Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Monday, September 26, 2005


I'm Bi

Bi-coastal, that is.

This Christmas, I will have a show premiering in Seattle on December 1st, followed a week later by the New York premiere. The show will be known by a different title in each city, but I hasten to assure you that the two shows are, in fact, one and the same.

In Seattle, the show will be produced by my good friends at Open Circle Theater. They're calling the show Twas a Night of Shitty Theater and it will run December 1st through the 17th, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM. They're charging the bargain price of $10.

Here in NYC, the show's being done by my group, Special Productions. We're going to be putting it up at UNDER St. Mark's in the East Village and it will run December 8th through 17th. The first weekend, the show will be at 8PM. The second weekend, we switch to a late-night at 10:30PM. As we're in the Big Apple and things are a mite pricier here, we're charging $15. And just to be contrary, we're using the title A Shitty Christmas Carol and Other Pieces.

The show is a follow up to A Night of Shitty Theater, which is a fund-raiser my sketch group used to do in Seattle and which I subsequently did in the Fringe Festival here in New York. The show began when the theater company I was part of in Seattle put out a call for scripts for a planned evening of original works. We got a whole lot of crap. I was always under the opinion that a beginning playwriting teacher at some pathetic school saw our ad in the paper and encouraged her students to submit their work. This stuff was just abysmal. We read some of it out loud at a meeting and we were dying. Someone opined that we ought to read this shit for an audience. Someone with a conscience (it might have been my wife, but I honestly don't remember) piped up and pointed out how sadistically cruel it would be to use someone's work that way. The idea was too good to let go, though, so we decided, if we couldn't use the work that had been sent to us, we'd just create our own. So everybody pitched in and, in the end, we had a full night of short scenes of the so-bad-they're-good variety. We raised enough money that night that we went back and did it the next two years as well.

When I came to New York, the sketch group I formed with some friends liked the idea and we put up our own version, with a little more rehearsal and with the scripts memorized instead of being read. It's a good time. It's an especially good time because we tell the audience that these scripts were submitted to us by people from all over the country and some of them believe it. Man, they're gullible.

Anyway, unlike the original Shitty Theater, this one is all from my little noggin and it's all scenes about the holiday season. Let's face it, if you go see any live theater at Christmas, there's a pretty good chance you're going to see some crap. We figure, it's better to acknowledge the putrid nature of the plays going into it and to enjoy them for what they are. So, if you live on one of the coasts, you should make an effort to see this show. You will laugh until your ass falls off. In fact, you probably ought to bring some glue or staples to reattach your ass when you leave the theater. If you don't live on one of the coasts, do some traveling, ya lazy sumbitch. I'm giving plenty of advanced notice, so there's no excuses.

And so, as Tiny Tim says, "God bless us, every one. Except you."