween), with as many of my friends who could make it.  So thank you Cynthia, Ira, Alan, Keith, Gerry, and everyone else there!  

The show runs through Nov 22, and it's a good one.  So all my SF Bay readers, check it out.

For those of you who don't know what Grand Guignol is...go learn about it here.  But, in a nutshell, it was a small theater in Paris, now a style of theater specializing in gory special effects and appealing to the baser instincts of mankind.  A typical evening is a series of short plays, some funny (often sex farces), and some scary (and very bloody).  

Oh yeah, and you can get a beer or wine there to help calm your nerves (or just make everything more fun)

The show started with "A Difficult Passage", a tale of danger and sadism in the frozen Yukon.  A group of Yale chums (Bonesmen both, named Bush and Prescott) are on their way to a mining camp where they're promised office jobs (family connections, of course).  But they've fallen into a hole, they're starving, and they've eaten the last of their sled dogs.  If only a Royal Canadian Mounted Police would save them.  Yes..."save" them....

Next was the comedy "A Slight Tingling" (which I had seen them perform before, but is still funny).  A sci-fi blood comedy based on the single line synopsis "Dr. Verdier has lost his scissors, and brings his last three patients back to try to find them."  Add a little imagination, a little wicked humor, and some magnetism, and a good time is had by all--even the confused transsexual.

Then it was intermission, allowing me to drain a little beer from my bladder, pour a little more beer down my throat, and do one of my favoritest things--help lead a sing-along to "Bohemian Rhapsody" on the player piano.  Woo hoo!

And then they even played Happy Birthday to me on the player piano.

And finally, the last play and the big, scary dramatic finish was "The Kindest Thing".  Set in the French embassy in China during the Boxer Rebellion.  The few remaining soldiers keep watch as cannons fire all about.  The ambassador keeps a brave face for his daughter, as the soldiers whisper about how if things get desperate they should kill her--it'd be the kindest thing, compared to the rumors they've heard of what the Chinese would do to her.  Particularly powerful in the staging is how the scene is facing the audience, implicating us in the horrors they witness.  And it all ends with lights out, glow-in-the-dark scares.  Lots of fun.

And finally, let me just give my congratulations to Thrillpeddler masters Russell Blackwood and James Toczyl on getting married last Saturday!  

And in my one act of political advocacy in this blog for this election season, I want to urge all my California readers to go out and vote No on 8 tomorrow!

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