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Inspirational Reads

A Helicoptor, Garter Belts, and Dry-Humping a Pink Cadillac

March 25, 2009

I've got a GREAT idea for some family fun: let's all go watch some Asian whores dance!
Last week, I won tickets to the production of Miss Saigon down in Raleigh. Last night, the Comely and Buxom and Easily Terrified and Strangely Attracted to the Engineer Boudicca and I shuffled off the mortal coils of parenthood, dressed in clothing that isn't stained, and went down to the theater in Raleigh in order to watch the show. Despite having been married 8+ years now--and also knowing that I was a thespian in college--my wife still wondered why I wanted to go see Miss Saigon, of all things (for instance, Fiddler on the Roof--another fantastic show--was playing in Durham last week, and we didn't go see that).

"Well, it's one of my favorite shows," I told her.

About thirty seconds into the show--when all the girls pile onto the stage and begin removing their outer vestments--she suddenly became aware of why it's one of my favorite shows. Okay, honestly, I like the story and I love the music. In fact--a fact which the Comely and Buxom and Easily Terrified and Strangely Attracted to the Engineer Boudicca has forgotten--I own a copy of the soundtrack and in our early wedded days, she made fun of me for it. However, as much as I love the music and the story, having a dozen toned and attractive women strip down to bikinis and underwear and then grinding sexily out upon the stage does lend itself to putting a smile on my face.

The show was magnificent! I will admit, I am unabashedly a theater whore. This was the first play I had seen since the year after I graduated, when St. Joe put on Godspell (where my man, Mic Mancuso, played Stephen perfectly). When the show started and the pit orchestra began playing, my heart leapt inside my chest. *sigh* I wanted to be backstage and not in the crowd and it was the first time in a long time when I really missed doing something (occasionally, I'll get the same feeling when I watch my daughter play basketball). Sadly, I realize that trying to get back into theater is impossible because I'm not fit enough, I've never had voice lessons, and I'm not willing to force my family to endure the sacrifices it would take simply so I could have that rush of emotions that comes when the curtain rises and the lights blind you and--despite all that--you keep that smile on your face and start in with your lines or song, because this is it. All eyes are on you. Do not break the Fourth Wall!!! Ah, I can feel that rush of adrenaline wanting to course through my veins once more.

So, I remained in the crowd. And I loved every minute of it...well, maybe not the acrid taste left in the wake of the fire extinguishers-turned-smoke machines, but still. I had also forgotten just how fucking fabulous dancers legs are. *heavenly sigh* And trust me, from the second row, you get to...appreciate...the shapeliness of their legs. A lot.

Did I mention this is one of my favorite shows?

Anyway, here's a quick run down that doesn't involve me slobbering over the nearly naked Asian girls. Jennifer Paz played Kim, and she has an absolutely beautiful voice. Eric Kunze was Chris and he, also, did a magnificent job. However, the show was stolen (rightfully so) by Kevin Gray as the Engineer. Oh. My. God. This man call pull off sleazy in a way that still makes him endearing. And, it's not like it's a type cast. You get the feeling that he can play just about any role. At one point during the performance, I thought, "Christ, this guy could play a Batman villain and still be the best person on screen!" He was that fabulous. If you ever get a chance to see Miss Saigon with him as the Engineer, do it. You will not be let down.

My wife and I both had a wonderful time. However...we were a bit...confused...by the family of five that sat down in front of us, with their probably 14-year-old son, their probably 11-year-old daughter, and their maybe-six-year-old daughter. In case you're not familiar with the story, here's a quick recap: the show is set in Vietnam during the war, starting out in a Vietnamese whorehouse run by the Engineer. Here, Chris meets and falls in love with Kim, he promises to try and get her back to the States when he returns, they have sex, Saigon falls, Kim is left behind in the scramble to get everyone out, and three years later it is revealed that she has had Chris' child. They escape to Bangkok where the news finally gets back to Chris that Kim is alive and that she has had a child by him. Thinking Kim lost after he returned to the States, Chris remarries, and so they have to sort all of that out. It's all very Madame Butterfly. Wait...

That all sounds fine, right? Yeah, well, except for the lascivious nature of the girls when they are in the Vietnamese whorehouse and later when they are selling themselves for sexual pleasures in Bangkok. That part might be a little...racy...for a six-year-old. My wife and I agreed that these were probably the same people who took their kids to see Watchmen, thinking it would be like Spider-Man. Idiots.

Also, the woman who played Chris' wife, Ellen, turned out to be a redhead. On the ride home, my wife was like, "So...did you identify with Chris when he had--?"

"Yes, dear. When he had to make a choice between the cute little Asian girl and the beautiful redhead with the great set of...pipes...I felt a kinship."

Did I mention this is one of my favorite shows?

Here's the North Carolina Theatre's Blog, where they have posted several videos from the performances and some other pictures (notice, I stole one from the American Dream number in Act II that was mind-blowingly-awesome) along with a historical break-down of the events during the Vietnam war and how they are linked in with the storyline of Miss Saigon.

12 comments:

Sass said...

*snort*

Bang Cock.

coolred38 said...

Shame you didnt take some one dollar bills with ya...lol.

Soda and Candy said...

I would love to see this show, even though the Madame Butterfly story makes me mad.

No snooty American bitch is taking my fucking kid. I don't care how illegitimate he is.

Cora said...

You dressed in clothing that wasn't stained, didya? Good for you. Hee hee hee.

(How old are your kids again? I sooo feel your pain!)

red said...

I saw Miss Saigon on Broadway. It's pretty great, but it's no Les Miserables.

I totally know what you mean, though, about watching a show and wanting to be a part of that again. I miss performing a lot and I don't even have a family to use as an excuse for not doing it...just my crippling laziness.

Fancy Schmancy said...

I've always wanted to see, but have never gotten around to it. Maybe when my kid is grown I'll visit Broadway more often...

Moooooog35 said...

Sass:

How you doin'?

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

@ Sass: I agree. Exploding poultry is hilarious. I don't care who you are.

@ Coolred38: I had some dollar coins that might have made things more...interesting...

@ Soda and Candy: Well, it's not exactly Madame Butterfly. Just an update.

@ Cora: 4 and 7. And, boy does the 4-year-old love smearing his messy hands all over us affectionately.

@ Red: That's the second person today who's said, "You know, it's no Les Mis."

Strangely enough, too, you both have red hair.

@ Fancy: The actors who played Kim and Chris both do the Broadway tour around the country, so you might not need to go to Broadway just to see it. It might pop up somewhere in Connecticut for you.

@ Moooooog35: Shouldn't that be: "Sasds; hjoiw yuoi don'?"

Sassy Britches said...

Performing is such a great high. Do you think you could get back into it later, after your kids are more grown?

Cowguy said...

Nothing says "entertainment" like naked Asians... unless they're 60 year old businessmen.

I'd love to see it!

Lisa-tastrophies said...

Oh GAWD MJenks! You nailed the thrill of doing theatre on the head. I went to the High School for Performing and Visual Arts as a theatre student. I lived for the heart-stopping gut-wrenching moment right before the curtain went up. My dream was to do musical theatre, but I can't sing a note!! (Irony defines my life ~ huh). After years of being cast as the "girl next door, girlfriend who gets dumped by act two or supporting Shakespeare roles" I had to leave my dreams behind, but I still day dream of what it would be like to return to the grease paint....


Jesus Christ Superstar is my ALL TIME favorite, but I will have to go check out Ms. S next time it is in town. Thanks for the preview.

Susan said...

OH GOD... I'm embarrassed to say this but Sound of Music on stage in NYC made me cry like a baby. I don't know why??? And, uh, nice title by the way... you got me with garter belts and dry humping.