Am I Too Excited to See War Horse? Neigh.

I am bouncing out of my seat, you guys, because tonight we see WAR HORSE!!!!

warhorse poster

I haven’t been this excited to see a live show since the last time I was in NYC. (You can read about that trip HERE and HERE).

I know that the story behind War Horse is a tough one; Gut-wrenching, tear-inducing, drama; but I am so ready for it! Why put myself through an emotional grab-bag of ups and downs? Because: PUPPETS.

Not These Kinds of Puppets

Not These Kind of Puppets

The first time I saw two of the War Horse puppets was on a YouTube video from a UK Talk Show. It was a chat show and they were talking about the new experimental piece being put up by the National Theatre. It was considered “experimental” because the protagonist was a puppet and this puppet had to do all sorts of things, including being a wholly believable, sympathetic, character WITHOUT SPEAKING A SINGLE LINE OF DIALOGUE. Why? Well, in case you’re unfamiliar, or the title didn’t give it a way, the puppet is a horse.

Not This Kind of Puppet, Either

Not This Kind of Puppet, Either

Anyway, so I’m watching this clip because someone had tipped me off to the idea that there was some pretty nifty puppetry involved – and being a puppet nerd AND a theatre nerd AND an anglophile – the combination of British accents, puppets and live theatre had me sold at “ ‘Allo! “.

allo

Where was I?

Oh, right, I’m watching a clip on Youtube.

It shows the foal puppet being demonstrated first. It was cute, and there is no denying that the puppeteers are exceedingly good (just watch it “breathe”!) and that the puppet itself is an incredible piece of workmanship, but I wasn’t mind-boggled or anything.

Adorable.

Adorable.

But then, oh then, with only a minute left in the video, in trots the full-size Joey and, sitting there in front of computer screen, I burst into tears. It was the single-most beautiful puppet I had ever seen In. My. Life. I was completely unprepared for it. My tears were a spontaneous physical reaction to beauty. I had no control over it.

Here’s the clip.

I am prepared for most of you to not “get it”. But that’s ok. As I said, Puppet Nerd.

From that moment over three years ago, until now, I have been on a quest to see this show. It was playing when I was in NYC year before last but the tickets were way too expensive for me to afford at the time.

CostsTooMuch_fnd

I became obsessed with this show. I devoured every bit of media on it I could find. Every little news clip, interview, anything with video; I HAD to see these puppets in action. Simple photos were not good enough.

This image is far too still.

This image is far too still.

To give you an idea about how much this is about the puppets and not the story – I’ve never read War Horse and I completely avoided the movie. I knew the story was rough and (being an animal lover) I didn’t want ANYTHING to pull my attention away from the artistry of the puppets prior to seeing them live on stage.

My favorite video about the puppets was the TED Talk given by the founders of the Handspring Puppet Company, the South African company who designed and built the horse puppets for War Horse. You can see it below.

Now, finally, tonight, I get to see these woven bits of steel, cane, leather and cloth come to life in front of my eyes.

I am going to be a hot mess.

NEXT WEEK:

EMERALD CITY COMIC CON!! Anticipate a “place-holder” post, with a full wrap-up the week after with tons of pics!

Advertisements

Making It (In Under 12 Parsecs)

(Comes racing in, arms full of pop culture, dropping things left and right)

Sorry! Sorry, I’m late, everyone! But, hey, it’s still Friday, so technically I’ve met my deadline!

Hi there, hope everyone is doing well.

Not too much to report this week, except, you know, a GIANT FRICKING ROCK EXPLODED over Russia,

the “Blade Runner” (Oscar Pistorius) probably killed his girlfriend and is apparently (refreshingly) sad about it,

Oscar "Blade Runner" Pistorius, shown here on a much better day

Oscar “Blade Runner” Pistorius, shown here on a much better day

the Walking Dead returned on Sunday and Rick has lost his EVER-LOVING MIND,

Nucking Futs and Armed. Uh-Oh.

Nucking Futs and Armed. Uh-Oh.

and finally, perhaps most importantly, journalist El Mayimbe used his saucy Latino swagger to squeak out this awesome piece of information about the upcoming  Star Wars: Episode VII….HARRISON FORD IS GOING TO APPEAR AS HAN “KESSEL RUN” SOLO!!!

Han Solo

So, yeah… you know… pretty dead week.

Hopefully next week will be a little more interesting.

What Brains Through Yonder Skullcap Leak?

This past weekend the wife and I decided to jump in the spontaneous-lane and visit our local multiplex to take in the new zombie Romeo & Juliet flick Warm Bodies starring BBC “Skins” and About A Boy alum Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer  of Take Me Home Tonight (who here looks alarmingly like a blonde Kristen Stewart).

Teresa Palmer, Left. Blonde Kristen Stewart, Right.

Teresa Palmer, Left. Blonde Kristen Stewart, Right.

Also present is John Malkovich known best for being John Malkovich (and also Being John Malkovich).

Nicholas plays a zombie whose name (he thinks) may have started with an “R”. So he simply goes by “Rrrr”. Teresa Palmer plays an uninfected human named Julie. R and Julie. We get it.

For fans of the original Shakespearean text, the writers throw in a few additional touchstones here and there. Such as, Julie’s boyfriend at the start of the film is called Perry. Juliet’s almost-betrothed (prior to meeting Romeo) in the original text was a fellow called Paris. Paris. Perry. Nice. We get it. Julie’s best friend Nora  as the equivalent to Juliet’s confidante the Nurse. Nurse. Nora. Nice. We get it. Rob Cordry plays R’s zombie friend “M”, which is M for…. well, you get the idea. And of course there is a balcony scene. Nice. We get it.

I got your back, dead-bro

I got your back, dead-bro

Despite my seeming to sniff dubiously at the crossover of characters and basic plot-lines, I actually really enjoyed this movie. It has some decent old-school zombie violence as well as a, shall we call it, “heart-warming” love story.

I love you for more than your brrraaaaiiinnnsss

I love you for more than your brrraaaaiiinnnsss

The best part of the flick was R’s ongoing internal monologue which is largely self-deprecating humor. I also must admit that the way R and Julie meet is perhaps the WORST possible way to meet someone (e.g., eating your future love interest’s boyfriend’s brains).  I doubt that we’ll see anything like that in a film again. But it was also kind of awesome.

Overall, I recommend this fun, comedic, zombie-fied riff on R&J. Get thee to a cinema and BRRRAAAAINNSSS.

And this week’s addition to the Testimonial Gallery is:

Alan Shearman of Bullshot Crummond

Alan Shearman of Bullshot Crummond!

Chris Hardwick’s Comedy Jokes

My face still hurts from laughing. That is how awesome Chris Hardwick’s set was at the Tacoma Comedy Club last Saturday night.

Equally brazen and apologetic, Mr. Hardwick spent his 45 minutes on stage trying out new material on a willing, receptive and energetic crowd.

The theme of his set appeared to be “Times I’ve Been Embarrassed Sexually”; I never imagined that I’d find myself rooting for an encounter with a cheap blow-up doll to turn out well, but I did.

blowup

Mr. Hardwick held the audience in the palm of his hand and worked the room with expert ease. For moments where his material wasn’t as tight as he would have liked, he switched to audience interaction bits, showcasing his well-honed improv skills and keeping the pace moving at a perfect clip.

ch-standup

I forgot to take pics while he was actually performing… so this is from a past stand-up gig. Thanks Google Images! If you know who took this photo, please let me know so I can credit them.

Afterward, he spent time meeting,taking photos with and hugging audience members who smartly chose to linger behind.

Note how Chris knew where to look, and I didn't. True photo-op pro.

Note how Chris knew where to look, and I didn’t. True photo-op pro.

The one “hiccup” during Chris’s set occurred when he looked up and discovered a patron videoing his set. He called them out on it and handled it as nicely as he could, pointing out that his material is copyrighted (as well as a work in progess) and that the venue should have put a stop to the videotaping immediately. He spent a couple of moments explaining (not the legal) but the moral and ethical “wrongness” of filming an artist’s work without their permission. The guilty party seemed embarrassed yet indignant. I hope for Chris’s sake that they kept their promise to him not to post what they had filmed on Youtube… even though his set was pretty much flawless.

I spent a couple of moments chatting with Mr. Hardwick after the set, and let me tell ya, the guy is the nicest, most unassuming, celebrity I have ever met. Not a trace of ego and genuinely nice.

You can find out more about Chris Hardwick’s “workshop” stand-up tour on the Nerdist site HERE. If he’s coming to your neck of the woods I highly recommend you make the effort to see him!

And this week’s addition to the Testimonial Gallery is (naturally):

Chris-Hardwick-Sig

Chris Hardwick – Nerdist

Chris Hardwick! YAY! [kermitflail.gif]