Sexy tales: eyesex, scandal, drama, and partial nudity guaranteed.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Marriage of Figaro, Volume III: It Finally Ends. And We Survive. Mostly.

Le Nozze di Figaro was a scathing reproof of the hypocritical, hedonistic nobility that ran Europe in Mozart’s day.  It was meant to shock the audience and make them uncomfortable, as it was written to entertain the very people it sought to criticize.  It was based, of course, on the revolutionary plays by Beaumarchais.  It’s a very political story, one that fired up the revolutionaries in the late 18th century.
In a small Midwestern town, this drama is somewhat lost on us today.  But The Nose Of Figaro is pretty epic.  The music is LURVE.  The overture is badass.  Happily, since I played for act 1, I was sitting onstage draped in cheap blue cotton and moldy lace when it started, I could watch the orchestra sex through the entire thing.  SO DAMN GOOD.

(The overture is famous.  Yes, you've heard it.  It goes noodle-oodle-oo, noodle-oodle-oodle-oodle-oodle noodle-oodle-oo, noodle-oodle-oodle-oodle-oodle, noodle-oodle-oodle-oodle-oodle-oodle-oodle-oodle-oo (wagga-wagga-wagga) doooooo, doo doo-doo-doo-doo dooooooo, doo doo-doo-doo-doo BAHHHHHHHHHHHH, DAHHHHHHHHHHH, DAH-DAH, BAH DAHHHH DAH-DAH, BAH DAHHHH DAH-DAH, DAH, DAH, DAH, DAH.  And so on.)

Musically, the opera was (for me) a study in how to pretend I had any clue what the fuck I was doing.  Harpsichord?  Really?  It has the same keys as the piano, but it’s a different instrument and a completely different musical idiom, which requires a completely different style.  Plus there are no pedals.  I kept trying to pedal before I would realize it wasn’t helping.  Whoops.  I was always kind of a slow kid.

Regardless of the utter mess we’d been all semester in rehearsals (I made, and flew, paper airplanes during rehearsals), the week of the show finally rolled around, and shockingly, we’d all survived and were able to perform.  Except for one guy who got appendicitis.  But other than that, everyone was fine.  The chorus pranced on in (mostly kind of shitty) costumes, sang their bits, and pranced off to eat Chex Mix and cookies and work on homework till they had to go back in.  They danced the wedding dance, which was actually just the “traditional Liechtenstein” dance Heath Ledger and whatserface dance in “A Knight’s Tale.”  Srsly.  The choreographer was really excited about it.
One of my favorite things about the show was that I could do whatever I wanted when I wasn’t onstage, acts 2 and 4.  I got to chill out in the back hallway with the chorus.  It boiled down to playing Bananagrams on the floor.  When you’re sleep-deprived, soaked in Mozart, and surrounded by other people dressed like citizens of Mos Eisley spaceport (“…you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy…”), for some reason, the word NEEZO is hysterical.  When I wasn’t cackling over SQRZIB or getting shushed for it, one of the sopranos and I discovered that the door into the orchestra pit was unlocked.  So we would sometimes creep up and just barely crack it open to watch the orchestra.  And Dr. Beautiful Beauregard.  It was awesome.  During the recits, when all the (mildly) (and mainly intellectually) funny things would happen, Dr. B would just start laughing.  He’d be staring up at the stage, grinning, and his shoulders would shake as he just lost it.  For some reason, I found it even funnier than the actual show itself.

Final report:  I, the fake harpsichordist, enjoyed the show and did okay.  I was no Mozart, but I felt good about the performances and never lost any of my singers.  At the end, after krumping by myself in the wings in my Mabel dress because everyone else was onstage singing the finale, I tripped out daintily to take my bow with the other harpsichordist, and I could hear a swell in the applause as I curtsied.  Damn fucking straight, people.  I rocked that shit.  In a davenport dress.  Without a fugly wig.

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