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there's a feller in there that'll pay ya ten dollars if you sing into his can - EXCELSIOR, YOU FATHEAD!

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November 24th, 2008


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09:53 am - there's a feller in there that'll pay ya ten dollars if you sing into his can
Back in 2005 the Coen Brothers and Charlie Kaufman presented a double bill of live original audio plays under the title Theater of the New Ear. They brought along Meryl Streep, John Slattery, Steve Buscemi, Peter Dinklage, and a buncha other folks you may remember from their films or other indie classics. The Coens' offering was a meta-play with one half of the cast "watching" the other half on a TV show; Kaufman's was a bit more, well, in tune with his love for meta-meta-meta-meta goof-offery. I mean, consider his scene breakdown:
Scene One         Elevator
Scene Two         Elevator, ten minutes later
Scene Three       Joe's Living Room
Scene Four        The "Kitchen," later that day
Scene Five        Offices of Rolling Stone magazine, 1969
Scene Six         Engine room of an Argentinian freighter, 1943
Scene Seven       The Void, Thursday, 6:53 EST
Scene Eight       Elevator, exactly thirty years later
Scene Nine        Joe's living room, midnight of the same day
Scene Ten         The Void, early morning
Scene Eleven      The eye of a hurricane, Easter Island, now
Scene Twelve      Elevator, one thousand years later
Scene Thirteen    A field of marigolds
Yeah, it's definitely Kaufman-Brand "I'm Doing This Crazy Kinda Crap Cause I Can" writing and, well, it may work for you. If you enjoyed the crazy way Adaptation ended you might enjoy the way this one ends, Ouroboros-style (and stay away from the spoilers in the show description before you head in.)

The Coens' play can be downloaded at the site above, or you can listen to both shows (via horrendously clunky streaming interface) at another site if you wish. While they don't request willing suspension of disbelief so much as outright demand disbelief be thrown out the window, they're still interesting listens when you have a chance and some of the live Foley is pretty groovy, too.

(7 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:fancycwabs
Date:November 24th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
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Dammit, I had to pay a guy $5 for "Hope Leaves The Theatre."

(Incidentally, you can download from the Box site, too.)
[User Picture]
From:modpixie
Date:November 24th, 2008 04:17 pm (UTC)
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what do i sound like when i'm not trying to use up a comment in which i refer to charlie kaufman as a scat freak, and then bemoan the $10 of my money and hour of my life that i wasted on his latest movie until i stormed out in a huff?

like this:

















(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 24th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
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That's what makes live events like that special. You know it's good when you can't decide whether to close your eyes and imagine the whole setting, or watch the FX guys do their thing.

For our show this year, we actually had one fellow (sup oakenguy) who did body falls on a mic'd board. Repeatedly. He is one of our troupers par excellence.
[User Picture]
From:mmcirvin
Date:November 25th, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)
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When I describe what the PMRP do to co-workers and friends, sometimes they ask me if we turn the lights down. I tell them that seeing the foley people make the live noises is a large part of the appeal. In the church basement, it can be a little hard for the people in back to see what's going on down there; the Orpheum show might give better sight lines depending on how it's staged.

Some folks have trouble wrapping their brains around the fact that we actually, to some degree, wear costumes. I admit that it's a little odd.
[User Picture]
From:eeka13
Date:November 25th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:November 26th, 2008 03:04 am (UTC)
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This is quite possibly the most useful website ever put on the Internet for the purposes of being useful.

Holy cats!

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