lose it in the front

8/21/05

We’re back in Los Angeles after a whirlwind tour of NYC, and I have to say it’s really nice being a tourist in your own town. You know where everything is, you get to see everyone you want, and you leave before the contempt of your familiarity kicks in.

Opening night of FLEET WEEK was a stunner. Ovations at the end, and a huge swell of adoring throngs in the street. My take is this: I think you could use FW as a proving ground for your friends. If they find it offensive, then you can dump them with a clear conscience. I was prepared for a lot of foppish double-entendres (and got them), but there is a core of sweetness at the center of this musical that separates it from the snark that is the benchmark of the Fringe Festival.

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Sean (in purple shirt) outside after the show

Mac’s book is solidly funny, and Sean has written two of the best songs of his life (I can’t remember what they’re called, but see the show and tell me which two you think they are). But I have to call out my sister-in-law Jordana, who has written the best lyrics of any show south AND north of Christopher Street, and that includes YOU, Broadway. There are so many little turns-of-phrase so clever that, to borrow a line from Pee Wee Herman, you forget to laugh. If someone bothers to post the show’s lyrics to the Web, you must peruse them at your leisure. Not safe for work, by the way.

Reviewers have always taken delight in savaging innocent works of art, and the critics of my generation (save Va. Heffernan, natch) seem to be so self-loathing about their brethren’s crop of creative endeavors that they go out of their way to piss on any parade within their purview. If the reviewers came to opening night of FW, saw the joy in the audience around them, and resolved to put a stop to it, then they can try and do that.

No reviews have come out yet, but it’s a dreadful pity that so much is at stake with the single, variable, objective opinion of one audience member. If they loved it, then we’ll trumpet it from the top of the Chrysler Building. If not, then Sean, Jordana, Mac, Lindsay and the cast need to know they accomplished what they set out to do. Tessa cried with pride during each song (despite it being a comedy) and I smiled for 1.75 hours.

In the last few years my friends and family have teetered on the edge of wild success without a tipping point. I hope this summer proves to be the tiny shove that gets us all where we need to be.

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cake at the after-party

0 thoughts on “lose it in the front

  1. Laurie from Manly Dorm

    Congratulations Sean, Jordana, and everyone associated with FW! It sounds wonderful. That is a great photo of Sean. He looks so proud and happy.

    Reply
  2. CL

    As an audience member (who somehow ended up with just as good seats than the author of this blog, hmmmm…) I must say that I was blown away! It’s rare that I see a new work of art that’s as original as FW was. It was funny, heartfelt, and clever without relying on any oft-used jokes or cliches — not easy to do. It scored on every front – the music, lyrics, a very clever story whose turns were incessantly fun to watch, and terrific characters. I think one of those two great songs, musically, was the one where the cap’n and Lady Liberty are dancing.
    My friend and I are now big fans of Seaman Swallows. And that “Love Me in the Front” song had us in hysterics. Jordana is a female Cole Porter. Then again, so was Cole Porter.
    As a post script, I must say that all members of the Wms. clan that I observed at the event have just luscious hair. LUSCIOUS!!!!
    And Sean isn’t as mean in person.

    Reply
  3. Annie

    Fart! I missed opening night, I know–my name may be mud, but are there any other shows I/we could catch? How long does the fest last?
    S & J, I so wanted to be there–just got a new death-penalty case, so lots of work right now–but perhaps I could sneak up next weekend…
    Better yet–Ian, is there a link to a Fringe Festival schedule?

    Reply
  4. Ian

    I should mention again Sean’s music – I made it seem like there were only two good songs, but ALL of the songs were brilliant, just two that were transcendent. There should be a professional cast recording of this show.
    And good to meet the cute Caren Lissner in the audience as well!

    Reply
  5. LB

    Annie, if you can make it up for Friday, you will be the offical Coolest Person on Earth, edging out Michelle by a nose. And I’ll bring Jackson, if his Mom will let me.

    Reply

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