Before heading off for the ritual 18 Hours Of Sleep, allow me to share this cut/paste:
ANNE LEBARON / DOUGLAS KEARNEY: SUCKTION Award-winning composer Anne LeBaron and provocative writer Douglas Kearney present the story of a woman’s cyber-erotic transformation from abject housewife into a self-sufficient cyborg in this theatrical song cycle. Written for the ensemble soNu, Sucktion features a female vocalist supported by percussion, laptop and a musical appliance as it traces the radical reinvention of one woman’s persona via the subversive use of a vacuum cleaner.
“Uncommon imagination and technical skill.” The Washington Post
Then I start right back up again because you know what? The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the bedrock of this nation. For me, the First Amendment *particularly* matters - it's my Black Helicopter People issue. Fuck with those and you destroy the country. Civil rights and civil liberties are not static concepts, and I think our nation's Founders knew what they were doing when they constructed a guiding documents flexible enough to account for the Future they believed in but could not specifically account for. They are living, breathing documents. They are not fossils. Here's another one.
I went to see Ricky Jay perform. Insert knock me over with a truck here. Though this involved sacrificing both NIN's upcoming show at the Forum and a even more of my Geek Vegas food & drink stash to pull it off, I have no regrets.
The next morning I realized something possibly happened during the show that was so subtle I didn't realize it until the next day. Either that, or my mind is just messing with me again and what I *think* happened actually didn't. But that man is so good I'm inclined to think It Happened, but I didn't pick up on it while in the theater.
On the off-chance that somebody who plans to go to the show wanders past these posts, I'm going to do this with a few spoilers as I can manage. Apologies for the Vague.
There are two tattoo incidents in the show. One is a tattoo referenced as part of a wonderful old-school story he spins out. The other tattoo is physical, revealed with much humor and deliberate obviousness during the second half. It is the second tattoo that is at issue.
After he showed the physical tattoo, he moved on. We, the audience, went with him, meaning that after he's done talking about it, we're no longer paying attention to the tattoo. Especially after the clockwork doll thing, not to mention the vegetables and fruit appearing out of god knows where. You can say we had other things to pay attention to, but in truth it's more along the lines of Jay *owns* the people in the audience, and despite best efforts that audience will see *nothing* he without his granting permission. If I were allowed to use shorthand cliches such as When You Sit In Ricky Jay's Audience You Are Ricky Jay's Bitch, I would do so here. But I've got six more months before I'm allowed to say things like that again, so I can't.
Anyways. What happened to that tattoo?!
That's all I'm gonna say. I need an answer! I'm putting this here in hope that down the road an attendee of the current run will come across this post. Perhaps, unlike me, they did not distract easily and so tracked what happened to that tattoo between the time it showed up and the time the show ended. That person will Take Pity on Moi and, via the email addy handily provided over there on the siderail, drop a note telling me if I *actually* saw what, when pondering the day after, I *think* I saw.
Don't think there's a point in attempting a write-up of a sold out show because it's not like you can go check it out later in the run. How I got in at the last minute, long after the sold was out, is a Kitchen-Aid Mixer Mystery. So I'll give you this conversation held among strangers wandering in a stunned pack back to the parking garage.
"But WHERE did the vegetables come from?!"
"But where did the vegetables COME from?!"
"But where did the VEGETABLES come from?!"
"Actually, only two were vegetables. One was a lime." <odd silence from the group> "But yeah, you know? The FUCK with the vegetables?!" (this one was Me.)
Let's just say I was not the only on in the audience to go O MY GOD when the vegetable thing happened. I was just the loudest.
(Update, next day: You know what hit me in the shower the next morning? What happened to the tattoo???Update II, a couple of hours past lunch: The what happened to the tattoo??? question has been making my head hurt all day. Update III, after home from work, four loads at the 24-hour drug dealer laundromat, brief grocery shopping and the trauma of the Beverly Center <shudder> because only now did I remember that I am in desperate need of a pair of black pants but am too busy with other people's sewing projects to make some and H&M has that $5/$10/$20 sale going on: I'm gonna give it a stand-alone post.)
It was such a fantastic show! There were a couple of points when you could hear everyone in the room gasp, and so many when you could hear the central air running because the entire room was dead silent watching him with WTF wonder. You hear about performers who have 'timing'? Jay has astounding timing when it comes to manipulating silence. When the curtain zipped open and he walked onto the way coolio set, it was a couple of minutes before he said a word...just looked at us while rolling up the sleeves of his suit jacket and then opening up a sealed deck of cards. That said, Jay uses language wonderfully - he was as much fun to listen to as he was to watch. I don't know how much of what he was talking about was made up and how much of it was fact-based (of the many historical magicians/gamblers he talked about I only recognized two names, but I was rather Proud of Moiself at catching all but one of the poetry references) but who cares because his patter was both entertaining *and* educational. He was also extremely funny.
I did get the sense that something was up with the blonde woman he pulled onstage during the second half of the show. When she got up she tossed a look at a couple sitting on the far (stage right) end of the front row and they all had a huge laugh. I don't know who that couple was, but everyone in the front row paid $250 for the privilege, the man got double-takes in the lobby, and while waiting for the curtain to come up the two of them practically had a receiving line. See, during the first half of the show, when Jay made his first call for volunteers, he said he didn't want anyone he knew to volunteer. Later during the first half when he was going down the row having people pick cards, he stopped at this couple and asked a woman sitting *behind* them to pick a card. So put it all together and the guy in that couple was probably a Somebody (and a Somebody powerful enough to walk around with a neon green sweater knotted over his shoulders in 80s High Preppy Style as if that was normal), and someone Jay and the blonde woman knows.
Down the road won't be surprised if I find out by accident who this guy was and laugh at how stupid I was not to recognize him. I have a long history of failing to recognize celebrities, starting with my first week in California, when I was a grocery store in Palm Springs and talking to the woman who played Brenda Walsh without a clue until the checkout lady said do you know who that was? She never talks to *anybody*! Last month I was at Amoeba standing behind Sara Silverman and her giant bodyguard, completely clueless until I noticed folks doing the stop/stare/photo/autograph request thing and asked one of them who she was. Though I did recognize James Cromwell that time in the Whole Foods down on Fairfax, that was only after wondering why all those little kids were staring at this guy in awe while their embarrassed moms were trying to shoo them away. That guy is *really* tall. You gotta see it in real life to get the impact. He's like Magic Johnson tall.
On the other hand, I recognized Kelly Link instantly on the floor of BEA, even though all I've ever seen is an author mugshot.
This was only my second time at the Geffen, in part because I dislike that part of town, but mainly because they don't have a Hot Tix or similar program and so the whole place is out of my price range. I'd forgotten about the well-stocked bar in the lobby and the pretty twinkle lights in the courtyard. It's a nice space. I can't wait to go back in the fall. Before the show I got to talking with a guy who flew down from the Bay Area for Jay's performance, which he found out about by accident and a couple comprised of third- and seventh-generation Los Angeles natives. (!!) They saw Jay when he last did this show a decade ago and we all got to talking about various local Mamet shows we'd seen.
Back home, Cuddle Kitty thought the ticket was tasty:
I think I'll make a shadowbox! This ticket & playbill, toss in the ripped playing card that black magician from Alaska let me keep after his set at the Magic Castle a few years ago, and add the teeny scrap of cloth alleged to be from one of the capes of Blackstone, Jr. That'll make a nice one.
Man, I love this town so very much. Never thought I'd ever get to see Jay in live performance but figured if the chance ever came up it would happen here. The only thing that would have made it all perfect would have been the hours-long (possibly days long) geekout conversation with The Departed going over every single detail. I miss not being able to bring things like this back to him so he could enjoy them, too. I can get used to the rest of life without him, but I will probably never get over the whole Not Fair of it all.
The few times I've mentioned Lea Hernandez around here I get reminders from people chastising me for doing so despite the fact that I pretty much don't like manga. You know, as if I forgot. Note to wuss anonymous people on the internet(s)! Some of us whose names are attached to our blogs know precisely what it is we say in a public space. And we remind you (as we were reminded) that I selectively don't like manga.
If more people attached their names to the words they put on their blogs, the internet(s) would be a far less irritating place as far as I'm concerned.
In the approach she takes on her site toward comics big picture items, specifically comics buiz stuff, Hernandez reminds me of something Savitri D said when she and Rev. Billy came out this way for Doo Dah and gave a talk at All Saints about organizing and activism - SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO BE LOUD. Over and again she's been proven dead-on about practical stuff she's trying to tell These Kids Today to watch out for. That she's walked the walk she's trying to educate about and she attempts to do hard-edged practical education without hiding behind the fuzzy apologia or the I Must Make Nice With The Overlords that is the default position of so many of the comics pr news outlets makes her worth listening to. As with everybody I know, I don't always agree with what she says, but unlike a big chunk of people I know, I *always* listen to her. More people should. This woman was in the trenches of that part of the industry when that segment of the industry functionally did not exist in this part of the globe. She's seen and wrestled with stuff Then that is still on the table Now. You do not have to walk alone. Do yourself a favor and Listen. To. Hernandez.
Anyways, she's trying to get to Geek Vegas, and has come up with an out-of-the-box approach is implementing an out-of-the-box idea she got from elsewhere to get there. She's part of the massive Comic Book Tattoo project*** that's coming to show this year. (So is Cat!) That's me there in the "anonymous" position (because when I sent the thing I forgot to tell her that it's fine to attach my name to it), which shows that you don't have to have a product to promote to support the cause.
Anywho, pass the word, widely and if you can kick in $50, do so. Geek Vegas is next week and all she needs is two more. She should be there mainly so I can talk to her in person talk to her in person again. Yes! FUNDAMENTALLY IT'S ALL ABOUT ME AROUND HERE.
For the record, this post took 17 minutes to format, and remains improperly formatted for my needs. Not to mention two links are missing because eventually I gave up. grrr Typepad, grr.
*** Didja click over? Didja read the CCI autograph details for the Tori Amos signing? Start lighting candles on behalf of the Autograph Area team now, and the Image Comics booth worker bees, and all of the Elite guards. The AA team will ultimately pull it off, but man are they gonna have "fun" getting there.