Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Royal Nonesuch

If you have ever read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain, you are sure to remember a couple of characters that crossed Huck’s path by the names of the Duke of Bridgewater and King Looy the Seventeenth of France. They were a pair of scoundrels if ever Mark Twain wrote of any. At one point in their time with Huck, they decided to put on a production of The King’s Camelopard or The Royal Nonesuch. The second title better fit the so called Tragedy as the scene played out in this manner:

“he rolled up the curtain, and the next minute the king come a-prancing out on all fours, naked; and he was painted all over, ring-streaked-and-striped, all sorts of colors, as splendid as a rainbow.”

The production was a scam which went very bad on the next night.

You might also remember the scene from the movie Mr. Mom in which the housewives basically shanghai Michael Keaton and take him to a strip club featuring male strippers.

These two references may appear to the casual reader to be totally random and unrelated, but I assure you they are quite relevant to the setting in which I found myself last night.

The teachers and staff at the elementary school where my wife works decided to go en masse to a play at a small theater in a nearby small town. The play featured two actors in The Mystery of Irma Vep, by Penny Dreadful. The main reason they wanted to go is that one of the two actors is a teacher in their school.

The Mystery of Irma Vep has approximately half a dozen characters, male and female, which are all played rather flamboyantly by the two male actors. The over-endowed female characters wear extravagant drag outfits which in some cases would put The Bird Cage actors to shame.

The plot entails werewolves, vampires, mummies and a great deal of confusion, but as the Duke and the King of Huckleberry Finn’s experience, there is a great deal of humor. I would not accuse them of overacting. I would never do that. I wouldn’t have to even mention it for anyone who saw the play. Let’s just say that Jim Carrey and Chevy Chase might have felt like amateurs in comparison to the actors of The Mystery of Irma Vep.

If the acting on stage has been adequately portrayed here by me, then you might be able to also picture the antics of the teachers and staff. The second reference from Mr. Mom would most accurately describe the audience around me at the play. The only exception would be that no one stuffed dollar bills down the entertainer’s least, not that I saw. Feet stamped on the floor, raucous laughter, cat whistles, yelled comments and rolling in the aisle was the norm, and that was just my wife on one side of me and a friend on the other.

We started the evening by driving 45 miles to a small restaurant to eat dinner. We brought somewhere between 25 and 40 people to the town for dinner and the play. I ordered a banana milk shake to go with my bacon cheeseburger and onion rings. My wife had at least half of my milk shake after tasting how good it was. When the play was over we returned to the drive in, but they had shut down their milk shake ice cream machine. We found a Sonic drive in that was still open and got a few milk shakes there then undertook our return journey of 45 miles home arriving at about 10:30pm.

All in all it was an interesting day to say the least. I know all my female relatives and readers would have enjoyed the evening. Just like most of you think Julia Roberts is the most beautiful actress and love chocolate.

‘Nuff said,