Sunday, September 07, 2008

Review: Fake Lake

You just know kids are peeing in the pool. And I’m guessing all those senior citizens aren’t so innocent during their water aerobics, either. That’s why I only swim in naturally polluted bodies of water in the great outdoors. But Friday night I went to my local community pool. Since my beer-swilling days are over (except for an occasional Clausthaler), we walked past the heavily swilling crowds at German-Fest this weekend and hit the pool a few blocks down the street at Welles Park. But we didn’t have our swimsuits, because we were going to a play.

Earlier this year I introduced you to the Neo-Futurists and their long-running play Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. Fairly regularly a cast member will develop a piece well over the average two-minute length play that gets performed at TMLMTBGB and they’ll produce their own full-length show. One of the most recent of these is a play called Fake Lake, written by Sharon Greene about her spontaneous trip to Lake Powell with a group of strangers.

I like to keep my options open for the weekend in case I get a last minute invite to the Playboy Mansion or need to follow up on a local Bigfoot sighting so I rarely make plans in advance. That meant showing up at the pool without a ticket and hoping we could get in with my good-looks and charm. They were sold-out but realized that as an influential member of the e-media I should be squeezed in and they offered me overflow seating in the balcony of the pool area. Tickets run $10, but since I could not be accommodated in the poolside metal bleachers it would be pay-what-you-can. This presented a dilemma. I had just taken $200 out of the ATM and didn’t have a lot of plans for the rest of the weekend (Hugh hadn’t called). Rent had already been paid for the month, so realistically I could have paid about $150. This certainly didn’t seem fair, so I managed to negotiate two tickets for $20 and was given a program and access to the balcony.

I’m not a theater critic, so I can only tell you that the play rocked. The pool represented Lake Powell, the setting for all the activities from swimming, boogie-boarding, Marco Polo, floating in a raft and even some amateur synchronized swimming; and the narration helped transform the dreary walls of the auditorium into the dramatic walls of the Glen Canyon and its controversial dam. The pool deck easily made a convincing campsite for the five actors, and I’m betting the play would be even more enjoyable if you get tickets in advance and sit in the bleachers that share the campsite. (Damn, with a plug like that I should get some comp tickets to come back and see it again. I’m joking – that would only compromise any remaining illusion of journalistic integrity that may remain on this site. And it’s in poor taste to mooch off a non-profit.)

Not only is the story and dynamic between the characters highly entertaining on it’s own, but you’ll also learn a lot about the history of the canyon and lake without having to pony up any extra cash for the hi-def Discovery Channels from those bastards at Comcast. The play also takes on some thought-provoking environmental and ecological issues, impressively without being preachy. I’ll be happy to recycle my newspaper, but if you start lecturing me about it I’m just as likely to roll it up and whack you upside the head with it. I didn’t feel the need to do that.

Bottom line is that you should go see Fake Lake. Not only for another unique theater experience brought to you by the Neos, but because you'll have a good time doing it. Only through September 19th, so hurry up. I might go with you to see it again, even though I suspect they’re peeing in the pool.


Anonymous said...

How were the accoustics? I'm guessing there may have been a lot of echoing since it was at a pool.

Sid said...

Surprisingly good. Some of the narration, they used a microphone. The acting parts they all had pretty powerful voices. I heard all but a couple lines, but that was because I was in the balcony.

However, it was a bit humid so dress comfortably if you go.

del said...

I thought you were going to review a new version of Swan Lake. Maybe an ecological version of the ballet or something.... but.... that's ok. I'm not too disappointed.

keysunset said...

Sounds like a great time! That's it! I'm throwing my bathing suit in a sack and I'm heading up there.

Well, that IS comfortable dress for a pool, ain't it? Even in Chicago?

HR said...

I like how "Fake" and "Lake" rhyme.