Aug 10, 2005

Double Standards and Geek Chic

I haven't seen either show, but I'm just wondering: Why is The Godfadda Workout being forced to close, while One-Man Star Wars Trilogy is riding high? Is proximity to Hollywood the problem? And yet Seth Isler has been doing his show for years and years. Why shut it down now? I'm baffled. (I always wondered about MacHomer, too.)

In light of Chris Wells' observation, I found this quote from Jason Zinoman's NY Times review telling:
"One-Man Star Wars Trilogy" may seem like just an oddball summer gimmick, but it is in some ways the logical extension of where commercial theater is headed. The crowds at "Spamalot," a highly polished imitation of old Monty Python skits, laugh before the punch lines. And the many jukebox musicals—which, don't fool yourself, are not going away—preach to the converted.
The element of surprise matters less than the comforting pleasure of seeing something familiar. The geek audience has become highly sought after by Broadway producers.

I can't pretend this is postmodernism in flower—it's more like the pop-culture tail wagging the the theatrical dog—but it would seem create an opening for an authentic dialogue about pop culture. Or, one could argue, an ominous flattening of the aesthetic horizon. You decide, dear reader.


Douglas said...

Very depressing, just checking out all these sites. It's Gimmick Theatre - trading in on the lowest common denominator of getting an audience. Who knows, there could be some merit in these shows, but the concept/marketing of them just seems like blatant pop-culture whoring to get people to attend. (Not that I'm innocent of a little of that!) Bit it doesn't seem to be based on good, solid work, rather on the ol' razzle-dazzle.

Anonymous said...

Seth Isler's show should at least be a documentary - from it's creation to fruition to being tossed fallow into the fickle industrial crypt with other great pieces.

It just ended - finally?- in LA last month.

Hopefully, to rise again. He's got a knack for that~

Blonde Grl in Eugene